Dozens of local fabricators keep assembly lines running smoothly
By Susan Hoskins-Miller
Photos by Stan Gurka
It’s not widely known in most circles that the Midwest has scores of companies that manufacture vibratory feeders. Several are right here in central Indiana and in Hamilton County.
Vibratory feeders are used in manufacturing plants to sort out parts quickly before they go on a normal conveyor belt to get them from one place to where they need to be. The system works best for small parts and pieces. But instead of relying on a person at one end of a conveyor belt to sort the parts into a row all lined up neatly, many small pieces are dumped into a specially designed bowl, hand fabricated from sheet metal to the manufacturer’s size and shape specifications.
The bowl is attached to a vibrating machine and the vibrating bowl does the sorting and lining up of the pieces. They then are fed onto a conveyor belt where they travel in a straight line to where they need to be, whether it’s into a box for shipment or to the next step in the manufacturing process. How do all these small pieces get sorted out by vibrating piece of equipment? It seems like it would be not at all precise. In fact, it looks as if it would be haphazard, but it isn’t.