Screw conveyors have been around the process industry for decades. They usually consist of a trough or tube containing a spiral auger that moves material from one end to the other. Auger designs typically contain a shaft down the center, although shaftless augers are also available. Unless the machine is short in length, hanger bearings are located throughout the trough to help guide and support the auger.

There are many applications for screw conveyor technology. They excel at moving sticky materials such as sludge, food and meat products, and other hard to convey materials. But what if you have a bulk product that is dry, is oddly shaped, is extremely abrasive, or requires something done to it while it is being transported?

Vibratory Tube Conveyor
Vibratory Tube Conveyor

Vibratory conveyors provide an alternative to screw conveyors. Using an unbalanced drive coupled to a trough, vibratory conveyors can efficiently convey materials without the maintenance issues associated with screw conveyors. No moving or drive components come into contact with the material you are conveying. This design advantage eliminates the auger, shaft, and hanger bearings, which are all wear items that require continuous maintenance.

Another advantage of vibratory conveyors is reduced wear characteristics on the pan itself. With a screw conveyor, material is pushed along the surface of the trough, creating friction and wear. Vibratory conveyors move material by continuously tossing and throwing the product forward, so contact to the trough during conveyance is significantly reduced,

Vibratory conveyor for pellets
Vibratory conveyor for pellets

Additional process advantages are also found when utilizing vibratory conveyors over screw conveyors. Processes such as heating, drying, cooling, screening, and more can be accomplished while conveying product in a vibratory conveyor.

Machines can be designed as tubes, square pans, open, enclosed, and can be split into multiple lanes or divided to send material in different directions. Vibratory conveyors can also be designed to go around corners and can be inclined or declined, allowing unique installation opportunities in existing processes and structures. Lengths, widths, and depth of machines designs are not limited.

When considering how to move your bulk materials, consider the advantages of vibratory conveyors over screw conveyors. Reduction in maintenance, elimination of wear parts, and the ability to customize your machine to your application are just a few of the advantages they can bring to enhancing your bulk material handling process.

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Tom Musschoot joined General Kinematics full time in 1999 holding the titles of Director of Marketing and VP of North American Sales & Marketing to name a few before assuming the office of the President. Tom received a BA in Music from Bradley University before completing his MBA at Webster University. Tom has 5 patents in his name, spearheading the rotary product line for GK. When Tom is not in the office he can be found watching hockey, working on cars, or driving his kids to their sporting events and cheering them on.
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