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How a Vibratory Bowl Feeder Works

Posted by Bill Wright on

How a Vibratory Bowl Feeder Works

A traditional industrial vibratory bowl feeder keeps parts lined up correctly and moving in the right direction on a production line. Deburring machines also come in a vibratory bowl style that works a bit differently.

If you’re wondering how a vibratory bowl feeder works, first consider the application’s purpose: to orient and move parts along a production or packing line, or to polish and deburr parts. Vibratory bowl feeders for production lines use electromagnets to create mechanical vibration. They sit atop a group of electromagnets and springs, designed to create and control vibration. They use a part’s asymmetry (like how a screw is heavier on one end than the other) combined with vibration that makes the part jump up and down rapidly, so it bounces around enough to line up in the right direction in a channel. The channel then guides the part (upward, usually) in a spiral path toward a piece of the machine that orients the part in the right direction. Then the part heads back down toward an outlet point on an assembly or packing line. The springs make sure the bowl moves vertically.

While a vibratory bowl deburring machine works on the same general principle, it diverges slightly. The bowl also sits atop a set of springs but vibrates in a way that creates a kind of mixing-bowl action. Machine shops use these small vibratory bowl feeders to deburr parts. When placed in the bowl along with a deburring media, like bits of triangular plastic or ceramic beads, the machine’s vibration creates friction between the media and the parts, removing burrs and polishing and finishing the parts. Some of the machines also introduce water and a special liquid into the mix to aid in the finishing process.

When the vibratory bowl deburring machine has run for long enough, the user shuts it off and can release the parts and the polishing media through a chute on the bottom, into a barrel or bucket fitted with a sieve to catch the parts but allow the media to fall through to the bucket. The user can also remove parts by hand, digging around in the media within the bowl to find them, but in order to get all the parts out of the bowl, the chute is a convenient downhill slide that allows everything in the bowl to pour out.

So when you are looking into how a vibratory bowl feeder works, determine if you’re looking to align parts and send them down a production or packing line, or if you are trying to polish and deburr parts. This will head you in the right direction for the sort of vibratory bowl feeder you need.

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