Tough Mining Application Calls on Cleveland Vibrator Co. for a Tougher Solution

Glen Roberts

One of our strong suits has always been the ability to manufacture special vibrators for tough applications. The mining industry can be a major challenge for any air piston vibrator do to heat, extremely dusty environment and just the harshness of the application to include operating the vibrators in a 24/7 operation. The Erie Mining Company in Northern, Minnesota had such a process. They were established in 1957 for the mining of taconite ore. The process involved taking taconite, which is a hard low-grade iron ore mixed in with nonferrous rock and grinding it to separate the low grade iron ore. One of the intermediate processes is screening for further separation. This is where Cleveland Vibrator came into play.

We were asked to supply vibrators to the mill for mounting to their screeners to improve the separation process. We started with our standard units but the harshness of the application created a short life span for units. It was decided that for this application, Cleveland Vibrator would need to design a special vibrator. We called it the Erie  Mining Vibrator for the customer whose application we were making it for, it’s design was similar to our 1125 VMR Air Piston Vibrator Model. It should be noted: we knew upfront that this unit should last far longer than the standard unit, but still would eventually stop working do to the amount of hours it was required to operate. The only part that did not change physically was the body. However, we did increase the body to piston fit tolerance to help with the friction heat and foreign matter that is drawn into the body bore.

Altogether we had made the following changes:

  1. Changed the piston to a 4140 alloy case hardened to a 60 to 61 Rockwell “C” hardness
  2. Changed the mounting base to 4140 alloy steel and due to the base being ¾” thick, we had it heat treated and oil quenched to the same 60 to 61 Rockwell “C” hardness
  3. We replaced the aluminum cap with a steel cap from a better wear standpoint. The cap screw bolts and assembly bolts and nuts were all changed to Grade 8 fasteners to prevent the unit from fracturing bolts and loosening up during vibration
  4. We even switched out the mounting bolts and nuts from Grade 5 to Grade 9
  5. The customer had requested that Cleveland Vibrator remove the port protector so they could operate wide open, which increased the vibration force through the screen

This was bad little vibrator when it was operated at 60 to 80 PSI. Erie Mining purchased these vibrators for several years until LTV closed the mine around the start of 2000. It’s been rumored that these mines may be reopening soon and just maybe this wicked little vibrator may be needed again. Currently, we do have and application in Utah involving coal that may require looking at this unit again. From the Cleveland Vibrator standpoint, it will always be the 1125 ERIE MINING Vibrator.

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