Industrial Piston Vibrators: What You Need to Know

For years, piston vibrators have been used effectively throughout a multitude of industries to help keep bulk materials flowing.  They have applications in the power and petrochemical industries, aggregates and mining industries, and the food and beverage industries.  Piston vibrators are found every day on chutes, bins, hoppers, pipes and silos where they are used to help keep products such as sand, coal, plastics, grains, minerals and chemicals from plugging, bridging and rat holing.  By stopping these materials from plugging within silos, railcars, bins, hoppers and many other types of vessels, the piston vibrator has become a key part of most manufacturing processes.

A pneumatic piston vibrator utilizes compressed air to drive a piston back and forth within the cylinder of a vibrator housing.  This action generates the necessary vibration to overcome stubborn material flow issues.  In order to work effectively, the vibration generated by the vibrator needs to be transferred from the vibrator to the material vessel, thus creating a response that will the overcome the plugged material.  The difficulty is in creating this response so that any material rat hole, bridge or sticking that has formed within the vessel is eliminated, and the material can again flow freely.

In order to ensure free material flow within the vessel, proper sizing, selection and application of the piston vibrator is important.  With ten different sizes of piston vibrators available to pick from and three separate models available, selecting the correct NAVCO piston vibrator for the application can be a little daunting.  To help narrow the selection process slightly, it is best to understand some of the differences between the three models of NAVCO piston vibrators available:

Repetitive Impact BH Vibrator with Trace

 

 

Repetitive Impact – Impacting unit that delivers a high-energy impulse with each stroke of the piston.  The impacting model is the best and most effective of the three in eliminating tough material flow problems.

 

 

Single Impact BH Vibrator with Trace

 

 

Single Impact (Timed) – A single impact model that can be actuated by a timer or other type of controlling means.  With this type of vibrator, a single high energy impulse is used to restore material flow every time the timer or controller tells the piston to strike.

 

 

 

Silent BH Vibrator with Trace

 

 

  Silent – Silent models trap air at the base of the piston, eliminating the high energy impulse and reducing noise levels.  The result is a gentle vibration that helps maintain movement and the flow of materials in the vessel.

 

 

 

By selecting the appropriate model and size of NAVCO piston vibrator for a specific application, tremendous results can be achieved that otherwise may not have been recognized before the installation of the vibrator.  Process improvements, such as a reduction in production downtime caused by material flow issues, can be seen as well as a reduction in maintenance hours required to repair damage to bin, chute and hopper wall sections damaged by constant hammer strikes required to maintain material flow in these areas.  Additionally, the safety concerns eliminated by not having to have employees swinging sledgehammers or reaching into confined spaces to unplug or reduce material flow issues could be immeasurable.

If there is a material in your facility that is problematic and not free flowing and you feel a piston vibrator may be a solution to your material flow problem, contact Wm Neundorfer & Co today.  We maintain a large inventory of NAVCO piston vibrators in our warehouse, and we have the expertise and experience to ensure you get the advice and recommendations you require for your specific application.