Saturday 23rd Oct, 2021

Oli Vibrators: Shaking things up

When silos, hoppers and bins stop flowing, productivity drops along with it. Using a hammer to break up bridging may seem like a good short-term solution, but it comes with significant safety risks. Oli Vibrators however, offer an alternative fix.
Chipped paint on a hopper can be a sign a site could benefit from a flow aid.

When silos, hoppers and bins stop flowing, productivity drops along with it. Using a hammer to break up bridging may seem like a good short-term solution, but it comes with significant safety risks. Oli Vibrators however, offer an alternative fix.

A tell-tale sign that something isn’t right with a processes’ flow are hammer marks and chipped paint on a silo, bin or hopper.

Poor flow can be caused by a number of reasons, whether it is moisture ingress into the product or silo design leading to ratholing and bridging. Whatever the case may be, the flow-on effects can bring significant productivity penalties and safety hazards.

Sean Brewer, Sales Executive at Oli Vibrators, says it can be common for companies to attempt to manually restart the flow.

“Occupational health and safety hazards abound when doing this. Not only is it bad for your bones to be swinging around a large hammer constantly, but it’s also not good for your hearing, we aim to preserve the structure and person.” he says.

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“On top of this, a lot of hoppers are elevated, with only small ladders leading up to them. That means you’ll have someone in a precarious position, high above the ground, swinging heavy objects. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

Dents in expensive equipment can further aggravate bad flow, as the engineered metal is bent and warped out of shape through sustained abuse.

It’s also a poor use of labour resources. Not only are employees wasting energy and time on heavy manual labour, but customers and transport workers will be waiting for the load to finish – adding to costs incurred.

Industries involved in bulk solids handling also tend to be ones that can’t afford to have their supply chains held up – concrete needs to be laid and food needs to be distributed.

Part of Brewer’s job is visiting sites that are struggling with flow issues in their vessels and finding a long term, effective solution.

“It starts with a phone call,” he says. “We head out onto site and find out what would help improve productivity at the site in the best way possible.”

“We service pretty much any industry you can think of – our products can be found in industrial estates, farms and factories all around the country.”

Oli Vibrators specialise in industrial vibration technology, providing high-quality, European-built industrial vibrators, electric vibrators, frequency converters and aerators. The company has operated in Australia for more than two decades and has built up expertise in providing the right tools for the job.

Specialists will find the right vibrator or aerator for a site, using the supplied dimensions and weights involved. Oli’s experts will collaborate with the site’s staff to find the most effective and economical product from their extensive range each to correct and maximise flow.

Brewer says the company is proficient in the knowledge of its products and how to properly apply them.

“Our staff have worked with silos and materials handling for years and we have enough case studies under our belt where we can use previous experiences to find new solutions,” he says.

Oli Vibrators’ competitive advantage, according to Brewer, is the high-quality materials and precision engineering that goes into making each of the vibrators. The company is based in Italy and imports its products from overseas where they must meet rigorous Australian and International quality assurance standards.

With agents in every state of Australia and across New Zealand, the company has managed to continue operating throughout the COVID-19 restrictions with minimal disruption. Its mission statement, ‘when you need it, where you need it’ has helped form its strategy to keep all 20 of its global trading subsidiaries well-stocked. In addition, the company’s manufacturing plants in Italy and Europe have managed to continue production without needing to pause, further bolstering the supply chain.

Brewer says the local branch prides itself on its stock holding, which helps set it apart from other international brands.

“A lot of our customers use imported equipment, and one of the main bugbears they have is shipping delays if something does go wrong,” he says.

“They may need to wait for a shipping container to be sent over or pay expensive fees for air freight to ensure they can continue operating. At Oli, if we need to supply a replacement, there’s a very high chance we will already have a backup on hand.”

As a result of Oli’s high standards for quality, its products often last for more than a decade. Each component is tested at the company’s manufacturing plant before it goes to the customers to ensure every installation is as reliable as possible.

Going forward, the company aims to continue offering its services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has adopted a number of digital solutions to remain safe while providing its services.

“During these unprecedented times, and being a supplier to the essential manufacturers, producers and supply chain, Oli has remained open and will remain open,” Brewer says. “We’ve stocked up heavily and are ready to supply our products throughout the country.”