Vibratory Conveyors in Biomass Industries

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Vibratory conveyors are pivotal in various industries due to their versatility, reliability, and capacity to handle materials with variable characteristics. This article delves into the intricacies of different types of vibratory conveyors, their applications, and their significance in the biomass industry.

Types of Vibratory Conveyors

Brute Force (Single-Mass Drive)

Brute force vibratory conveyors are characterized by a motor that is directly attached to the trough, and all the vibratory action is derived from the force of the unbalanced wheel. While it has a simpler design with fewer spare parts than other vibratory conveyors, it demands more horsepower and can dampen with increased loads. It’s suitable for applications where materials and rates remain consistent.

Naturally Tuned (Two-Mass Drive)

In naturally tuned conveyors, one mass (an exciter) drives a second mass (the trough). These masses are tuned to resonate with each other. The vibratory conveyor requires less horsepower than a single-mass drive system, but its design can dynamically respond to varying loads.


These near-resonance style conveyors use motor-mounted weights to adjust the vibrations’ amplitude and frequency. However, they can put high loads onto support structures, leading to fatigue cracking and structural failure and making them prone to self-destructive shaking. Robust supports are required for these conveyors.

Base Balanced

A base-balanced vibratory conveyor uses a large, isolated frame and counteracting balance bar weldment with a ballast to enhance stability. This design reduces the need for a robust mounting structure, making it useful in more conveying applications.

Dynamically Balanced

A dynamically balanced vibratory conveyor also operates with a near resonant-frequency style and likewise incorporates a counteracting balance bar weldment with a ballast. This design not only eliminates the need for a robust mounting structure but also ensures technicians can precisely calibrate for dynamic balance, enhancing better stability and efficiency while handling materials.

Excited Base

An excited base vibratory conveyor utilizes eccentric motors connected to the base, generating vibrations at or near the resonance of the trough. This low-energy design isolates most reaction forces in the trough, significantly reduces noise, and eliminates the need for external components like bearings, belts, connectors, and guarding, which leads to minimal maintenance requirements.

Vibratory Conveyor Applications in Biomass

Vibratory conveyors find extensive use in the biomass industry due to their versatility and reliability. They also excel at handling materials with variable characteristics, making them ideal for trim-line cutoffs in sawmills.

In the paper and wood-product industry, vibratory conveyors are commonly used in waste-handling systems. Typically situated in a mill’s basement, they feed residual biomass to a chipper. Their capabilities, however, extend beyond this specific use.

Feeding Capabilities and Advantages

Vibratory conveyors are often employed as feeding devices due to their ability to regulate flow and handle fragile materials with minimal degradation. In wood-product manufacturing, where material degradation may not be a concern, controlling material flow, such as into a boiler, is more crucial.

Other instances where vibratory conveyors prove useful include pellet mills, briquetting machines, bagging lines, screeners, classifiers, metals removal, dryers, chippers, grinders, hogs, and bulk receiving.

It’s important to note that while vibratory conveyors excel at distributing material horizontally and softening surge peaks, they are not metering devices. Despite their prowess in controlling flow rates, they do not regulate volumetric rates. Dumping material in a clump will result in the clump remaining in the system, causing a surge.

Advantages Over Other Conveyance Systems

Unlike belt conveyors, which can accept a wide distribution of particle sizes and masses, vibratory conveyors can fully contain dust spillage. This feature is crucial in industries where dust control is a safety concern. The ability to screen or sort materials is also an advantage vibratory conveyors boast over belt and chain conveyors, which require separate pieces of equipment to accomplish these tasks. With vibratory conveyors, these things can be done directly in the conveyor trough.

Considerations and Drawbacks

However, while vibratory conveyors require less maintenance than other conveyors, they come with a higher initial cost due to the substantial amount of steel they require. They are also known for their noise and have a limited ability to elevate materials. They cause air displacement in enclosed areas, as well.

Despite some drawbacks, vibratory conveyors offer unique advantages, making them a valuable choice in industries prioritizing dust spillage control, reliability, and the handling of variable materials. In the biomass industry, their versatility extends beyond traditional uses, positioning them as a potential solution where other conveyance systems might fall short. Understanding the different types and applications of vibratory conveyors is crucial for industries seeking efficient and reliable material handling solutions.

Contact BE&E today to learn about our VibraPro brand vibratory conveyors. Let us build you a lasting solution!