Material Considerations in Buying the Proper Vibratory Feeder

July 1, 2019

The need to vibrate and process feed material exists across all industries. Even in the food sector, vibratory feeders ingest grain streams. The pharmaceutical sector is the same, with special feed chutes vibrating masses of tiny pills. For the mining industry, coarser material streams are the norm. On placing the emphasis of this post on material considerations, what type of vibratory feeder deals with these flinty loads?

Generating the Sine-Wave Stroke

Broadly speaking, a vibratory feeder maintains product flow. In a mining process, a hopper funnels rough-edged ore chunks down into a slightly angled pan or trough. The problem here is those rough edges. They have a habit of locking together. One sharp edge notches into another rock’s equally rough surface depression, and then the pairing jams inside the equipment. It’s impossible to sort ore streams when they’re sticking to each other like this. Enter a vibratory feeder, with its single or two-mass drive system providing plenty of obstruction loosening energy. The equipment produces a complex stroke waveform. Up the trough load goes, then it drops again, this time further along the equipment pan. A drive mechanism creates the upward force (amplitude) while the forward and backwards motion of the tray generates wave frequency.

Purchasing Purpose-Designed Vibratory Feeders

Clearly, although the equipment doesn’t look that complicated, it’s built to exhibit an exacting set of performance-tuned mineral shifting properties. Keeping the chute flow rate consistent and edge locking incidents at the bare minimum, different types of drive systems make those signature stroke profiles possible. There’s the electromagnetic drive unit to install. DC (Direct Current) drives are less expensive, but their pulsed strokes and rectifier circuits tend to create waste energy, which is then expressed as a thermal loss. AC drives (Alternating Current), on the other hand, are more accurate. They also consume less energy. Then there’s the mounting point to assess. Will the motors be mounted above or below the pan? As for the interior section, the trough needs to be built from mild steel or stainless steel, depending on the density of the feed load.

This is clearly an intricate piece of equipment. Assuming a heavy and coarse-edged flow is heading toward the feeder chute, the purchased model has been decided and installed. It has a rubber-lined pan to dampen the heavy load. The stroke is amplitude and frequency adjustable, courtesy of the low-energy AC drive and the attached mechanical shaft, which has an eccentrically mounted plating linkage. Finally, injecting all of the moving parts with reciprocal energy and a much-needed dampening feature, strong rubber compounds and steel coiled springs provide stroke-regulating governance. By the way, fibreglass springs can be substituted for the heavy-duty steel coils if the vibratory feeder is a light to medium duty model.

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