Most bowl feeder manufacturers usually use cylindrical bowls for most applications. The biggest advantage of cylindrical bowls is their low cost of construction, and tooling. Plus they are faster to make. However, the biggest disadvantage is that there are tracks one on top of one another, which results in jamming of parts between two tracks, removing of which requires manual intervention. Another disadvantage is that due to the tooling, especially in case of complicated tooling, the bowls becomes unwieldy and unbalanced. This results in the bowl not working properly on one side, resulting in either air jets required for pushing the parts forward at that particular area or else the minimum number of parts required in the bowl (for pushing the parts forward) increases. The loading quantity or the volume in cylindrical bowls too is much less, resulting in regular replenishment at short intervals. Though most bowl feeder manufacturers try to use cylindrical bowls, it is bound to create a lot of problems / hassles for the customer during long term usage. Hence, it is important to insist on the bowl feeder manufacturer not to use a cylindrical bowl and insist on a step / cascade type one. Some bowl feeder manufacturers call cylindrical bowls, outer pan types by having the orientation done on an outside track which is pitched downward to improve the separation and orientation of the parts. However, these become much more unwieldy and there is trouble with the parts moving properly at all places in the bowl, as indicated earlier. These too must be avoided. The best course of action is to ask the bowl feeder manufacturer to use a step / cascade type of bowl.
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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.