What Is a Vibrating Conveyor?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A vibrating conveyor moves bulk materials, with the assistance of vibration to shake them, along belts, rollers, or troughs. This equipment has a wide range of applications in food processing, chemical production, and manufacturing. Specialists in such systems can produce custom models for specific applications or factories with complicated configurations. These can include retrofits of existing conveyors to increase capacity, address safety concerns, or improve performance in other ways.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

The basic design of a vibrating conveyor uses steady vibration to force materials down the conveyor system. It can be used for activities like shaking products loose from molds, moving bulk materials that don’t flow naturally, and forcing products into packages. Vibration, for example, can rattle bulk nuts and other foods into bags for sealing, labeling, and ultimately for sale. It also reduces direct human contact with the product, which reduces the risk of contamination and can keep workers safer.

Companies can use vibrating conveyors of various lengths for bulk materials handling at many different stages of a production line. The length of the system can vary, and may include offshoots to direct products to various parts of a facility or job site. It is possible to adjust the intensity of the vibration to control the speed and movement of the items on the line. Technicians may be able to operate the line remotely in addition to in person, which creates more flexibility.

Constant vibration does pose some special concerns that need to be addressed in the design and implementation of a vibrating conveyor. These systems can be noisy, and workers usually need to wear adequate hearing protection while around a vibrating conveyor. They can also be prone to failure as components work loose or pull out of alignment. Regular inspections can identify any problems, allowing technicians to fix them before the next round of use. Components are also designed specifically to withstand the vibration, with measures like pins to keep bolts in place.

Another issue can be dust, especially with materials like mined minerals, which may be dirty when they hit the vibrating conveyor. Parts can be sealed in envelopes or cladding designed to limit dust intrusion. If the problem is particularly bad, the whole conveyor may be covered to offer an extra degree of protection. Workers may also wear facial protection to limit the risk of inhaling suspended particles or getting grit from the production line in their eyes, where it might cause irritation.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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