Problem: An integrator was looking for a solution to a parts handling issue. Large steel pipes were moved in a metal tub via a forklift to a loading station. They were looking for a way to safely load the heavy parts into a new vibratory parts feeder without tipping the tub, which could cause a safety hazard from falling parts.

Solution: Fortville Feeders specializes in designing and building engineered solutions to parts handling and feeding problems. In many cases, that involves understanding the size and weight of the parts involved, but it also includes any restrictions the customer has in their facility, with personnel or equipment. With safety being a priority on any manufacturing floor, proper handling of parts and equipment is critical. That is why Fortville assigns a project manager to each customer and each project begins with a discussion.

In this case, the customer had a metal tub with a false bottom that was used to carry the heavy parts. Fortville designed a customized hopper, complete with angled stops and side guides, to hold the tub in the correct position. Parts were dropped from the tub into a vibratory hopper that fed a cleated elevator. The elevator then fed a vibratory feeder bowl.

As the parts were moved into the feeder bowl, they were cushioned with a displacement shield as they fell into the bowl. This protected both the parts and the bowl.

Parts were then oriented in the bowl and moved to a conveyor track for high-speed delivery.

Many times, parts feeders are not built with any consideration for the bulk handling system attached to the front end of the system. In this case, it was critical to not only the proper operation of the machinery, but also for the safety of the operator.