Jack Steinbuch

Let’s Clear the Air on Vibratory Drives for Hazardous Locations

Jack Steinbuch
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Over the years I’ve received a number of requests for vibrators or vibratory equipment that need to operate in a hazardous location.  Most requests include the classifications they are either given or think they need, but often aren’t familiar enough with them to know what their application may really require.  I believe for vibrating motors especially, that most confusion stems from recognizing the difference between dust tight and explosion-proof construction.

Our challenge for these applications is to clarify the classification being requested and offer possible alternatives to meet them.  First, to my understanding, pneumatic powered drives are acceptable for any hazardous location. You only need to be concerned if you use an electric activated valve to start/stop it, to make sure it meets the classification of the hazardous area.

hazardous-environments-class-description-cleveland-vibratorThere is a considerable amount of data for classifications, but I referred to an article which I felt handled the topic in a very informative manner.  They started by defining the Class or type of material present as specified by NEC (National Electrical Code) and CEC (Canadian Electrical Code). Class I location is specified as a location containing flammable gases or vapors. Class II locations contain dust that is Read More…

Mike Stratis

Vibratory Compaction Tables: 5 Things to Consider When Working Within A Budget

Mike Stratis
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Are you looking to add a vibratory table to the manufacturing and/or shipping processes of your facility? If yes, great! We’d be glad to help put our experience to work and point you in the right direction. There are a few things to review during the buying process and each of these forks in the road can have an impact on overall cost of the equipment.

For starters, what can vibratory tables do? We commonly see the following reasons to include a table:

  1. Flatten the mound build up or pile of material made from the filling station discharging into center of the Gaylord, tote, box or similar type packaging container
  2. Compact and stabilize bulk bags, FIBCs or super sacks for easier stacking and handling prior to storage or shipment
  3. Fully or semi automate packaging lines by integrating with rollers sections (CDLR and gravity) or belt conveyors
  4. Fill, weigh and compact material
  5. Remove air bubbles in molds and casted products for improved structural and surface finish
  6. Lower labor hours and costs for packaging and processing lines

Read More…

David Strong

Application Specific Unique Design Options Available for Vibratory Compaction Tables

David Strong
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Recently on a long weekend I took the “Behind the Scenes Tour” of the C.F. Martin guitar factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  During the tour the six of us in my group got to see pretty much the whole guitar building process from wood coming in the back door to final set up of the completed instrument.  Along the way we spent a few minutes talking with the guy that actually hand selects the wood for all the Custom Shop guitars, the customer works with a Martin guitar distributor, customizes an instrument and starts the process.  This gentleman reviews the order’s specifications and gets to look through Martin’s selection of some of the most beautiful wood you’d ever want to see to find just the right set to match up with the order.  Custom shop orders start with the basic guitar body style and build on from there, sort of like what Cleveland Vibrator does with its product line.  Cleveland Vibrator is very customer driven; the customer knows their business, process and goals, Cleveland Vibrator asks questions, listens, and often conducts testing, then offers a solution to accomplish those goals.  Similar to Martin Guitars on the “custom build your guitar” portion of their website, modifications to Cleveland Vibrators products is available.

FA Flat Deck Vibratory TableA good example of a product that is often modified by customer requirements is the vibratory table.  Basically a table is designed to vibrate linearly in the vertical direction.  From this very basic concept there are almost an infinite number of options and variables available to accomplish the customer’s goal, regardless of how simple or Read More…

Craig Macklin

What to Expect for Maintenance of Pneumatic Vibrators

Craig Macklin
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As my incredibly knowledgeable associate Mike Stratis just provided a posting about accessories to consider for your installation of a pneumatic vibrator, I thought I would provide a follow-up piece to discuss what to expect AFTER the install. As with any equipment, pneumatic vibrators and their supporting accessories do require some love, attention, lubrication and cleaning from time to time. Here is what to expect if you want to get the longest and most consistent life out of your pneumatic vibrator, whether a piston, turbine or ball.

Air Piston Vibrators 

Cleveland Vibrator Pneumatic Piston Vibrator Group ShotLubrication – First and foremost, check your lubricator with some frequency.  If you operate continuously, you might check and/or refill every 1-3 weeks.  If your use is intermittent or infrequent, you might schedule on a 1-4 months.  The use of internal coating in the vibrator can reduce or remove the need for lubrication.  But, coatings without the use of lubrication will typically wear out faster than a coated or uncoated piston vibrator that is properly lubricated.  Depending on size and duty cycle of your vibrator, you might use a pint of lubricant (we recommend our MXR-12 VibraLube, which is 10W-NR) every 2 weeks to 2 years. Read More…

Mike Stratis

What Are the Costs Associated with Installing Pneumatic Vibrators?

Mike Stratis
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When it comes time to review solutions to the material flow problems inside the hopper, pipe or chute, there are a few things to keep in mind when putting together a budget for the project. Besides the vibratory flow aid itself, there are additional components required before installing the unit. We will discuss these items and estimated costs to acquiring these components. Here is the short list:

  1. Industrial Vibrator – pneumatic piston vibrator, single impact air knocker, pneumatic turbine vibrator, pneumatic ball vibrator
  2. Safety cable
  3. Mounting channel or plate
  4. Hose to connect vibrator to on/off valve
  5. On/off valve
  6. Hose to connect on/off valve to air prep component (filter/regulator or filter/regulator/lubricator)
  7. Lubricant (if necessary)

Depending on the size of the hopper or piece of equipment that the pneumatic vibrator is going to be installed on, the price of the vibrator itself can range from about $100 to as much as $10,000. But, within that range, vast majority of the units are going to be between $100-$1000. Read More…

David Strong

Vibrator Coating Testing Results: Only Time Will Tell

David Strong
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Some time back in the mid-60s Cleveland Vibrator started working with coating technology in an effort to improve the performance and longevity of our line of pneumatic piston vibrators.  For best operation while consuming a minimum of compressed air, the piston and the body of any pneumatic piston vibrator need to be very closely matched.  Clearance between the moving piston and the fixed body is very fine, in certain installation orientations the piston rides on the body of the vibrator creating a metal on metal contact area.  Because of the metal on metal contact it is recommended to supply a pneumatic piston vibrator with lubricated air.  The appropriate amount of oil mist in the air stream will lubricate the moving parts, reducing the co-efficient of friction between the surfaces and extend the life of the vibrator.

Cleveland Vibrator’s investigation into and early use of friction reducing coatings was designed to leverage the benefits of the coating to enhance the performance and extend the life of the vibrator by reducing parts wear due to friction.  If not properly maintained and lubricated a piston vibrator will start to wear due to the piston/body surface contact.  Indicators of excessive wear will be reduced performance, less force output and more air consumed at the same operating pressure.  As the piston and body wear over time the gap between the two parts will increase, with the larger spacing air can “blow by” the piston, blow by air isn’t effectively used by the vibrator to generate force it simply exhausts out of the body.  Read More…

Mike Stratis

Truck Vibrators – What Are The Options?

Mike Stratis
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When it comes to unloading dry or semi-dry bulk materials from a hopper trailer, belly dump, side dump, end dump or similar type of truck, there are a few vibratory options available to the market. Depending on the power supply available on the mobile equipment, air or electric, the vibratory components change. We will first look at the air powered vibrator options then turn to the electric powered vibrator options.

The pneumatic or air powered units that are available are the piston style vibrator or the turbine style vibrator. These two are by far the most common air powered vibrators found on mobile equipment. The Cleveland Vibrator Vibra-Might air piston vibrators are popular units in the field. These vibrators have a dual diameter piston which allows for start up at any mounting angle and there is no spring on the inside of the vibrator. No spring equals less wear parts. These vibrators also have a single exhaust port and come standard with the exhaust port protector. The exhaust port protector helps keeps dust, dirt, water and other contaminants out of the bore of the vibrator. These Vibra-Might air piston vibrators come in both 4-bolt square base and 2-bolt rectangular base designs. Read More…

Craig Macklin

Recommended Pneumatic Vibrator Manufacturers in the USA

Craig Macklin
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Every year, our team here talks to and visits hundreds of pneumatic vibrator users about their use, applications and installations.  Believe it or not, we aren’t always reviewing our own work!  Through this field experience and our vibrator repair services that will evaluate and repair ANY manufacturer’s vibrator, we have gained a lot of knowledge about other strong and reputable air vibrator manufacturers in the United States and Canada.  Cleveland Vibrator may not always be the right fit.  So, here is a list of other reputable manufacturers and our learned view of their strengths:

Houston Vibrator (Houston, TX): Houston Vibrator is a multigenerational family business that has been manufacturing and applying industrial vibrator, pneumatic and electric, for decades.  The offer multiple options of pneumatic piston vibrators, railcar vibrators, ball vibrators, turbine vibrators as well as Italvibras Rotary Electric vibrators and light duty vibratory table.  They are great people that know their trade.  If Houston Vibrator consults you on your application for vibrator selection and installation, have great confidence that it will be correct.

Global Manufacturing (Little Rock, AK): Global Manufacturing manufactures and applies pneumatic, hydraulic and electric vibrators, including ball vibrators, turbine vibrators, Read More…

David Strong

Manufacturing Solutions, From Start to Finish.

David Strong
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Cleveland Vibrator recently added a new employee in the Fabricated Equipment area of the company.  At the end of 2015 our CEO declared that 2016 would be a “year of investment” here in terms of both people and equipment.  It’s exciting to see this sort of thing happening, good people coming on board as well as some new CNC equipment on the immediate horizon.  It all makes Cleveland Vibrator a better company.  While getting to know a bit about our new guy in the Fab area, we talked some about his work experience and the opportunity at Cleveland Vibrator.  One of the things he already likes about the position is that he gets to see a piece of equipment completely manufactured, start to finish.  I told him that’s one of the things that I’ve always enjoyed about my job, getting to be involved with the complete process often starting with the solution concept generation phase to final testing of that solution prior to it shipping out to the customer.

I think most engineers are problem solvers and that’s one of the aspects of this profession that they find interesting and rewarding.  That’s certainly the case for me.  I’ve always found the diversity of Cleveland Vibrator’s customers and their problems very interesting.  Plus, I feel that we have a very “intimate” manufacturing process, it’s all here in one location.   Whether it’s the manufacture of a pneumatic piston vibrator, as an example the 1300 VMSAC, air cushion vibrator piston vibrator or a large vibratory feeder Read More…

Mike Stratis

Sizing and Selecting Air Piston Vibrators for Conical Silos

Mike Stratis
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When turning to a pneumatic piston or air piston vibrator for bin clean out or bulk material flow out of your material storage vessel with a conical transition hopper, there are a few things we review to help determine the best unit for the job. Here are the various sets of criteria we review before making a recommendation:

  1. Find number of vibrators needed
  2. Find strength of vibrator needed
  3. Find best air piston vibrator for application

Step One: Find the Number of Vibrators Needed

To find the number of vibrators recommended for the conical hopper, we look at the geometry of the vessel being vibrated. The geometry, size and shape, of the vessel tells us the number of vibrators needed for the most effective vibration transfer into the material. There is about 5 feet of effective radius for the vibration energy from where the vibrator is mounted. Here is a visual aid which allows you to see how many vibrators are needed based on the size of your hopper. Read More…

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