November 3, 2014

6 Min Read
Granular Pigment Dispensing Systems Rely on Piston Vibrators for Optimum Flow
E-Z Blend Color System (3).jpg

Since 1986, Interstate Industrial Technology (Industec) has been a leader in manufacturing pigment batching equipment for the concrete manufacturing industry. These intricate systems have been supplied to customers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The company’s systems and controls have also been accepted in the printing, agricultural and chemical industries.
    But concrete producers are Industec’s main customer focus, particularly for its branded E-Z Blend granular pigment dispensing system, according to Scott Dawson, production manager for Industec. “Our dispensing systems are used to make a large variety of concrete products containing color pigments, from landscaping paving blocks and other architectural materials that use colored or stained concrete,” he says, adding the systems are designed to handle anywhere from 50,000 to 1.5 million pounds or more of volume annually.
    The E-Z Blend granular pigment dispensing system (GDS) has been a company mainstay. The GDS can be designed to meter pigment from up to eight feeding stations to accurately batch hundreds of unique blended pigment formulas. Moving pigment material efficiently out of the feeding stations and onto the weigh vessels requires the use of VMSAC, VMS, and SA-EP air piston vibrators from Cleveland Vibratory Co.
    According to Dawson, Industec has purchased more than 500 vibrators over the last 10 years from Flori Equipment Co. based in St. Louis, Cleveland Vibrator’s distributor. Industec has been purchasing various CVC products from Flori since 1990.
    The custom-designed E-Z Blend systems include CVC models 1200, 1300, and 1350 VMSAC, the 1125 VMS, and 1/2 SA-EP. The CVC vibrators range from1 ¼-in. piston diameter size to 4-in. diameter, depending upon how each system is configured per a customer’s specifications.
    Industec pioneered the use of batching by weight in the North American pigment industry in 1986. Today, both its granular and liquid dispensing systems are custom-made for each customer and are shipped fully assembled, designed to be easily installed, and commissioned by the customer. The Dupo, IL-based company offers field support help for final hookup and commissioning if needed.

Versatile Vibrators Speed Material Flow
“The E-Z Blend system combines fast fill times with accurate results,” Dawson notes. “The bulk of the material is added in fast fill. As the fill target is approached, the fill rate is reduced so that the last small amount of pigment is added very precisely. The operator can load up to four blend formulas for each mixer served by the GDS.”
    This ‘three-speed fill’ approach means the CVC vibrators work continuously to “shake the feeders back and forth” and help move the pigment material into the weigh vessel, according to Dawson. “Each feeding tray has a vibrator and depending upon the color load, the vibrators average three minutes of intermittent run time within a 10-minute batch cycle,” he says. “So there is some downtime when the vibrators are not running, but it’s essential that the pigment material is conveyed precisely and the CVC vibrators help regulate that material flow.”
    Technicians at Industec determine which CVC vibrators are installed on the custom-designed E-Z Blend systems for optimum material flow. In a typical four-bag system, the interior two feeders will use a 2-in. air-piston vibrator, while the outer two feeders will employ a 3-in. air piston vibrator. If a fifth feeder station is designed, then a 3½- or 4-in. air piston vibrator is recommended.

Different Models for Different Uses
Customers also have their choice of CVC vibrator models, again depending upon the nature of the job, plant conditions, and the volume of pigmented material being processed. The VMSAC Vibra-Might unit features air cushioning of the piston to prevent metal-to-metal contact and reduce noise. The VMS Vibra-Might model employs air metal-to-metal piston impact for maximum force output. Finally, the SA-EP spring activated unit features high frequencies of vibration and adaptable mounting heads.
    “The advantage of using the Cleveland Vibratory models is they are made to start in any position, while other vibrators that we tried need to lean in one direction for them to start,” said Dawson. “We looked at some electromagnetic vibrators from other companies but ultimately chose to install the air-piston models from CVC. We thought it was an effective, economical way of doing it.”
    Another benefit of the CVC vibrators, according to Dawson, is the inclusion of threaded and tapped exhaust ports. This allows for the installation of the port protector/muffler which helps prevent impurities from entering the vibrator through the exhaust port. It also helps reduce some of the noise coming from the vibrator as it vibrates.
    Other features of the E-Z Blend GDS make it ideal for concrete manufacturers. The dispenser control system incorporates an industrial-rated PLC and touch screen display. The pre-mounted, pre-wired control panel is designed to stand up to harsh plant environments.
    The pressurized discharge enables the batching chamber to be rapidly emptied to mixers at distances of up to 150 linear ft and at a height of 30 ft. The E-Z Blend also has a very low profile as the height including pigment Supersack racks is less than 14 ft.
    Dawson says there is an upward trend in the home remodeling market, which is indirectly tied to the upswing in new building construction in both the residential and commercial markets. That, in turn, is creating more opportunities to market the Industec E-Z Blend granular dispensing systems, all containing vibrators from Cleveland Vibratory Co.
    Benefits of the VMSAC air cushioned piston vibrator and VMS impact piston vibrator include:
•    One-piece, ductile iron housing, hand-finished bore and spring-less design ensure long effective life.
•    VMSAC: Air cushion prevention of metal-to-metal impact and exhaust muffler reduce noise levels while pneumatic power allows for operation in hazardous area.
•    VMS: Use of exhaust muffler reduces noise levels while compressed air power allows for operation in hazardous areas.
•    Dual diameter piston allow for mounting at any angle on bins, chutes, pipes, and hoppers handling material loads from 200 lb to 100+ tn. Industrial vibrators come with mounting fasteners and a gasket for quick set-up

    Benefits of the SA-EP spring activated piston air vibrator include:
•    Steel housing and exhaust port protection ensure a long life of continuous duty.
•    Muffler provides reduced noise levels and pneumatic power allows for operation in hazardous areas.
•    Spring activation of the piston allows for mounting at any angle on a variety of mediums.

    The Cleveland Vibrator Co. (Cleveland, OH) manufactures air-piston, rotary electric, electromagnetic, turbine, and ball vibrators, as well as a wide variety of fabricated feeders, vibratory screeners, ultrasonic screeners, vibratory conveyors, and vibratory tables used for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty industrial applications. For more information, call 800-221-3298 or visit

For related articles, news, and equipment reviews, visit our Accessories Equipment Zone

Sign up for the Powder & Bulk Solids Weekly newsletter.

You May Also Like