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Closure Systems: Capping chuck

The recent global wave of innovative lightweight beverage closure designs has delivered many benefits to both bottlers and consumers.
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FILED IN:  Machinery  > Filling/sealing  > Capping
     

Along with improved material savings, a variety of new knurl pattern options have become available to add branding and improved grip for ease of opening.  These benefits, however, have not been without some challenges in the beverage bottling plants.

With reduced material and thinner closure walls, dimensional tolerance ranges and capping application windows for bottlers have often been narrowed. “Almost overnight, bottlers were required to buy and maintain a growing inventory of capping chucks for each closure size and knurl pattern used, “ explained Jack Petersen, CSI Sales Engineer. “Large bottlers struggled with the twin challenges of added changeover time and chuck inventory control.”

The perfect solution to both problems is CSI’s new, Flex-Chuck™, which offers a completely new approach to capping chuck design. Using an internal array of multiple and independent grippers, the patented Flex-Chuck design instantly adapts to a wide range of knurl patterns and varying closure dimensional tolerances. CSI’s Flex-Chucks reduces the need for time-consuming changeovers while also decreasing capping chuck inventory requirements. Bottlers who have switched to CSI Flex-Chucks have quickly recouped their investment, with the bulk of the savings realized in decreased labor costs and increased bottling line up-time.

“CSI Flex-Chucks have been continuously operating trouble-free 24x7 at high speeds with zero maintenance required,” stated Petersen. “We conservatively estimate maintenance costs related to chucks have been reduced by 50 percent. Another benefit of the Flex-Chuck design is that they clearly outperform all standard chucks when applying linerless water and CSD closures with a plug-seal design,” he added. “Many previously difficult to solve application issues have simply disappeared.”

The hardened steel grippers have shown no signs of wear after more than a full year of non-stop use.  In addition to the popular 28mm size, CSI is developing larger diameter Flex-Chucks in 33mm, 38mm and 43mm variants, all using the same proven design principles.

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