In case parts relating to pharmaceutical or medical industry are required to be fed through a feeder bowl, certain points must be taken care of. First and foremost, the bowl needs to be manufactured in stainless steel (either 304 or 316 grade, as per customer requriement). Secondly, it should be full argon welded in such a manner that there is no crevice or gap anywhere as this can result in dust accumulating over there. Even the fixing of the bowl needs to be done from the sides or the bottom. The bowl should not be fixed at the centre as the mounting holes can hold dust. The removal of the bowl too has to be easy and fast so that in case any changeover of bowls (for different parts) is required, it is fast. It might also be helpful in case the bowl has to be autoclaved every now and then. For such applications, a stainless steel conical bowl with full argon welding is highly recommended with mounting from the sides. Some manufacturers provide cylindrical or step design bowls for such applications but they are not suitable for pharmaceutical and medical applications. Orientation tooling too needs to be fully welded to the bowl and cannot be fixed by screws for obvious reasons. In case a chute or gravity track is manufactured, it should preferably be made with stainless steel rods as this ensures that no dust accumulates in the same. The bowl should preferably be as shown in the enclosed photo.
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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.