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29 November, 2009

How many outlets / outputs can a bowl feeder have?

Many customers require usage of the output of a vibratory bowl feeder in more than one row. There are many advantages of having multiple outlets, with the first and foremost being one gets to use a single bowl feeder instead of multiple, thus saving on the cost of the extra bowl feeders and secondly, on the running costs of having more bowl feeders as well there is the obvious advantage of space saving. However, providing multiple outlets from a single bowl feeder has its limitation. Firstly, it depends upon the components to be fed, one can get multiple outlets in case of components like caps, needles, rollers etc. but not in case of screws having long length, large size parts etc. Secondly, for getting multiple outlets, it is pertinent to ensure than there is an overflow provision made in the bowl so that once any outlet is full, the excess components can flow back into the bowl. Hence, the corollary is that unless one can provide an overflow arrangement for a component, it cannot be provided in multiple outlets. Overflow provision cannot be made for long length screws, nails etc and hence these cannot be provided in multiple outlets. This is because the speed per outlet is never going to be the same, one outlet always will be running faster than the others. Due to this, having an overflow provision in case of a bowl feeder with multiple outlets is a must. Third point is that the speed one requires in each of the outlets should be possible in the bowl feeder. There are various ways to increase the bowl feeder speed and requirement of multiple outlets should match the maximum possible speed which can be achieved. Another important aspect to be considered is what is the centre distance at which the multiple outlets need to be provided. Usually the outlets should be next to each other. However, we at Elscint have designed and manufactured bowl feeders having two outlets at 180 degrees to each other and even four outlets at 90 degrees to each other along the periphery of the bowl. However, such innovativeness is not always possible for all vibratory feeder manufacturers who most of the times regret the multiple outlet requirement or else provide riders like it is possible without overflow provision. There are various ways in which one can provide multiple outlets. One way is to bifurcate the output into multiple tracks inside the bowl itself, another way is to make way for a second outlet once the first one is full of components and a third is to have a bowl with multiple starts / tracks right from the bottom. Which type to use depends upon the component and the feed rate or speed which is required per outlet. The maximum number of outlets which one can have in a single bowl feeder is dependent upon the size and type of components. We at Elscint have provided upto 10 tracks / outlets in some cases.

Monish Shet

Monish Shete is CEO of Elscint Automation, a 30 year old firm manufacturing vibratory bowl feeders and similar small part handing products. He personally has more than 25 years experience with last 15 years being with Elscint. This blog will help customers and laymen understand the intricacies of vibratory bowl feeders. One can find information about the finer aspects of vibratory bowl feeders which cannot be found anywhere else. Case studies and information about various innovative ways of feeding and orienting of different parts are given in this blog.


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