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January 21, 2021

What is a vibratory feeder?

When working with bulk material, a standard conveyor belt system may not be enough to package and separate goods properly. Often bulk materials will stick together, making it difficult to package an exact amount of the product accurately. A handful of conveyor features a manufacturer should consider implementing to help aid in this process. One such option is a vibratory feeder.

These feeder systems can dramatically improve the company’s ability to sort goods accurately and keep the product spaced out. Proper spacing doesn’t just help with loading but with quality control. But what exactly is a vibratory feeder, and how is it implemented? Here are the basics of such a vibratory bowl feeder and why it is beneficial to many conveyor systems.

What is a Vibratory Feeder?

A vibratory feeder can be a stand-alone short conveyor or a small section to a larger conveyor belt system. The feeder is set at an angle and utilizes both gravity and vibrations to move bulk material along the conveyor. The vibrations will often use a combination of horizontal and vertical vibrations to keep products moving, all while taking advantage of gravity to move the material along the path of the conveyor.

While gravity helps keep the material moving, the vibrating element helps break up some of the bulk material. This makes it a desirable conveyor system for several industries. This can be anything from the food industry, where certain materials might stick together, all the way to the recycling industry, where stripped-down plastics and metals of various sizes and shapes might cling together. The vibrating breaks all of this apart while the gravity keeps the product moving along.

How a Vibratory Bowl Feeder Works

The system uses electromagnets to produce the vibrations within the vibratory bowl feeder. The vibrations produced by the electromagnets are then converted into mechanical vibrations. These mechanical vibrations then shake the feeder and move the material down to the next point in the manufacturing process.

In order to generate electromagnetic vibrations, a series of magnetic coils are placed in fixed locations around the feeder. Typically, these are at the spring-mounted bowl. An external power source is connected to produce electromagnetic vibrations. Depending on the vibration requirements and the weight of the material that will be traveling down the vibratory feeder, anywhere from one to six electromagnetics will be applied to the feeder’s base. Additional electromagnetics can be applied when working with especially heavy materials, but a feeder will only need between one and six in most cases.

Whenever considering the addition of a vibratory feeder into any manufacturing facility, it is important to look over the possible power consumption of the feeder and what kind of cost impact this will have on production. In general, the improvement to the production process should be desirable and offset any electrical costs. However, it is still necessary to perform a cost analysis of such an addition to your facility before installing any new vibratory feeder parts.

The staff here at Gough Econ, Inc. can help you with this. The customer service staff will go over the electrical usage of different vibratory feeder systems and the cost.

Feeder vs. Bowl Feeder

While both a vibratory feeder and a vibratory bowl feeder use vibrations and gravity to move material to the next stage in the manufacturing process, a bowl feeder does use a different design setup. A traditional feeder will be another part of the conveyor system and may be rectangular in design. On the other hand, a bowl feeder is circular in design and can help separate materials while it is inside the feeder. This will help individual items within the feeder fit through an attached chute once the material is properly aligned. This way, it does not require an individual to manipulate every item to properly align the objects manually. The vibratory bowl feeder will simply continue to vibrate until the object has properly aligned itself.

There are different kinds of vibratory bowl feeders that can be used. Some of the most commonly used designs include a cylindrical bowl, a conical bowl, a polyamide bowl, and a stepped bowl. Cylindrical and polyamide bowls are used to move small parts, while conical and stepped bowls are used to move large loads and heavy components.

Feeding To the Next Location

As the name suggests, the vibratory “feeder” will feed the material to the next point in the manufacturing process. This could be directly onto another conveyor belt, directly into packaging, or any other desired point in the manufacturing process. The industry and the specific manufacturer will play a big role in separating the vibratory feeder and what stage of the manufacturing process it is being used in.

Industries Using Vibratory Feeders

While there is no limit to the industries using vibratory feeders, some do more commonly implement the feeder into the production process. Some of these industries include electronic, automotive, pharmaceutical, food processing, recycling, construction, metalworking, consumable goods packaging, glass, and foundry.

The Right Vibratory Feeder System For Your Manufacturing Process

A vibratory feeder can improve your ability to work with bulk material. With various feeder options at your disposal, the best way to determine the most desirable setup is to contact the staff here at Gough Econ. Whether you already have a conveyor system installed and you’re looking to add the vibratory feeder to the configuration, or you want to build a brand new manufacturing conveyor system from the ground up, the expert customer service staff here at Gough Econ, Inc. can help address all of your questions and concerns. So if you’re ready to take the next step and improve your manufacturing process, all it takes is a single phone call. Gough Econ, Inc will handle the rest.

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