INDUSTRIAL VIBRATORS FOR MATERIAL ACTIVATION: PROS AND CONS

Industrial vibrators use vibration or mechanical agitation to improve material flow. It’s the same principle behind shaking a ketchup bottle: the movement breaks apart the material and loosens it from the vessel walls.

Industrial vibrators can be installed on silos, bins and hoppers to prevent bridging, arching and other material blocks.

Other uses include:

  • Settle materials and ingredients evenly by releasing air bubbles (like concrete or chocolate)
  • Removing dust from the production line
  • Sorting mixed batches of small components before they are packaged
  • Spreading road salt or fertilizer
  • Carry out shock testing as part of quality control processes
  • Compact materials before shipping

Kinds of Industrial Vibrators

Hydraulic
Pneumatic
Electric

Hydraulic vibrators use compressed fluid to generate enough mechanical energy to rotate a shaft. Pneumatic vibrators work the same way, but use compressed air. Sometimes, it activates an object (like a ball, roller or piston). Electric vibrators are simply plugged in.

Industrial vibrators can also be classified according to the area of activation. For example, rotary pneumatic vibrators send out circular vibrations, while impactors are like “automatic hammers” that direct force at a specific area.

These vibrators all have their pros and cons. Generally, hydraulic vibrators are used for heavy-duty jobs in wet or dusty environments. Pneumatic vibrators are used for fine powders, while electric vibrators are thought to be the quietest of the three.

Industrial Vibrators: Pros and Cons

While industrial vibrators are effective for some processes, they may not always be the best flow aid for wet or sticky materials. Just like the ketchup bottle, there will always be some residue left, no matter how much you shake it.

In some cases, industrial vibrators can also cause or worsen blocks because they end up compacting the material. Read the first-hand experience of some plant managers who installed vibrators on their vessels.

  • A cement company still had to manually clean clogged shale in their silos, losing $12,000 per hour of downtime.
  • A food manufacturer said that vibrators hardened the mixture. “It practically turned the flax into concrete.”
  • A ready-mix plant reported that vibrators still left residue on their bins, and they still had to send a man up a ladder to poke material.

Industrial vibrators also cause metal fatigue, and the continuous noise can add to worker stress. As one plant manager put it, “it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard—you just want to get away from it.”

ALTERNATIVES TO INDUSTRIAL VIBRATORS

ALTERNATIVES TO INDUSTRIAL VIBRATORS

Watch this video to compare industrial vibrators with the performance, costs, and ROI of other material flow aids.

WILL IT FLOW?

Food/Agriculture

Materials Handled

Animal feeds
Brewers Grain
Cocoa
Coffee
Corn
Flour
Grains
Hops
Salt
Soybeans
Spices
Starches
Sugar

Construction/Mining

Materials Handled

Aluminum
Bentonite
Coal
Copper
Diatomaceous earth
Gypsum
Iron ore
Limestone
Magnetite
Phosphate
Shale
Soda Ash

Chemicals

Materials Handled

Activated carbon
Adipic acid
Aluminum chloride
Boric acid
Chlorine
Herbicide
Hydrated Lime
Iron Oxide
Polyacrylamide
Titanium Dioxide
Zinc

Other

Materials Handled

Acetate
Cement
Chalk
Cork
Detergent
Fertilizer
Fly ash
Pharmaeuticals
Plastics
Polymers
Resins
Sludge
Wax flakes
Wood chips

Case Studies

Where industrial vibrators have failed, Airsweep has succeeded. Check out the brief infographics below.

  • AirSweep installation was easy, and the units have saved the company a lot of man hours. My experience totally exceeded my expectations – a 10 out of 10!

    Stanley RheaHead of Maintenance Department, Flax4Life

  • The AirSweep installation was pretty straightforward and I would absolutely recommend it. In fact, we are looking into expanding to use the system in other parts of our plant.

    John PappenheimMaintenance Manager, Bunge Milling

  • We are experiencing a 62.52% reduction in flour flush and 42.50% reduction in labor, all directly attributed to the AirSweeps…the flush material reduction alone is around $200K. Pretty awesome little devices!

    Operations Manager, Manufacturer of 15,000 food ingredients and flavor products to customers in more than 140 countries

  • As a distributor, we like that Control Concepts, Inc. takes risks and will try new things to make our customers happy. They want to ensure success, and the quality of the Airsweep for tough and sticky materials is superb. We have been very happy with our projects and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.

    Rolando Cavazos, Sales Manager, BMH Equipos

  • Having sold thousands of Airsweep, to clients who sometimes buy 60 at a time, I can tell you this is the best piece of equipment out there to solve your material flow issues. We have repeat customers who just won’t buy anything else.

    Dick Browning, President, Industrial Technologies, Inc.

Airsweep® is Trusted by The World's Largest Brands

An AirSweep® system will pay for itself, in as little as two weeks with:

  • Highest ROI. AirSweep® can help you boost productivity, lower your energy and maintenance costs, and save on manpower.
  • Low maintenance. You only need to replace parts after 1,000,000 cycles.
  • Longest warranty.

Control Concepts, Inc. provides a
7-year warranty on the Airsweep® unit.