Shaking things up

Monday, 14 March, 2022 | Supplied by: 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 short-term solution, but it comes with significant safety risks. Oli Vibrators offers an alternative fix.

A tell-tale sign that something isn’t right with a process’s 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.

Mark Thompson, General Manager at Oli Vibrators, said 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 said.

“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.

As part of his job, Thompson visits sites that are struggling with flow issues in their vessels and helps them find a long-term, effective solution. “It starts with a phone call,” he said. “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 specialises in industrial vibration technology, providing 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 its range each to correct and maximise flow.

Thompson said 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 said.

The company stocks industrial vibrators, electric vibrators, frequency converters and aerators. Each component is tested at the company’s manufacturing plant before it goes to the user site to ensure every installation is as reliable as possible.

Phone: 03 9764 9988
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