What is a Vibrating Feeder?
A vibrating feeder is an instrument that utilizes vibrations and gravity to feed materials through a process at a determined speed and output. This allows for constant, and controlled speed and output of various materials. A vibrating feeder can be used in various applications.
How Does a Vibrating Feeder Work?
As previously mentioned, this feeder is designed using a vibrating motor that gives the appearance that a constant “stream” of product is being moved. In reality, the feeder is producing constant, rhythmic “hops” or vibrations, at a determined speed and force. These vibrations appear imperceptible by the human eye. These vibrations produced by the motor being installed at an angle create a force that moves products up, and forward utilizing gravity to ensure that constant flow of material. There are many options for the implementation of this feeder, and applications in which it can be used.
Main Uses for a Vibrating Feeder
A vibrating feeder can be a very beneficial addition to many projects or processes. These machines can be fine-tuned for tasks of various sizes and throughput. This means that whether the product is granular or bulky the feeder can be a good fit for you. To put this in perspective, industry uses for these feeders include; pharmaceutical, automotive, electronic, cosmetic, food, and packaging. These feeders have different roles depending on the industry, which consists of moving glass, metals, and raw goods through a manufacturing plant. Other uses could consist of transporting and sorting goods and scrap metal through a recycling process. Depending on the implementation, there are many outright benefits of having a feeder.
What are the Benefits of a Vibrating Feeder?
The benefits of adding a vibrating feeder include lowering the production cost by ensuring the consistent and controlled movement of product and lower maintenance cost when compared to mechanical feeders.
Other Benefits Include:
- Improved processes
- reduce time consumption
- Easily cleaned and maintained
- Vibrating feeders can regulate the flow of product
- Precise and accurate measurement of material
- Allows for automation of processes
- Safer for operators
- Design flexibility
- Material presentation
- Prevents dry goods from caking together
- Fewer moving parts make the machine more durable
Points to Consider When Researching Vibrating Feeders
There’s much to consider when looking into vibrating feeders, as they can be adapted depending on the use, function, and process required. Due to the nature of the feeder, and its adaptability, you must keep in mind that the size of the feeder will be determined by the materials you are looking to work with. Additionally, understanding that the amount of energy required by the feeder will be calculated by the size of the project in question.
Vibrating feeders are very customizable, allowing you to build the perfect machine for your job.
- Tray sizes and shapes
- The discharge flute shapes and options
- Trough coating, which can vary depending on the material being moved.
These machines offer flexibility and range of use, it is important, however, to know that there are different types of feeders, each with different functions and recommended use.
Different Types of Vibrating Feeders
There are three main types of feeders, they are electro-magnetic, electro-mechanical, and air-powered. All these feeder types and technologies have their advantages and disadvantages.
Electromagnetic feeders provide variable intensity, usually at a fixed frequency of 3600 vibrations per minute. These are ideal for colder environments and are great when used for dry, free-flowing materials, such as sand or pellets. The rate of flow can be adjusted to handle loads from just a few pounds an hour to several tons per hour. The drawback with this type of feeder is that fluctuations in weather and temperature can greatly affect the performance, and another issue is that the machine does require frequent tuning and maintenance.
Electro-mechanical feeders are powered by twin rotary electric motors, and they provide a broader range of frequency and stroke settings. Additionally, if you were to use an electro-mechanical feeder with a Variable frequency drive (VFD) it greatly increases the flexibility. This VFD device will end the vibration motion much faster, preventing any spillover or unwanted movement. This is a much quieter design and works well under hazardous conditions when properly installed.
Air-Powered feeders are best when used for hazardous conditions. These work by utilizing air-cushioned pistons which allow for smooth movement of materials. This type of feeder is also more resistant to heat but can freeze if it is used outdoors. These also don’t require tuning and can be more economic, however have limitations in the amount of load they can move.
Once you’ve determined the type of feeder you desire, it is also important to determine the need for additional equipment, such as using the feeder with a conveyor or sorter.
Vibrating conveyors use the same vibration technology to move materials and are used to move material along to a destination. These can be used in conjunction with a feeder, but it is important to know that due to having more moving parts, these have the potential to require more maintenance. A benefit of the conveyor is that it allows for a more streamlined process and higher efficiency. Conveyors can also be customized depending on the use and job.
A vibrating sorter or vibratory sorter is a device that uses the same basic vibration technology as a feeder, but in conjunction with magnetic or air-powered technology to sort, align or separate material before moving along the conveyor. These are great when it is necessary to have the material in a specific direction, order, and alignment.
Vibratory feeders provide an immense benefit to industries, manufacturers, recycling companies, and many more people daily. These machines streamline processes, lower cost, and improve safety. Those that incorporate these machines will greatly benefit from their use. Tuffman offers different options and customizable machines that will fit your feeder needs and specifications. Search through our Tuffman Products today.