Clutch Adjustment to Reduce Driver Insert Wear

One of the main contributing factors to insert wear is improper clutch adjustment.  Each Swan-Matic capper has an adjustable clutch above the driver shell.  Proper clutch torque adjustment is essential for an insert’s proper wear time.  Another contributing factor that shortens insert life is dirt, oil or any liquids.  Wipe out the insert occasionally with isopropyl alcohol and a clean cloth. Many solvents in the products will attack the rubber insert also, causing it to swell and then break off when used for tightening. In some cases, this can be overcome with the use of a metallic serrated driver shell instead of rubber inserts. For a quotation, send 12 sample caps and two bottles to the Swan-Matic Division at our Fairview address.
  1. Loosen the clutch lock nut (C032) two turns.
  2. Standing in front of the machine with a wrench in each hand. Place your right hand wrench on the wrench flat at the top of C019 and left right hand wrench on the wrench flats at the bottom on of C041. Bring the two wrenches together to decrease torque and push them apart to increase torque on your cap. (See fig. 3.2)
  3. To increase the applied torque, tighten either wrench. To decrease the torque, loosen each wrench. (Clutch cap, body and lock nut have right-hand threads.)
  4. After each adjustment, hand tighten the clutch lock nut.
  5. To adjust the height of the capping head to allow for different sized containers, stop the spindle at its lowest point and lower the machine head until the insert touches a hand-tightened cap.
  6. Tighten the column clamp (Page 1 Fig. 1.3) to hold the head in position.
  7. Raise the spindle (C021) and the insert by turning on the machine, and then remove the container and cap.
  8. Lower the machine head about 1/8 inch and retighten it.
  9. Cycle the capper to tighten a cap onto a container. The shell and insert will stop rotating when the cap is tight.
  10. If the clutch does not stop rotating at the bottom of the stroke and the cap is tight, the insert will wear rapidly. If this happens, loosen the clutch slightly.  If you cannot see the shell stop, draw vertical lines on it with a marker to help you see when the shell stops turning.


  • Greg Szuba

Troubleshooting - Caps aren't fully tightening

A broken main spring (C011) in the capper head.

This spring breaks when the capper head is set to low. That can be tested without taking the machine apart. Set the spindle shaft in the lowest position. Place your hands under the clutch housing and lift up. If it moves up and down easily (about 1 inch), then the C011 spring is most likely broken. Other broken components in the head assembly can give the same test results.

The clutch cone itself has gotten too much oil or grease on it. Wipe off the clutch cone (C016) and the interior of the clutch cup (C017) and reassemble. There should be grease on the Spring (C018), the pins (C082) and the bearing (C065).

The insert material is not matched to the cap.

Swan-Matic offers 5 different types of material that inserts are made from. Refer to the Inserts and Driver Shells page for an explanation of each type if insert.  To get the best match, send in 12 caps, 2 containers and your contact information to:

 Swan-Matic Test Lab                                                                                             

7050 West Ridge Rd.                                                                                             Fairview, PA 16415                                                                                         

The insert has worn down.

As the insert wears, the pressure on the cap is reduced because the distance from the insert to the cap increases. To correct it, just move the head of the capper down slightly or install a new insert.

Capper head is set to low.

If the capper is pressing too hard on the container being capped, it can cause the threads of the container to bind with the cap threads. 

The insert is slipping inside the driver shell.

Clean the driver shell out and replace the insert.

  • Greg Szuba
Maintenance of your Swan - Matic Capper

Maintenance of your Swan - Matic Capper

Periodic inspection of the oil level in the capper head housing is recommended to ensure that sufficient lubrication is present. 
Swanmatic Capper Setup

Swanmatic Capper Setup

Carefully unpack the Capper and any other associated equipment which may be in the container and check for damage. Set the machine on a level surface and remove the red fill plug located on the top left rear of the capper head. Add the two quarts of Gear Oil ( P/N C095 supplied ) into the housing through the fill plug hole. The capacity is two quarts Maximum.
  • Greg Szuba