Understanding & Fixing Low Feed Rates in Electric Vibratory Feeders

Electric vibratory feeders are designed to function for long periods of time, sometimes months or years. As the system is completely automated, there is little need for human intervention as well. However, this does not mean that maintenance is not required for vibratory feeders. Insufficient attention to maintenance issues can lead to a decline in performance, eventually resulting in system malfunctions. 4 Common Problems with Vibratory Feeders : A lack of attention and maintenance can cause a variety of problems to electric vibratory feeders. However, there are 4 major problems that are extremely common:

  • Noise emanating from the feeder during operation
  • Low amplitude leading to reduced feed rate performance.
  • Intermittent operation – The feeder works only at high or no amplitude.
  • Feeder bowl dead spot – Lack of parts feeding and orientation after a certain point.

In this post, we will be taking a look at reduced feed rates. Reasons for Decreased Feed Rate A decline in feed rates is a problem that occurs after the electric vibratory feeder has been used consistently for many months. There are two major reasons for this problem occurring:

  • Splintered Spring: A cracked spring can lead to slowdown of the feeder’s performance. Generally, the crack occurs together with a hole in the spring.
  • Rubber Feet Degradation: A key aspect of the feeder’s performance is installing the system on level ground. To support this, manufacturers install rubber feet on the system’s legs. Over time, due to environmental changes like high temperatures, the toughness of the rubber reduces. The feet become soft, or they swell up, which can lead to a loss of balance, inhibiting the system’s performance. Another issue is the rubber feet getting cut or loose due to improper handling.

Other reasons that can lead to low amplitude or feeder performance include:

  • Lack of feeder cover.
  • Corrosion of spacers and springs.
  • A large gap between the armature and the coil.
  • Breaking of a weld seam on the coil assembly.

Solutions to Elevate Feed Rate. There are a few simple solutions, which can be implemented to bring the system’s feed rate back to an optimum level.

  • For problems with rubber feet, the easiest solution is to replace all the feet.
  • A crack in the weld seam is caused by the armature hitting the coil at great force. Minor cracks can be easily re-welded; however, in case of severe cracks, welding will not provide expected results. This may render the option of re-welding useless. In such cases, the simplest solution would be to replace the coil.
  • Check the springs and spacers for any kind of corrosion or degradation. Use a wire brush or emery paper to thoroughly clean the springs, spacers, and mounting surfaces.
  • Spring cracks can sometimes be extremely tiny, and are not necessarily visible to the naked eye. The solution is to the test the spring. Throw the spring onto tough concrete. If the spring breaks into two or multiple pieces, you will know the spring was cracked. The spring can then be replaced.

High performance feed rates of electric vibratory feeders is dependent on the seamless functioning of various components. Understanding the issues and solutions associated with this problem can help users consistently maintain overall great feeder performance of the feeder.

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