Considerations for Choosing a Vibration Table

Industrial vibration tables are valuable instruments for diverse applications, including quality control, material separation, condensing and more. The correct vibration table for your application can help you improve efficiency and productivity while reducing costs. This guide provides essential guidance on how to choose the right vibration table for your industry and application.

What Are Vibration Tables?

Also known as vibratory tables, settling tables or shaker tables, vibration tables consist of a flat or slatted tabletop mounted on a vibrating base. An electric motor or pneumatic actuator powers the base, which applies vibrations in multiple directions to affect the object on its surface.

Operators can adjust the table’s frequency and amplitude to change the intensity of vibrations as needed for different testing and production needs. Some of the most common vibration table uses across industries include:

  • Densifying: Vibrating the contents of a container reduces dead space, allowing for more efficient packing. It also increases the product’s stability and load-bearing capacity for easier stacking.
  • Settling: Vibrating a filled container helps shake all the contents into an even layer for high-quality molding.
  • De-airing: Multi-directional vibrations push air bubbles from castings and other liquid products, creating sturdier and more uniform structures.
  • Separation: Materials with different densities naturally break apart from each other when vibrated, allowing you to remove impurities or break up clumps in viscous liquids.
  • Packaging: Shaking out loose items helps ensure the correct amount is in each package.
  • Fatigue testing: A key part of quality assurance, fatigue testing involves vibrating a product to ensure it can withstand typical operational conditions. This kind of testing is especially common in electronics manufacturing.

Vibration Tables vs. Anti-Vibration Tables

A vibration table applies multi-directional vibrational force to an object to trigger some type of movement within that object. An anti-vibration table does the opposite by reducing vibrations to protect valuable equipment and ensure greater accuracy in testing.

This type of equipment is most commonly used in laboratory settings in highly regulated industries like pharmaceuticals and food and beverage. For example, a researcher may use an anti-vibration table to safely and accurately weigh out a hazardous substance, or they could balance a high-precision sensor on it to prevent unwanted vibrations from affecting their measurements.

Important Vibration Table Considerations

These are the two most important factors to consider when deciding between different vibration table models.

Important vibration table considerations

Power Options

Your power source will directly impact the type and intensity of work your table can perform. There are two types of systems that can power vibration tables:

  • Rotary electric: Electric vibrators use an electric motor to produce horizontal, vertical and up-and-down vibrations. These systems are cost-effective and long-lasting, with a wide variety of available options to suit many different applications.
  • Pneumatic: A pneumatic vibrator converts potential energy from compressed air into mechanical energy, which powers the table’s vibrations. Although they are more sensitive to environmental changes, they’re quiet and low-maintenance.

Most of the time, the type of power source you should use depends on your available resources. Does your facility have access to compressed air? If not, an electric motor is a more practical choice. If yes, you have more flexibility with your options.

Load Capacity

The most important vibration table consideration is its load capacity, or the amount of weight it can withstand during operation. You need to choose a table with a high enough load capacity to safely handle your materials repeatedly over the course of your typical workday.

For most industrial vibration tables, load capacity typically ranges between 200 to 4,000 pounds. However, highly specialized tables may have capacities outside this range.

Vibration Table Types

A vibration table has a very specific purpose — to apply linear vibration to objects on its surface. In order to ensure the best possible results for each specific use, manufacturers have created multiple different configurations and designs. Assess the different tables according to your application so you can ensure optimal performance and results.

Flat Deck

The simplest type of vibration table, a flat deck style features a uniform surface mounted on inflatable pneumatic or rubber mounting pads for vibration isolation.

Although flat deck tables are most commonly used for compaction and densification, they’re also suitable for:

  • Quality assurance
  • Production lines
  • Packaging
  • Shipping
  • Fatigue testing

Some flat deck tables also come with built-in sensors and scales, which can help operators weigh out loads to ensure consistency and accuracy when working with specific quantities of materials.

Grid Top

Grid top vibration tables are best for facilities that use automatic or semi-automatic packaging lines with roller conveyors, such as in food and beverage processing plants.

The table is typically installed under a bulk filling station, where it lifts containers above the conveyor and vibrates them as needed. Then, it returns the containers to the roller so they can pass on to the next step. This process effectively settles and compacts products without damaging containers or their contents.

Low Profile

Low profile tables can come with a flat deck or grid top design and many other features to enhance functionality and improve productivity. This type is essentially more of a specific configuration of other vibration table types, but it is still important to note.

These tables have an ultra-compact footprint, making them ideal for facilities with limited space. While load capacity varies between makes and models, low-profile tables are highly versatile and effective at dampening excessive vibrations.

Many low-profile tables are also lightweight and portable, allowing you to move them between different areas as needed to effectively accomplish a wide variety of tasks.

Vibrating Belt

A vibrating belt table is unique in that it combines both settling and packing into one step for maximum efficiency. As the product travels along the belt, the vibrations from the motor remove dead space and air bubbles from the container. This process increases the product’s structural integrity and reduces the risk of damage.

Vibrating belt tables can also flatten bags without damaging their contents, which is why many plants incorporate them into their pre-palletizing workflows.

Live Beam

A live beam vibration table consists of several beams mounted on a series of compression mounts and spaced apart to support heavy-duty loads. Typical mounts are made of heavy-duty rubber, which helps effectively isolate the vibration to the table’s surface.

This type of table is intended only for large-scale compacting applications, such as consolidating large volumes of concrete for major construction projects. The wide spacing between beams also enables more uniform vibration of extremely heavy objects, such as consolidating the contents of shipping containers.

Example Applications of Vibration Tables

Shaker tables are highly versatile, with many different applications. Here are some examples of vibration table uses across various industries.

vibration table applications

Mine and Quarry

Mining facilities use flat-deck vibration tables in ore processing to recover extremely fine particles of mined materials like gold, copper, iron and coal.

Linear up-and-down vibration separates materials by particle size and density, which allows operators to sift through ores and remove any unwanted debris. This process helps improve the recovery ratio of desired materials and significantly streamlines processing for greater productivity.

Construction

There are many possible concrete vibration applications, most of which are in construction. Construction companies typically use vibration tables to compact and de-aerate building materials such as fiberglass and concrete. These processes create stronger, more durable materials for longer-lasting structures.

Compaction through vibration also helps cut costs for material transport. By densifying their materials, companies can pack a greater number of smaller containers in a truck, reducing the number of vehicles needed to move materials to and from the job site.

The absence of dead air in the containers also prevents materials from moving in their containers during transport, which prevents losses due to broken or otherwise damaged materials.

Food and Beverage Processing

Grid top vibration tables play a major role in manufacturing and packaging delicate food items. They are usually installed as part of the production line, applying vibrational force to products as they move through the facility.

In chocolate production, for example, factories will vibrate filled molds to remove air bubbles from the chocolate. This step creates a bar that is uniform in volume and consistency. After it has cooled, they will then vibrate the molds again to easily remove the finished product for packaging.

For loose products, such as chips or candies, vibration tables help manufacturers accurately portion out the contents of each package. Sensors attached to the table determine when the load has reached the appropriate weight, and the table shakes the product to move it to its packaging.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Vibration testing is an essential part of pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality assurance processes, such as:

  • Separation: To ensure their products meet stringent purity requirements, pharmaceutical factories will use high-frequency vibrations on medication ingredients. Particles will settle by shape, making it easier to separate the desired ingredients from any contaminants that may have entered the product.
  • Portioning: Shaker tables allow pharmaceutical facilities to accurately portion medications for packaging. Pharmacists can also use bench top tables to quickly package prescriptions during daily operations.
  • Mixing: Quiet electric shaker tables are useful in creating homogeneous mixtures of powdery ingredients. They are also often used to compress these powder blends into containers.

Electronics

Vibration tables are most commonly used in quality control tests for electronic components for both consumer and industrial devices. These tests are important for defining a specific product’s limits and tolerances and ensuring compliance with critical safety and quality standards.

For example, mobile phone prototypes are often subjected to vibration testing to ensure they can withstand the typical stresses of everyday life. More demanding environments require more intense vibration testing, as in the case of rugged military equipment and automotive components.

Installation and Maintenance Tips

Improperly installing a vibration table can lead to inaccuracies and increased operational risk, which is why taking the time to correctly install your equipment is so important. You might consider working with a professional for the best possible results.

Preventive maintenance is also one of the most essential post-purchase considerations for vibration tables for several reasons:

  • Extend life span: Preventive maintenance and regular cleaning can keep your vibration table running well past its typical end of life, saving you from having to replace it early.
  • Improve performance: Keeping your vibration table in excellent condition ensures optimal function for maximum productivity.
  • Increase workplace safety: Resolving issues before they can become serious problems helps prevent catastrophic workplace accidents resulting from malfunctions.
  • Reduce costs: Catching issues early on can help you prevent equipment breakdowns, allowing you to minimize downtime and save on intensive repairs.

Specific Cleaning requirements for vibration tables

Specific cleaning requirements will vary based on the demands of your application, such as the materials you typically vibrate and the usual soil level. For most tables, though, you will need to wipe the tabletop and clean the armature.

The Importance of Training Employees to Use Vibration Tables

Proper training is important for preventing injury and equipment damage in any facility that uses specialized equipment like vibration tables. Your operators should be aware of the risks of excessive vibration, which include:

  • Hand-arm vibration syndrome: A cluster of sensory and vascular symptoms affecting one’s arms and hands, which can develop months or years after prolonged exposure to intense vibrations. Operators of handheld vibrating equipment are most at risk for this condition.
  • Whole-body vibration syndrome: An occupational condition that affects the whole body rather than just the hands and arms.

Understanding these risks can improve the likelihood that operators will take appropriate precautions when using your vibration tables, such as wearing the correct personal protective equipment.

Vibration Tables From Deca Vibrator Industries, Inc.

Since 1980, Deca Vibrator Industries, Inc. has provided clients across various industries with the vibration equipment they need to streamline their processes and produce better output. We serve customers in aerospace, metal fabrication, pharmaceuticals and even pet food manufacturing — whatever your application, we can help.

Building to spec is our specialty. Whether you need a stationary bench top solution or portable heavy-duty trestles, we can configure a vibratory table that outperforms the competition in every way.

Our fully customizable shaker table designs include:

  • Flat deck and grid top table configurations
  • Electric or pneumatic drive system
  • Specific controls available upon request

When you start with us, one of our design professionals will contact you to get a better idea of your industry, project requirements and facility. We’ll work closely with you to design a product that meets your needs, whether that includes a simple compaction device or finely calibrated testing parameters.

Before we begin construction, we’ll send you a drawing for your review so you can make any modifications you need. Once you approve it, we’ll get to work building your table — and we’ll deliver it directly to you so you can get started right away.

vibration table displayed in front of red background

Contact Our Design Team Today

If you need to add a high-performance vibration solution to your workflow, we at Deca Vibrator Industries, Inc. can help. We design and manufacture a wide variety of industrial vibration products and material handling solutions, including shaker tables, vibratory feeders, impactors and more. 

Build the optimal vibration solution for your facility. Call us at (800) 974-9422, or contact us via our form to discuss your requirements with one of our experienced engineers.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *