material flow solutions

David Strong

How to Design and Size a Vibratory Feeder Conveyor Based on Application Requirements

David Strong
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Similar to vibratory tables in their many uses and applications, vibratory feeders are also great problem solvers.  Well known for their ability to effective move material from point A to point B, a well-designed vibratory feeder offers flexibility to the end user to get the task done.

vibratory feeder, vibratory conveyor, rendering vibratory feeder

Figure 1. Air Powered Vibratory Feeder Conveyor

Feeders can range from small base mounted CF-A, pneumatic powered feeders moving small quantities dry bulk material in a controlled manner to much larger base or cable supported EMF, Electro mechanical feeder, conveying literally tons of material an hour. Off the top of my head a short list of materials that Cleveland Vibrator’s vibratory feeders have worked with would include: almonds, crushed limestone, shelled corn, powdered metal, metal billets, various pipe fittings, scrap brass and bronze, crushed and shredded automobiles, hot dross and much more.

Typically, a feeder application will require the movement of some given amount of material with a known bulk density over a desired distance. Read More…

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Craig Macklin

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

Craig Macklin
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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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Mike Stratis

Properly Size an Industrial Vibrator on a Bulk Barge Hopper in 3 Easy Steps

Mike Stratis
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When it comes to unloading dry bulk bins, hoppers or vessels, we all know time is money. The more efficiently a job is done, the more time becomes available to take on new projects. More projects, equals… well, you get it.

One of the options available when it comes to material handling and unloading dry bulk barge hoppers or vessels is vibration. These externally mounted pneumatic or electric devices, when properly sized and installed, appropriately flex the bin or hopper wall to break free rat holing, bridging, caking or sticking material. With the assistance of the Cleveland Vibrator Selection Guide, the vibrator sizing process can be simplified and help increase successful installation. Read More…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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Glen Roberts

Niche Business, It’s What We Do

Glen Roberts
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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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Mike Stratis

Tired of Using the Hammer?

Mike Stratis
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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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David Strong

Why Is My Bulk Material Feeding or Screening Inefficiently?

David Strong
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Once again I’m touching on the topic of the proper setup of rotary electric vibrators (RE) when they’re used on vibratory equipment.  Most of the vibratory equipment manufactured by The Cleveland Vibrator Company uses two rotary electric vibrators to produce linear vibration.  Vibratory tables (FA), vibratory grid tables (GT), electromechanical screeners (EMS) and electromechanical feeders (EMF) are all designed for the vibrators to counter rotate.   Again, counter rotation simply means that the vibrators rotate in different directions, one clockwise and the other counter clockwise.  It doesn’t matter which vibrator of the pair rotates clockwise or counter clockwise, it’s just important that they both don’t rotate in the same direction.

I recently tagged along with Jack Steinbuch on a visit to a customer who was experiencing some problems with a vibratory hopper feeder (RFM).  After inspecting the unit we asked the customer to remove the weight covers on the vibrators so we could check the rotation direction.  Once the weight covers are removed from the same end of each vibrator it’s very easy to see the direction of rotation as the vibrators are started up.  At startup it was clear that the vibrators were NOT counter rotating as required.   Read More…

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