This is in continuation of the earlier series of feeding of brittle parts. Like other brittle and glass parts, many times feeding of ceramic components is required. The problem being faced in this case is that the parts being made of ceramic tend to break or chip in case they fall down from the top of the bowl to the bottom. Further most users are afraid of the fact that the ceramic parts might get damaged while moving in the bowl itself as the bowl is made of metal. However, there are certain ways in which feeding of ceramic parts can be achieved in a bowl feeder. First and foremost one must remember that in a vibratory bowl feeder, the parts by itself do not get damaged (vis a vis a rotary / centrifugal feeder which is a motorized one) by themselves. This is because the vibratory feeder generates vibrations which help the parts to move forward. They are not pushed by one another (if there is a push, it is very minor). This eliminates the possibility of the parts bumping against one another. Further by providing proper coating on the bowl surface, the metal to metal contact between the bowl surface and the components can be eliminated. This reduces the damage to the parts while they move up. Third, the coating can further act as a cushion in case the parts fall from the top to the bottom of the bowl. Additionally, the bowl can be designed in such a way that the fall of the components from the top to the bottom is restricted / reduced or even eliminated completely. This requires the use of the correct type of bowl design. Cascade or step type design is best suited for this purpose. In case of cylindrical bowls, the chances of the parts jamming and breaking in the tracks itself cannot be ruled out. Further in case of conical bowls, there is huge fall from the top side to the bottom and hence that design too is ruled out. However, using the right type of coating is pertinent in this case as otherwise, the components can get damaged. Elscinthane PU coating is the best solution for feeding of ceramic parts. It provides the correct type of cushioning effect for ceramic parts.
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Monish Shete is CEO of Elscint India Pvt Ltd (formerly Elscint Automation), a 40 year old company manufacturing vibratory bowl feeders, Rotary / Centrifugal Feeding Systems and similar small part handing products. He personally has more than 25 years experience with last 20 years being with Elscint. This blog will help customers and laymen understand the intricacies of vibratory bowl feeders. One can find information about the finer aspects of vibratory bowl feeders which cannot be found anywhere else. Case studies and information about various innovative ways of feeding and orienting of different parts are given in this blog. Do subscribe to get this thrice a month.