Equipment & Technology

Settling down bulk material with NetterVibration

NetterVibration Australia is helping bulk handlers reduce packaging costs and waste with its range of custom vibrating tables.

It can seem surprising, but when bulk solids like sugar, flour or sand are tipped out onto a flat surface, the pointed mount will form in the same shape almost every time.

This is because all solid materials have an angle of repose, which is the angle of the cone formed when it’s poured out of a container. 

According to John Isherwood, managing director at NetterVibration Australia, this poses a problem for packaging companies that are trying to get the most possible product into a box or bag.

“The solids won’t automatically fill the container and with larger and unevenly sized products, like carrots, it may even make closing the container difficult,” he told ABHR. 

“In all these situations, a vibrating table can help by gently settling the product. This will enable the container to be filled to capacity. 

“For example, aerated material will settle and allow a 1000kg bulker bag to be filled to maximum rating rather than only, say, 800kg. At 800 kg, transport vibration will then settle the product so that, effectively, empty space is being transported.”

NetterVibration Australia works closely with customers to solve the problems they are facing. Prospective clients provide information like the size of containers, and the type of material being packaged and its properties.

From there, Isherwood and his team design and develop a solution that can be incorporated into the bulk handling process.

“We can supply vibrating tables for pretty much any product, from ceramic powder to broccoli to tweezers,” Isherwood said.

“Product compaction is also one of the uses for these tables. They are used to manufacture high-quality concrete slabs and pavers, ‘densifying’ the concrete by eliminating voids and allowing the water to rise to the surface, giving good strength to the slabs.”

NetterVibration had previously supplied its products to Australian customers through an agent since the 1970s, but the company decided to change its strategy in 2019. The German company approached Isherwood to lead the company through the joint venture called NetterVibration Australia. 

NetterVibration Australia’s range includes electric, pneumatic and hydraulic vibrators, with force outputs from 14N to in excess of 170,000N. The vibrators are manufactured to extremely high quality in Europe, with ATEX rating as standard on most electric models, and rating 1 and 2 available to order on all models.

Isherwood said the company has developed a strong reputation around the world.

“It has been manufacturing vibrators for almost 70 years, and you can rely on the European standards of quality,” he said.

“Over that time, the business has only focused on vibration and improving its products. It’s developed specialist expertise and understands what works and what doesn’t.

“It’s a global company, with seven branches and about 40 agents located around the world that share knowledge and support.”

The vibrating tables use electric or pneumatic drives from Germany, while the tables are designed and manufactured locally.

Isherwood said the company is continuing to grow in the Australian market.

“We’re working close with clients to help them achieve optimum outcomes in their processes,” he said.   

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