To assure a consistent, reliable flow through the supply hopper and into the feeder’s metering element, hopper agitation or other flow aid strategies may be required, depending on material.
Proper bin design, the first step in promoting flow and avoiding potential difficulties, can be augmented by other, optional or add-on solutions including bin activators/dischargers, mechanical agitators, flexible hopper liners, air pads, injectors and blasters, hopper vibrators, and polished and coated hoppers. Only a careful evaluation of the material and its handling characteristics can dictate which candidate is the best solution.
Many screw/auger-based feeders are also fitted with a horizontal, mechanically driven agitator just above the screw element to assist in maintaining consistent screw fill, thereby enhancing moment-to-moment repeatability performance.
When feeding cohesive or other difficult materials, intermittent or inconsistent flow through the feeder’s hopper can impair performance and even halt the process. K-Tron’s ActiFlow Smart Bulk Solids Activator reliably prevents bridge-building and ratholing of cohesive bulk materials by automatically sensing an impending flow problem and then, in response, applying vibration optimally tuned to restore normal flow (ActiFlow).
Eliminating the need for intrusive mechanical agitators, flexible side wall agitation devices or aeration pads, ActiFlow is externally mounted to the rear wall of the extension hopper in loss-in-weight feeding applications, simplifying hopper cleaning during material changeovers.
Working in concert with K-Tron’s patented Smart Force Transducer (SFT) weighing, advanced filtering algorithms are used to screen out vibrations, ensuring accurate gravimetric control at all times.