It sounds like an extraordinary story, but it clearly demonstrates the legendary reliability and longevity of vibratory equipment. Yet the technology has not stood still over that time – everything moves on.
Of course, after 65 years hard labor the vibratory feeder was showing some signs of wear. But GEA deemed it to be repairable and, as many of the required spares were no longer available, set about fabricating new parts from the original drawings.
The feeder was capable of this impressive endurance because it has no moving parts in contact with the product. This means that wear is minimal and there are no cavities in which product can get stuck making it easy to keep clean and compliant with the high-sanitary standards applicable today such as USDA 3A or EHEDG guidelines, required in many food and feed industries.
Vibratory feeders are also known for their ability to handle product gently. This is of particular benefit when used for very fragile products such as chips, fresh strawberries or agglomerated powders. There is a myth that vibration equipment can damage or separate delicate products, but all tests have clearly demonstrated that vibration technology is both gentle and effective, feeding products smoothly and reliably without impacting their quality or composition.
Loss in weight feeding
This ability to handle products gently and precisely is clearly illustrated with the ‘Loss-in-Weight’ feeder, an evolution of the basic concept. It is a simple yet very accurate feeding system for powders, pellets and granular products. It consists of a silo and a feeder which are both mounted on weighing cells which monitor and control the amount of product delivered. The feeder can also have a pneumatic gate at the outlet to ensure that the dosing stops exactly when intended.
The vibrations on this type of feeder are produced by electromagnetic vibrators which are both maintenance free and continuously variable, so the feeder can be adjusted from 0 – 100% capacity almost instantaneously.
Another, more recent development, that uses vibratory principles, is the GEA Circular Distribution Feeder (CDF) (patent pending). This innovative feeder is capable of dosing to multiple outlets simultaneously, or selectively,
and is completely self-emptying. It’s compact, so it can replace multiple standard dosing systems to minimize the required space.
As the name suggests, the CDF has circular design. Although the UFO-looking shape might not win a design award, it is the round shape that sets it apart allowing the product to circulate inside the feeder and be discharged through the relevant outlet as necessary. Like all other vibratory equipment, the CDF can handle almost any dry product and is built for continuous operation with long intervals between maintenance.
It’s true that most processing equipment is not required to provide uninterrupted service for 65 years or more. But it is reassuring that the build quality achieved then, as now, still has that inherent capability for endurance and, though equipment may evolve to meet modern production needs, it can still be trusted to perform long term and deliver the lowest possible total cost of ownership.More information GEA Circular Distribution Feeder (CDF)Click for related articlesFind manufacturers of feeders in our Equipment Guide
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GEA is one of the largest suppliers of technology for the food processing industry and for a wide range of other process industries.
As an international technology group, the Company focuses on world-leading process technology and components for sophisticated production processes.In 2015, GEA generated consolidated ...