Most people have little understanding of how effective vibration can be used in product handling. This technology has been successfully used in many materials handling applications for years and can be of great benefit when it comes to cost efficient materials handling and packaging processes.
Enmin Vibratory Equipment have been designing, manufacturing and installing world-class vibratory equipment in Australia for close to 40 years. Their expertise has assisted most of the leading food processors to find elegant solutions to materials handling requirements, either as Enmin’s direct customers or by helping OEM equipment manufacturers to incorporate Enmin vibratory modules into larger food processing systems.
Consider these possibilities where vibratory equipment could help your process:
Moving product from A to B
In most production processes there are requirements to move ingredients, parts or finished product from one point to another. Automation is critical to productivity and a vibratory feeder provides the ideal solution, with significant advantages over a conveyor. Some of the many benefits are:
Figure 1: Vibratory Feeder
- Easy to install
- Hard wearing
- Perfect for hygienic environments
- Easy to clean
- No carry-back on the belt return
- No contamination of product
- Move horizontally or vertically
- Requires little maintenance
Figure 2: Vibratory Spiral Feeder
While the product is moving from A to B on the vibratory feeder, why not add a screening function?
A scalper / fines screening module can simultaneously achieve this, without retarding the full flow of product. This equipment can:
- Remove unwanted product or contaminants such as
- clumps from cereal
- oversized or joined biscuits
- stalks from sultanas
- Extract fines such as cereal dust or product crumbs
Figure 3: Vibratory screening feeder
It’s not a big jump from a scalper/fines screen to using a vibratory system for more exacting selection of product size.
A wide range of screen types and apertures are suitable for use with a vibratory feeder, though a degree of expertise is needed to select the right combination for the application.
Figure 4: Vibratory hopper feeder
Stockpiling and progressive release
Add a hopper to the vibratory feeder and load it up in one go, ready for hours of production
- Eliminate repeated manual de-bagging
- Free up that operator for other duties.
Automated control of the vibratory feeder will progressively release the product as required by the production process.
Many natural products (nuts, berries, etc) are more valuable when packs contain the same sized product. Sorting product into size groups is therefore an important value-adding step for many food processors. Variations in bulk density can be used to sort product into 2 or more streams.
A vibratory feeder is also ideal for applications that require a metered flow of product.
At the design stage tray dimensions and amplitude of vibration can be optimised to deliver calibrated product flow. Furthermore, the vibratory drive can be pulsed or switched from external sensors to regulate the flow of product for when it is needed.
Many products need to be aligned for further processing or for packaging.
A cascading vibratory feeder, with attachments to suit the product, handles this task with ease.
- Some products just need to be in parallel lanes
- Some need to be presented head first
- Some need to be right-side-up.
- Some need all of the above
Successful examples include hot-dogs, carrots and fish, just to name a few.
Figure 5: vibration alignment into parallel lanes
Blending ingredients in-line
Using a combination of vibratory hopper feeders with metering controls, ingredients can be added in correct proportions and blended while being conveyed to the next processing step.
Figure 6: Inline ingredient blending
Figure 7: Vibratory Bag Flattener
Vertical bag filling in many cases can result in a pear shape bag evolving which makes subsequent packaging into cartons or onto pallets more difficult.
Bagged products that are to be palletised must stack firmly if they are to be transported safely, without the stack collapsing and causing ruptured bags, product loss and danger to people working in the area.
To overcome this problem the Enmin Bag Flattener when incorporated into the conveyor line automatically shapes the filled bag using our unique controlled vibration and pressure action.
Figure 8: uniform spreading by vibratory feeder
Some production processes require the product to be presented in a uniformly thin layer.
Using a vibratory feeder to evenly distribute product going into a conveyor-fed drying oven optimises drying performance and product quality, while reducing the high energy costs of the drying process.
Figure 9: Product depositor/sprinkling vibratory feeder
An automated vibratory feeder has proven to be the ideal mechanism for sprinkling icing sugar on cakes or chocolate flakes on cheesecake.