12 April, 2010
Elevator Feeders / Inclined Storage Hopper
An Elevator feeder is used to hold extra parts for replenishing the supply in the bowl. Elevators are set to operate automatically by a signal from a level control switch, thus eliminating either a deficiency or an over-supply of parts in the bowl.
The number of components which can be loaded in a vibratory bowl feeder is limited either due to the volume or weight of the components. Volume is especially important in case of rubber or plastic components and weight when the components are metallic. In case extra loading capacity is required, then the choice is to either use a bigger bowl feeder or else to use an auxiliary feeding unit like a flat vibratory hopper or elevator, silo etc. These auxiliary equipments can increase the loading quantity tremendously and the bowl feeder can become a totally man-less operation requiring refilling at longer intervals.
In addition to the increased capacity, the biggest advantage of a elevator feeder is that the loading can be done at a lower level as compared to that of a bowl feeder. An elevator feeder can be of various sizes and dimensions and types
These types of elevators can be provided either in Stainless Steel or Mild Steel. In case of mild steel, it is preferable to use a coating or lining like the Elscinthane PU coating from the inside. Coating is also required in case of metallic components when can otherwise make a lot of noise in the hopper.
A level controller for controlling the component level has to be provided. This is controlled by a level sensor mounted on the hopper itself. This provides a start / stop operation, thus resulting in increased efficiency of the downstream equipment like vibratory bowl feeders as well as centrifugal / rotary feeders.
Elevators ensure that the quantity of components loaded in the bowl always remains the same (with the help of the start stop function of the level controller) and hence can help in achieving better functioning and working of the bowl feeders.
While ordering an elevator feeder, is should be ensured that the supplier has provided a small adjustment for the outlet height so that any change in the bowl height in the future is taken care off. Secondly, it is preferable to opt for mounting the elevator on castors so that movement is easy. However, in case of castors, there should be separate locking arrangement so that the elevator does not move if somebody pushes it by mistake.