Vibrations have fascinated human beings since a very long time. Vibratory Bowl Feeders are around since the early part of the Twentieth Century. Till date no major alternative to a Vibratory Bowl Feeder has been invented. The only viable alternative is a Rotary Feeder which uses a motorised drive. However, it is definitely a very poor cousin of the Vibratory Bowl Feeder. For any part where a particular orientation is required, feeding through a vibratory bowl feeder is the only alternative. The first major distinction is that in a Rotary feeder, the parts which can be fed through a Rotary feeder are limited to certain flat caps where the diameter is more than the height, needles and rollers where the length is more than the diameter and any face can come out etc. As against this, in a vibratory bowl feeder almost any type of component can be handled. Second and most significant disadvantage of a Rotary feeder is that due to the positive pressure generated because of the rotating disc, the parts being fed are thrown against each other and against the wall of the feeder. This can result in damages to the parts. Compared to this, the parts do not get damaged in a vibratory bowl feeder. Even brittle and delicate parts can be handled in a vibratory bowl feeder. Thirdly, the speed or feed rate in case of a Rotary feeder can be as high as 40 metres per minute while that of a vibratory bowl feeder can be at the most 12 metres per minute. In fact, Elscint recently manufactured a Rotary feeder for flat drippers where the curved face was required to be up. A speed of 800 parts per minute was achieved for this 40 mm long flat dripper as against this, we could achieve a speed of just 200 parts per minute in case of a vibratory bowl feeder for the same component (for a different application where the speed requirement was much less). This is the only advantage of a Rotary feeder. Price of a vibratory bowl feeder is also much substantially less than that of a Rotary feeder.
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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.