What is a Vibratory Feeder?
A vibratory feeder is a mechanical device that uses vibration to “feed” or move bulk material into a process or machine. Vibratory feeders use gravity and vibration to move material. Movement is also dependent on the type of the feeder and the material to be moved. In vibratory feeders, gravity is used to determine the direction the material will be fed, either up or down or to a side and the vibration is used to move the material. The material which is fed is almost always a dry material because unlike a liquid, a dry material may not move down an incline without some assistance. This assistance is provided by the vibration.
Vibratory feeders come in many shapes and sizes and are most commonly cone shaped by design. This design is most widely used due to the fact that the material is normally delivered in an uncontrolled fashion as it is poured into the top of the feeder, resulting in a controlled delivery of the material from the bottom of the feeder.
A prime example would be a screw packaging system. A large batch of screws is poured into the top of the vibratory feeder and gravity pulls the screws towards the bottom of the feeder where they can exit one at a time so that they can be counted and aligned in a particular direction. Once the correct number is in the package, the feed is stopped until a new package is placed in position. In this way packaging can be done automatically by machine with the correct number of screws in each package. The vibration in the vibratory feeder ensures that screws keep moving towards the exit without becoming stuck anywhere along the process.
If you have ever poured sand through a funnel at the beach and had to tap the funnel to keep the sand flowing you have experienced how a vibratory feeder works first hand. Another common use for a vibratory feeder is to deliver material at a steady rate from an irregular supply. In an automated cement mixing operation, a bulldozer could feed a vibratory feeder with irregular loads of raw material which is then delivered to the process at a steady rate by the feeder. For more uses of vibratory feeders please click here to visit our Common Uses of Vibratory Feeders section!