industrial vibrator design

4 Construction Features to Consider When Choosing Rotary Electric Vibrators for Vibratory Equipment or Material Flow Applications

Craig Macklin

Have you ever had someone try to push you over from your side?  I recall skiing with my big brother once when we were kids.  We had gotten off the chair lift and were stopped at the top of a run, getting ready to head down.  I was standing with skis closely together in parallel, hands off my poles as I adjusted my goggles. Big brother gave me a push on my shoulder from the side, perpendicular to the direction of my stance and skis.  I tipped right over.  There was nothing I could do about it.  It was hilarious… at least it was to him and everyone watching me flail about wildly on my way down.  Had I positioned my skis and stance wider and center of gravity lower, I could have avoided this embarrassing failure.

rotary electric vibrator, eccentric weights

Figure 1. Rotary Electric Vibrator Shaft

Such is as it is with Rotary Electric Vibratory Motors.  Imagine for a moment that you have a long bar going right through your solar plexus and out of the middle of your back.  Now that you are over that painful thought, imagine that at each end of the bar, there is a weight dangling from rope and swinging around that bar.  Those weights are pushing you in every direction perpendicular to your feet and stance. You are now a Rotary Electric Vibrator! Can’t quite get the mental picture? Check out the photo to the right to see what I am talking about. Read More…

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Tighten Those Bolts!

Mike Stratis

If you happened to take the time to read Craig Macklin’s blog, about the expectations for maintenance of the pneumatic vibrators, then you’ll have a good base of knowledge on how to keep those units running efficiently. This time, we’ll take a deeper dive into the importance of tightening the mounting bolts used for installing the vibrators themselves.

On the pneumatic piston vibrators, the proper bolt torque is critical. Because of the tight tolerance held between the outside diameter of the piston and the inside diameter of the bore of the casted body, the vibrator needs to air piston vibrator, nuts and bolts on pneumatic vibratorbe rigidly bolted in place to allow for correction operation so that only the piston is moving inside the vibrator. If the bolts are loose, even slightly, the vibrator body will “rock” back and forth on the mounting channel. Once this starts happening, failures or seized pistons can happen.

Why does this happen? The reason is, the piston will still try to move in a pure linear direction but if Read More…

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

Jack Steinbuch

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…

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What to Expect for Maintenance of Pneumatic Vibrators

Craig Macklin

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…

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Vibrator Coating Testing Results: Only Time Will Tell

David Strong

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…

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Sizing and Selecting Air Piston Vibrators for Conical Silos

Mike Stratis

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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Niche Business, It’s What We Do

Glen Roberts

All organizations that have stayed in business for many years have “go-to folks” they depend on when difficult situations or tough problems arise that need to be taken care of. For example, how many times have we watched a football game and experienced the quarterback take his team 90 yards in under two minutes to win a game or the linebacker or safety make that key tackle or interception for a last minute victory? If you root for every team but the Browns, we’re sure you’ve experienced this enough to know the importance the role these key players fulfill. These are go to folks and it is no different in the business world, especially here at The Cleveland Vibrator Co.

I think we are blessed with several go to folks on our team. When a customer calls Cleveland Vibrator, they are not just talking to a sales associate but to engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, marketing, shipping and yes, even our owners from time to time. I believe this collectively makes Cleveland Vibrator a “go to company” for many special applications. I call this our “NICHE” business and feel it has been one of Cleveland Vibrator’s strengths, even before I was given the opportunity to join the team in 1968. Read More…

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How to Operate Cleveland Vibrator’s Vacuum Mounted Series Units

Mike Stratis

The Cleveland Vibrator Company has been manufacturing pneumatic piston vibrators since 1923. During that time, there have been a wide range of new products developed and released as the industries change. A great recent example of this innovation is the Vacuum Mount Vibrator Series.

The first generation of the Vacuum Mount family was designed around the flagship product, air piston vibrators, to accommodate a wide range of applications and mounting locations. The air piston vibrators that are used are the VMSAC models, these are the non-impacting or air-cushioned piston vibrators. The reason for the non-impacting model is because the impacting model’s steel piston inside the ductile iron casted body provides a large amount of force that actually breaks the suction of the vacuum cup when installed on a bin, hopper trailer, dump bed truck, slip form or other application.

After the success of the first generation, with the VMSAC models, we expanded into the pneumatic turbine vibrators. This has allows us to provide many more options and sizes to help meet the demands of the user’s application. The original family within the product line contained four models (1125 VMSAC, Read More…

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Turbine Vibrators, Views from the Way Back Machine…

David Strong
February 27, 1958
Engineering Department
Fafnir Bearing Company
New Britain, Connecticut
Gentlemen:
Submitted herewith is a sketch of a proposed bearing application.  This device is an industrial vibrator for use in handling sand, dusts and powders. The use of an eccentrically loaded turbine to product vibrations is novel to my knowledge and it produces some novel bearing problems. The device is designed to produce vibration, an action which is usually very guarded. A model of this device has been made and tested.  It has the nominal dimensions shown and runs approximately………
Yours very truly,
The Cleveland Vibrator Co.
Frank K. B…….
Professional Engineering Consultant

Read More…

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Tired of Using the Hammer?

Mike Stratis

There is something to be said about the functionality of a hammer. These tools can be used for a variety of applications, constructive or destructive purposes and are often lightweight components which makes them easy to carry around a shop floor. In this industry, we see and hear them used on day bins, surge bins, bulk storage hoppers, material transfer pipes and other similar equipment to break up bridging or rat-holing product and promote material flow. While this is certainly a quick fix and can help the material flow problems that day, there are a few potential long term issues that can arise when using a dead blow or sledge hammer to break loose the material.

First thing that comes to mind for the Cleveland Vibrator team, and most importantly in our eyes, is the safety of the operator. When using these hammers on bin or hopper, many times the operator is lifting the hammer above shoulder level and swinging up at a bin on a regular basis. Read More…

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