Vibratory bowl feeders consist of a vibratory bowl, also referred to as a feeder bowl, which is mounted on top of a drive unit that provides the vibrations.
A vibratory feeder does not solely depend upon vibrations, but gravity as well in order to move the parts through the spiral track on the inside of the feeder bowl. Once the parts are fed through the vibratory feeder, linear feeders are used to carry the parts to the other equipment. Linear feeders consist of tracks or trays, a mounting surface and either an electromagnet or an unbalanced motor.
As a cost-effective alternative to manual labor, vibratory bowl feeders are often utilized in industries and applications such as: food processing, for the sorting of raw food materials such as rice, walnuts and more; railroad, for use in the unloading of railroad carts and subsequent sorting of the various minerals or parts; pharmaceutical, in order to sort various medications and vitamins; and industrial manufacturing, for the sorting and orientation of small parts manufactured in high volumes.
Arguably, the most essential component of a vibratory bowl feeder is the vibratory bowl. When it comes to vibratory bowls, there is a wide range of materials and types to choose from, with the correct selection depending on the specific requirements of the desired application. When it comes to the shape of the bowl, there are four main types: cylindrical bowls, conical bowls, stepped bowls and polyamide bowls.
Each of these bowl shapes are better suited for certain kinds of applications. For instance, cylindrical bowls work best with the continuous transport of small parts, or heavy components with sharp edges. Conical bowls, on the other hand, work best with larger loads for the application of automatic pre-separating. In addition, stepped bowls are ideal for applications requiring both larger volumes and larger components.
Lastly, polyamide bowls are best-suited for the sorting and orientation of simple components versus complex. In addition to bowl shapes, the material they are constructed from is also important and can vary based on the application.
The two most common materials used to fabricate vibratory bowls are stainless steel and aluminum. Stainless steel is more commonly used for industrial applications, as well as in the food and medical industries since it is a sanitary grade material.