Vibration Force: Is Faster Actually Better?

Glen Roberts
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I have attached some photographs of a couple vibrators returned to Cleveland Vibrator for evaluation over the past year. It’s pretty clear that these units were not operated as per our operation manuals would instruct. Human nature causes us to try and make something work better or faster, we are the products of an an instant gratification way of life. We believe that products can work up to our lofty expectations even though we know it will work best to follow instructions in a user’s manual and to operate the product as instructed. As we used to hear at the beginning of the Six Million Dollar Man TV show many years past,”We have the technology to make it bigger, faster and stronger.” This hold true in many cases, especially relating to air piston vibrators, we shorten the life of the vibrator by believing we can use such technologies to override suggested operating specs.

Cleveland Vibrator Reapir Service - Piston Repair

Cleveland Vibrator has been around since 1923, and believe me, we have tried many ways to enhance the performance of our industrial vibrators. In doing so, we have also seen the downside by trying to make them over perform.  I relate the potential failure of a vibrator to four little phrases that most “Baby Boomers” would understand:

  1. The old Valvoline oil commercial that said “Pay me now or pay me later.”  In the Industrial Vibrator world, if you don’t lubricate your vibrator now you are going to pay the price for not doing so later.
  2. You see the ads about driving too fast and the statement “speed kills.” Again, when dealing with air piston vibrators, we are referring to over speeding them by running your air pressure at 90, 100 or more PSI and shortening life of the unit.
  3. For most of us old country music lovers, we know the Lynyrd Skynyrd song “Sweet Home Alabama.” And remember at the start of the song one of the band member says “turn it up some.” This can apply to air piston vibrators and does cross over to PSI, but it really applies to the volume of air you are forcing through the intake of the vibrator (this is usually stated as scfm in our catalogs). In my opinion, if your volume is high and you have no drop of air flow, you are forcing the piston to work harder then designed for and will most likely have a failure.
  4. A lot of us may remember the commercial about drug use and its effects on your body. You know, the one with the egg and the skillet that said this is your brain and “this is your brain on drugs” showing an egg frying in the skillet. This to me relates to stress and heat which can also apply to our vibrators. The heat of the flame is putting stress on the egg and changing its state. This is basically what happens to a vibrator as it operates, especially one of Cleveland Vibrator’s impact vibrators.

For example, if you operate an air piston vibrator at 100 PSI with little or no lubrication for an extended period of time, you not only stress and weaken the piston but also the vibrator housing and mounting base causing fractures and ultimate operation failure. This appears to be what happened with the this montage of pictures below of our 1200 VMRR vibrator assembly. I believe this was also a contributing factor with the piston that has a fractured spring photographed above in this article, where you can see pieces of the spring embedded in the impact end of the piston.

Cleveland Vibrator Repair Service - 1200 VM Repair - RGA 22876

Here is the bottom line, it’s better to have a vibrator work well at 60 psi for months and even years if properly lubricated then have the same vibrator self destruct after two weeks trying to operate it at 110 PSI. There is no magic air vibrator that I am aware of that doesn’t eventually wear out but we want that failure to be a ways down the road from installation.

What’s my answer to whether faster is better? No. Unless it’s designed to do that.

We are here to clear up any questions you may have regarding vibratory products and setup, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time!

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Glen Roberts

Glen Roberts

Glen Roberts started at The Cleveland Vibrator Company in 1968 and except for two years of military service have been, he has been part of the family atmosphere for over 40 years. During that period, Glen was trained in our machine shop to learn finishing, polishing, honing, assembly, and shipping as well as working in order processing department. Glen was promoted to several supervisory positions such as lead man, foreman, general foreman, plant manager, and vice president of manufacturing. He has also worked in purchasing, estimating, inventory control and research and development. Currently, Glen is assigned to vibrator sales, quality control and customer service. He is also a proficient weekend duffer in golf. Glen enjoys tinkering, trying to fix things and improvising ways to do so. Glen enjoys helping folks especially his customers and learning from each one of them.

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