If you have ever poured sand through a funnel and need to tap it gently to allow the sand to flow continuously, then you have personally experienced the basic concept of a vibratory feeder.
Although vibratory feeders come in a variety of sizes to accommodate a particular industry, the basic working principle is the same.
Vibratory feeders utilize gravity to pull dry material downward and vibration to move material side to side. Usually, only dry material is used in this type of machine, because unlike liquid, dry material may not move in a fluid motion, and may need assistance from a vibrating action.
Large quantities of material is fed into a cone-shaped opening at the top of the feeder and comes out the narrow bottom.
A pill counter is an excellent example of a vibratory feeder, as large quantities of pills are unceremoniously dumped into the large opening at the top of the machine. Gravity pulls the pills downward and the vibrations help them to flow easily, and not get congested or block the machine feeder. Once the correct number is reached, the machine stops and begins again, when a new bottle is placed and ready to be automatically filled.
The main purposes of a vibration feeder
(1) To move product quickly and effectively
(2) To allow product to be on a timed distribution and
(3) Counting and keeping accurate inventory of small products – especially narcotic prescription pills that are closely monitored.
Bowl feeders are another name for vibratory feed machines, and they are a self-contained machine that has a bowl-shaped design. The drive unit (which is in available pneumatic and electromagnetic) drives the bowl and moves the material along a track. The width, depth and length of the track will depend of the type of application that it will be used for. Speed control is also standardized on bowl feeders, and it used to control the speed of the vibration, as well as the flow output of the product.
Vibratory feeders are used in a variety of industries, the pharmaceutical industry (as we mentioned above), automotive, metal work, electronic, the food industry and a packing plant.
They can also be found in the recycling industry, glass production, steel making and on construction sites.
Depending on the industry, this resourceful and useful machine (which reduces labor cost and valuable time) is often referred to by a variety of titles, such as “rotary feeders”, “spiral feeders”, “bin vibrators” and “hoppers”.