Automatic Capping Machines

Automatic Laboratory Microtube Capping Machines

Microtubes with screw caps are frequently used in the handling and shipping of small volumes of samples and reagents in liquid or powder form. Our semi automatic capping machines address the need to have a reliable, productive and economical process for the sealing of these tubes using bulk caps.

Our Products Features

1. Consistent and Reliable Process

Accurate torque is essential in laboratory capping to ensure sample integrity and biological safety in dispatch. It cannot consistently be achieved manual capping. Our semi automatic capping machines offer consistent, reliable and secure sealing adjusted to recommended torque specifications.

2. Productivity

The micro capping machines allow processing of batches of hundreds or thousands of tubes per day quickly. Throughput is about 20-30 caps per minute.

3. Ease of Operation and Occupational Safety

Cap tightening is easy and straightforward with this laboratory equipment. For the MCF-13A automated capper, caps are poured into the cap feeder and automatically fed to the capping head. The tubes are individually placed into a tube holder for automatic capping and microtube sealing. See video. The Microcappers reduce operator fatigue and occupational hazards such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, due to the repetitive manual capping process.

4. Versatile and Portable

These bench-top micro capping machines with footprint of half an A4 paper can easily be deployed at various production locations. They offer tube capping with the flexibility of an appliance in a work cell which might evolve over time. Caps in the feeding path of the machine are very accessible to allow quick emptying of the machine and switching of cap colours/batches.

5. Economical

The Microcappers work with bulk caps and provide therefore a more economical automation solution to using pre-capped tubes with rack tube cappers. The capping station pays for itself in a short time due to the cost savings on the bulk caps. It is also in itself more economical then the typical rack capper/decapper.

Microtubes Background

The screw capped microtubes now commonly used in laboratories first appeared in the industry about 10 years ago. It evolved from the press-fit microtubes which had the common 13mm diameter. The most important feature of this microtube was the introduction of the secure screw cap which allowed these tubes to be filled with liquid and transported across distances.

The emergence of laboratories offering mass production of oligo synthesis, custom protein-chain synthesis brought about the need to contain the resultant liquid product in secure, compact containers that required transportation from the production laboratories to the research labs, etc who did further work/process on these products.

Rise of Microtube Capping / Sealing

With the proliferation of these microtubes came the need to reliably seal these tubes in a fast and consistent manner. The automation industry responded with various solutions ranging from semi-automated machines to high throughput, fully automated solutions. XQ Instruments saw the need for a flexible, small footprint automated machine, the MCF-13A for customers wanting to cap 500 –5,000 microtubes per day. The capping uses the cheaper bulk purchased separate microtubes and caps vs the more expensive pre-capped microtubes used by most fully automated solutions.

The MCF-13A has an adjustable torque setting to cater for the needs of various customers in their capping needs and can be moved from one bench to another with minimal setup. We work with our customers to assist them in their Operational Qualification (OQ) requirements.