An industrial hopper can provide a variety of benefits to many feeding and conveying applications. They can be used in varied industries, including metal, recycling, and food and beverage, among others. However, not all hoppers are alike. There are various types of hoppers available with different designs, shapes, and sizes. It is important that you as the customer understands how to choose the right hopper for your application.
Choosing an Industrial Hopper
The following points can help in choosing an industrial hopper for your application:
- Consider the Feeding Material: The components or materials that need to be fed through the hopper play an immense role in hopper selection. The hopper should be designed to ensure that it can effectively store and allow for smooth and free-flowing feeding of the components to the feeder or conveyor. The metal used to construct the hopper should be compatible with the material. Otherwise, the components can get scratched or damaged. For example, for food applications, a stainless steel hopper is a must, as it will allow for the smooth transition of raw materials into the hopper. Stainless steel will also meet FDA food grade regulations.
- Decide on the Hopper Type: There are a variety of hoppers that can be used for industrial applications. You need to choose the hopper type depending on the type of application material that needs to be transferred. Generally, two types of hoppers are provided by manufacturers – conical and wedge shaped hoppers. Conical hoppers, as the name suggests, are designed in the shape of a cone. The steep cone shape allows for smooth flow and direct feeding of materials. Wedge shaped hoppers consist of a trough, which has a narrow slit. This conveyor works best when used with a conveyor.
- Choose the Features: Many manufacturers provide hoppers with different features that can ameliorate the application’s speed and efficiency. Some common features are the type of metal, a vibratory hopper option, and a live bottom. Choosing the manufacturing material allows you to customize the hopper to suit your application. Vibratory hoppers help reduce the strength of bulk materials, and enhance the sliding friction against the hopper walls. Hoppers with live bottoms allow for the safe and efficient discharge of solid products. Other features that you can opt for include moisture resistance, temperature control, and light and heavy duty parts feeding.
- What are your Specifications? The specifications are crucial to the success of the hopper in your application. You need to consider the following aspects – weight, height, width, depth, and volume capacity. Ensure that the hopper you choose will adequately meet your application requirements. The hopper should never be too small or too large in size. Along with this, you can also decide the size of the hopper tray. The hopper tray supports the transfer of material from the hopper to the feeder or conveyor.
These are some of the important points that can help you choose a supply hopper for your industrial application. It is importantly that you speak to the parts handling equipment manufacturer about your requirements. This will allow him to suggest the optimum solution that will meet your requirement.