POWER GENERATION: ELECTRIC VIBRATOR INSTALLATION

Rotary Electric Vibrator Installation

Correct Vibrator Makes Woodchips Flow Like Water

INTRODUCTION:

This job story details the benefits of selecting the correct rotary electric vibrator to prompt and maintain the flow of stubborn bulk materials. Here we examine the difficulties unloading woodchips from railroad hopper cars. Workers at a power generating station relied on gravity and manual poking to unload woodchips from a railcar. This was a slow and expensive process because the woodchips would bridge and rat-hole above the railcar’s gates. When train delays occurred, the lack of woodchip fuel reduced production of electricity.

PROBLEM IN MORE DETAIL:

Five days a week, a 21-car train delivers over three million pounds of woodchips used for fuel at a power generating station in New England. Their unloading process utilized manual tools and created concerns for personnel safety and wasted labor costs. They were also consistently behind schedule. The goal was to unload the railcars in two hours, but it was currently taking seven hours. The generating station tried using a variety of portable pneumatic and hydraulic vibrators, but these produced unacceptable drawbacks. The excessive noise disturbed neighbors and those vibrators caused railcar damage due to poor vibrator mount accessibility. There were also concerns for the safety of personnel handling portable vibrators in sub-zero weather.

SOLUTION:

AIRMATIC Application Specialists recommended MARTIN® Rotary Electric Vibrators to promote the flow of this difficult fibrous material. They are usually applied to bins, hoppers, and silos, among other places. When clinging, bridging, or rat-holing of material occurs, a correctly-sized and securely-mounted rotary electric vibrator will help recover lost material, accelerate material flow, increase efficiency and improve safety. AIRMATIC Application Specialists suggested permanently mounting a MARTIN® 1800 RPM, 10,000 Force-Pound Vibrator beneath each railcar. The vibrator would then act as a woodchip “pump” and create continuous product flow.

To confirm effectiveness, the Vibrators were periodically stopped and when they were the flow of woodchips stopped completely. With the Vibrators on the railcars, workers unloaded the entire train in less than two hours. Now production of electricity could continue without interruption and community relations improved as both vibrator noise and length of noise exposure diminished.

CONCLUSION:

As this case study shows, installing and properly mounting a rotary electric vibrator with the correct force and frequency solves many problems. First, plugged railcars that caused unloading delays became a thing of the past. Second, by maximizing unloading efficiency, maintenance and labor costs went down while productivity went up. Finally, permanently mounting the vibrators in place reduced the risk of injury.

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