A gyrator feeder that gyrates a dispensing member to uniformly and circumnavigating dispense material by generating a true circular orbital vibratory motion in the dispensing member by either rotating an offset weight along a vertical central axis of the dispensing member or by positioning vibratory motors diametrical opposite from each other on a gyrator housing and synchronizing the vibratory motors with each other to thereby dispense material.
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This invention relates generally to bin feeders and, more specifically, to a gyrator feeder.CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
NoneSTATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
NoneREFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX
NoneBACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The concept of vibrating bin dischargers is known in the art. Typically, a vibrating bin discharger includes a cone that is placed beneath a hopper outlet with the cone vibrating in an up and down motion to propel material from the hopper. A gate is positioned in the hopper to shut off the flow of material from the hopper when the vibrating bin discharger is not in use. One of the disadvantages of the known vibrating bin dischargers is that the material can become compacted as the bin discharger vibrates. Another disadvantage is that the vibration of the cone requires large power requirements since the material in the hopper is lifted up during the vibration cycle. Another disadvantage is that if the material contains both large and small particles the vibrator motion can cause segregation of the large and small particles through the up and down motion on the material.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,545,509 disclose a bin activator with a central feed and a vibration generator located radially offset from the center. While the vibratory action is described as generating a circular orbital motion to the lower bowl the actual motion is not a true circular orbital vibratory motion since the vibration motors are not located at the central vertical axis of the bin activator. As a result of the positioning of the vibratory motors the vibratory motion the cone does not actually follow a circular path. As a result the feeder does not generate a uniform 360-degree delivery of material from a circular opening.
A further difficult with the bin activator shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,545,509 is that angle of the lower cone is so shallow that material is maintained in the lower bowl rather than being empted out each time the activator is shut off.
In contrast to the vibrating bin discharges the present invention uses gyrations of a dispensing member to control the flow of material with substantially true circular orbital vibratory motion.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Briefly, the present invention comprises a gyrator feeder that has a dispensing member that moves to uniformly dispense material from the hopper. To provide flow shut off without use of a gate, a lip on the dispensing ledge of the dispensing member is positioned so that material retained on the dispensing ledge is maintained at an angle less than the angle of repose of the material. The gyrator feeder dispenses material uniformly and circumnavigatingly through a gyrator that generates a true circular orbital vibratory motion in the dispensing member by either rotating an offset weight along a vertical central axis of the dispensing member or by positioning vibratory motors diametrical opposite from each other on a gyrator housing and synchronizing the vibratory motors with each other to thereby dispense material.
Positioned proximate the outlet 11b and partially obstructing the outlet 11b is a gyrator 12. Gyrator 12 includes a dispensing member 13, which in the preferred embodiment is a an activating cone that generally has a frusto conical shape. Dispensing member 13 has an annular lip 14 that extends upward at an angle to retain material thereon. The hopper 11 is fixedly supported by a stand 20 while the gyrator 12 is flexibly supported on stand 20 with gyrator 12 positioned below hopper 11 to receive material therefrom. (See
The gyrator 12 includes a gyrator housing 21 having a radial extension 21a with a drive motor 22 secured to the underside of radial extension 21a. Motor 21 has a motor shaft 22a with a drive pulley 22b secured thereto with the drive pulley 22b and motor shaft 22a extending into the interior space in housing radial extension 21a. A belt 23 connects drive pulley 22b to a pulley 26 on a rotateable member 22 that forms part of the internal gyrating unit 28. Rotateable member 22 comprises a vertical shaft 27 rotateable supported by bearings 29 with shaft 27 having offset weights 25 and 25a secured thereto. When motor 22 is activated it rotates shaft 27 through drive belt 23, which produces vibrations. However, instead of producing an up and down vibratory motion the off balance rotation of shaft 27 at the center of the gyrator housing produces a true circular orbital vibratory action of housing 21 as opposed to bin activators that have vibrator sources that are off set from the center. Consequently, with a true circular orbital vibratory motion the gyrator feeder delivers a more uniform flow.
In the embodiment shown in
The use of elastomers 41 to interface the shaft 40a to both stand 20 and to gyrator 12 provides for both static and dynamic support of gyrator 12 to allow for vibration displacement of the gyrator 12 with respect to stand 20 while at the same time providing support to hold gyrator 12 in the dispensing condition proximate outlet 11b. An identical flexible support 40′ is located on the opposite side of gyrator 12 and in the preferred embodiment flexible supports are circumferentially positioned around the gyrator 12 to provide 360 degree support to the gyrator 12.
By selecting the distance Y such that the material 50 can settle on surface 13a at an angle less than the material angle of repose one prevents material from continuing to flow off the end of annular lip 14 when the gyration unit is in an off condition. That is, one selects the spacing Y such that the material 50 that is on surface 13a will flow along surface 13a but does not flow over lip when the dispensing member is not subject to gyrations. It should be understood that the spacing Y will vary depending on the material angle of repose as well as the type of material. In general, an operator adjusts or calibrates the spacing i.e. the feed region height, is set sufficiently high so the material that is in hopper 10 can flow down to lip along surface 13a but will not flow over the annular lip 14 when the gyrator is in the off condition. The static spacing of the feed region can be adjusted though lengthening or shortening the flexible supports 40 which are located circumferentially around gyrator housing 21.
To appreciate the gyration of the dispensing member 13 reference should be made to
Thus, the gyration of the dispensing member 13 in a true circular orbital vibratory motion causes a local uniform flow of material over the lip 14 as the feed region height increases. Since the feed height region increases at a uniform rate the flow over the edge of the lip remains uniform as the delivery of the material makes a 360 sweep around the dispensing member 13.
As illustrated by the drawings the gyration of dispensing member 13 causes a portion of the cone surface 13 to be closer to the edge of outlet 11b and a portion to be further from the edge of outlet 11b. However, as the cone 13 gyrates the distance Y which causes flow along the cone surface 13a travel 360 degrees around the outlet 11b and in doing so cause the rate of material 50 flowing over the lip to locally increase.
Because the dispensing member 13 gyrates the maximum distance variation between the cone surface 13a and the outlet 11b circumnavigates around the outlet 11b thereby causing maximum material to flow when a portion of cone is in the position shown in the left side of
Thus the gyration of cone 13 causes the spacing Y between the hopper lip 11b to vary with the variation in spacing circumnavigating around the hopper lip 11b. The localized flow of material increases with increased spacing Y and decreases with a decrease in spacing Y. As a result the flow of material from one portion of the hopper and then from adjacent portion of the hopper circumnavigates around the dispensing manner in a manner similar to a wave propagating.
The gyrator feeder 60 differs from the bin gyrator feeder 10 in that the gyrator housing 12 has a single vibration producing unit i.e. the off set rotateable weights located on a vertical central axis of the gyrator with the drive motor 22 located on the peripheral portion of the housing 12. In contrast, the gyrator housing 66 has two vibration producing units i.e vibratory motors, wherein both the vibratory motors are radially spaced from the central axis 73 of the gyrator 66. In this embodiment a drive motor and a set of offset weights are in the same location, that is both vibratory motor 63 and vibratory motor 64 include a drive motor and a set of offset rotateable weights comprising the gyration unit that are directly coupled to the motor drive shaft. By having the vibratory motor 63 and 64 positioned diametrically opposite from each other one can induce a true circular orbital vibratory motion in gyration housing 65, when it is flexibly suspended by flexible supports 70, which are identical to the flexible supports shown in
In order to achieve a true circular orbital vibratory motion
Thus, the rotation of off balance shafts at opposite sides of the gyrator housing 65 can also produces a lateral gyrating action of housing 65 i.e., a true circular orbital vibratory motion or lateral side-to-side motion as differentiated from up and down motion found in conventional vibration bin dischargers as well as elliptical orbit motion found in some units which produce non-uniform dispensing rates
Thus the invention includes the method of dispensing material comprising the steps of: placing material in a hopper having an outlet edge; and gyrating a dispensing member located below the outlet edge to cause the dispensing member to simultaneously and circumferentially vary the distance between the outlet edge and the dispensing member to thereby increase the flow along a portion of the dispensing member and decrease the material flow along another portion of the dispensing member. The invention also includes a method of stopping the gyration to shut off the flow over the dispensing member while maintaining an open spacing between the outlet edge and the dispensing member which can be obtained by having the opening spacing Y maintained at a distance such that the angle of the material on the dispensing member 13 which flows through the feed region does not exceed an angle of repose of the material.
1. A gyrator feeder comprising:
- a hopper having an outlet;
- a gyrator having a dispensing member partially obstructing the outlet with the dispensing member having a lip for retaining a material thereon when said gyrator is in an off condition and for dispensing material thereover when the gyrator is gyrating.
2. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 including a stand having flexible supports for said gyrator to permit gyration of said gyrator with respect to said outlet.
3. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 wherein the gyrator includes an internal gyrating unit that is centrally positioned along a vertical axis of said gyrator.
4. The gyrator feeder of claim 2 wherein the internal gyrating unit is powered by a motor located radially off center of said gyrator.
5. The gyrator feeder of claim 4 wherein the dispensing member has a dynamic central axis that circumnavigates about a static vertical axis of the dispensing member.
6. The gyrator feeder of claim 2 wherein the gyrator includes a drive belt connect to the internal gyration unit and a tensioner for adjusting the tension of the drive belt.
7. The gyrator feeder of claim 2 wherein the dispensing member includes a cone shaped member.
8. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 wherein the gyrator includes an internal gyrating unit having a rotateable shaft with an offset weight.
9. The gyrator feeder of claim 7 wherein the lip of the gyrator is an annular lip that is circumferentially spaced from a gyrator housing to permit material flow therepast.
10. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 wherein the gyration unit includes two vibration units located diametrically opposite of each other to gyrate the gyrator housing with the vibration units synchronized with each other.
11. The gyrator feeder of claim 2 wherein the flexible supports include a set of elastomers sandwiched around a flange with a sleeve extending through the set of elastomers to engage a set of washers to provide a ridge housing for displacement of the set of elastomers therein.
12. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member is positioned a distance y below the outlet wherein the distance y is determined at least partially by the angle of repose of material to be dispensed.
13. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 including a lower dispensing member having an angle greater than the angle of repose of the material to prevent accumulation of material thereon during operation of the gyrator feeder.
14. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 wherein the dispensing member extends radially beyond the outlet but spaced from the outlet to thereby partially obstruct but not block a flow passage between the outlet and the dispensing member.
15. The gyrator feeder of claim 1 wherein the gyrator comprises a pair of vibratory motors positioned radially outward from a central axis of the gyrator.
16. A gyrator feeder comprising:
- a gyrator housing flexibly suspended;
- a gyration unit affixed to said gyrator housing and located along a vertical central axis of the gyration housing; and
- a motor radially off set from the gyration unit for propelling the gyration unit to generate a true circular orbital vibratory motion of the gyrator housing.
17. The gyrator feeder of claim 16 wherein the gyration unit comprises a rotateable shaft having off set weights and a drive motor with the rotateable shaft centrally positioned in the gyrator.
18. The gyrator of claim 16 wherein the gyration unit comprising a first vibratory motor radially spaced from a central axis of the gyrator housing and a second vibratory motor radially spaced from the central axis of the gyrator housing.
19. The gyrator of claim 18 wherein the gyrator housing includes an annular lip for maintain a material thereon wherein the annular lip extends upwardly to maintain material on a dispensing member when the gyration unit is in an off condition.
20. The gyrator feeder of claim 19 including a stand and a gravity feed hopper wherein the gyrator is stand mounted below a gravity feed hopper with a plurality of flexible supports circumferentially positioned around said gyrator.
22. The method of dispensing material comprising the steps of:
- placing a dispensable material on a dispensing member having a retaining lip;
- generating a true circular orbital vibratory motion in the dispensing member by either rotating an offset weight along a vertical axis of the dispensing member or by positioning vibratory motors diametrical opposite from each other on a gyrator housing and synchronizing the vibratory motors with each other to dispense material.
23. The method of claim 22 including:
- placing material in a hopper having an outlet edge;
- gyrating the dispensing member located below the outlet edge to cause the dispensing member to simultaneously and circumferentially vary the distance between the outlet edge and the dispensing member to thereby increase the flow along a portion of the dispensing member spaced the farthest from the outlet edge and decrease the material flow along another portion of the dispensing member spaced the closes to the outlet edge.
24. The method of claim 22 including the step of stopping the gyration of the dispensing member to shut off the flow over the dispensing member.
25. The method of claim 24 wherein the step of stopping the gyration dispensing while maintaining an open spacing between the outlet edge and the dispensing member.
26. The method of claim 22 wherein the opening spacing is maintained at a distance such that the angle of the material on the dispensing member does not exceed an angle of repose of material.
27. The method of claim 22 wherein the gyration of the dispensing member is increased to increase a dispensing rate and the gyration of the dispensing member is decreased to decrease the dispensing rate.
International Classification: B65D 88/66 (20060101);