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3 February, 2013

Rotary Feeders

Though many times, it is said that though Vibratory Bowl Feeders are around since the early part of the Twentieth Century, till date no major alternative for the same has been invented. However, it can be said that a Rotary or Centrifugal Feeder which uses a motorised drive, is definitely an alternative. There are many advantages of Rotary Feeders vis a vis vibratory bowl feeders, the major one being the speed or feed rate. Rotary or Centrifugal Feeders work at very high speeds and one can achieve a total feed rate of upto 50 meters per minute as against just about 12 meters per minute in case of even high speed vibratory bowl feeders. Secondly, there being no vibrations and only mechanical items, rotary feeders are more acceptable to a lot of customers who are afraid of the reliability of vibratory bowl feeders. However, the major drawback of a Rotary or Centrifugal Feeder is that it is difficult to orient a lot of parts in a Rotary or Centrifugal Feeder, especially due to the fact that there are no vibrations and the movement of the parts is very fast. Further, in most of the cases, air jets are required for orientation, while in a vibratory bowl feeder, air jets are required only occasionally. Another disadvantage of a Rotary feeder is that due to the positive pressure generated because of the rotating disc, the parts being fed are thrown against each other and against the wall of the feeder. This can result in damages to the parts. However, in a properly manufactured Rotary Feeder, this can certainly be avoided. Against this components or parts do not get damaged in a vibratory bowl feeder. Even brittle and delicate parts can be handled in a vibratory bowl feeder. In fact, Elscint recently manufactured a Rotary feeder for flat drippers where the curved face was required to be up. A speed of 800 parts per minute was achieved for this 40 mm long flat dripper as against this, we could achieve a speed of just 200 parts per minute in case of a vibratory bowl feeder for the same component (for a different application where the speed requirement was much less). Manufacturing of a Rotary or Centrifugal Feeder also requires a lot of expertise, which few posses and most manufactured Rotary Feeders are quite crude and result in jamming and damage to components being fed. However, Elscint manufactures a special rotary / centrifugal feeder with a very unique design for feeding of parts which require high speed feeding. The Elscintrotary / centrifugal feeder has a rugged and robust design. The build quality is excellent and all the components touching parts being made in stainless steel. Elscint uses a dual drive for its Rotary Feeders. Three Phase AC Geared Motors of Elscint Make are used for this purpose. Standard units come with a Variable Frequency Drive so that variable speed can be offered, which helps adjust the feeding speed according to the actual requirement of the user. A lot of parts, even those requiring orientation can be fed through a Rotary Feeder like bottle caps, cylindrical rollers, needle rollers, flat and cylindrical drippers, bearing races, bearing rings etc. Even parts requiring critical component orientation can be oriented and fed through the unique design of the Elscint Rotary Feeders at a high speed. However, orientation in a Rotary Feeder may not be possible for some parts and in those cases, one has to opt for a vibratory bowl feeder. Usually one rotary feeder is made for one type of parts. However, in case of need, changeover tooling can be provided so as to accommodate more type of parts, making it very versatile. You can watch the video of a Flat Dripper Rotary Feeder as well as another one of another Flat Dripper Rotary Feeder as well as that of a Round Dripper Rotary Feeder.

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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