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Vibratory Loss-in-Weight Feeders Ideal for Pharmaceutical Granulations and Uncoated Tablets

The unique K3 line of vibratory feeders for dry bulk solids offers many advantages

Coperion K-Tron’s unique K3 line of vibratory feeders for dry bulk solids includes a Pharma version featuring a cylindrical, fully enclosed product tube, ideal for wash-out-of-place (WOP) and wash-in-place (WIP) applications. The K3-PH design is available as a V200 size, suitable for rates of 5 to 1600 dm3/h [0.176 to 56.5 ft3/h].

In addition to an easy clean design, the vibratory feeder features the same unique, patent-pending drive system combined with an advanced control package as the existing HD designs. The new K3 vibratory feeder is able to achieve accuracies averaging 35% better over traditional technologies. Coperion K-Tron’s patented load cells and KCM controller ensure high accuracy feeding while the easy clean design of the vibratory tray ensure quick and easy product changeover. Specialty control algorithms permit the vibration method of feeding, without impacting the weight signal, in order to accurately control rate of feed and optimize coating performance.

The key to achieving such high accuracy is the ability to deliver a continuous, even mass flow with minimal pulsations. The new K3 vibratory drive is able to do this thanks to a completely new shock absorber design. Conventional vibratory feeders use rubber or spring shock absorbers, which allow movement of the drive in all directions, resulting in rotational motion. In contrast to these conventional shock absorbers, the new K3 line uses a unique flexible pendulum technology which provides shock absorption only parallel to the desired direction of motion, eliminating rotational movement. This parallel motion ensures an even material flow of the product along the entire length of the tray.

The advanced control system and feeder electronics include internal sensors which measure acceleration, displacement, load, current and temperature at rates of up to 25,000 times per second. The fast-acting controller then adjusts the vibratory drive signal to maintain clean sinusoidal displacement for optimal mass flow. The combination of this unique drive with the Coperion K-Tron SmartConnex control system also results in extremely low energy consumption as compared to other feeding technologies. Power consumption can be as low as 20 Watts for feed rates as high as 6,000 kg/h, thus making it ideal for improved production sustainability and minimal heat dissipation!

The typical feeder package for both types of feeders consists of a feed hopper with vibratory tray (for K3-HD models) or tube (for K3-PH model). Both designs include a vibratory drive mounted on a weighing system featuring patented, high accuracy Smart Force Transducer weighing technology and combined with SmartConnex controls. The vibratory drive includes a hygienic silicone cover which encloses the complete drive assembly, making it suitable for wipedown and cleaning, ideal for pharmaceutical applications. In addition, the K3-PH vibratory feeder is mounted on the compact D4 scale, whose trapezoidal design is ideal for clustering up to six feeders around a process inlet.

The mechanical package for the K3-HD design is modular in design, and versatile in that it can accommodate custom tray configurations and lengths. A special quick-release clamp mechanism on the feeder tray allows for quick product changeover. The absence of mechanical wear parts in both the PH and HD versions results in lower maintenance requirements and ensures gentle handling of the bulk material.

Vibratory feeders are ideal for the gentle handling of a wide variety of materials, including friable granulations and products with non-uniform shapes. While the PH design is ideal for granules /granulations, the HD design is ideally suited to applications such as the high accuracy feeding of tablets and capsules directly to either coaters or packaging machines. The gentle vibratory feeding principle allows for high accuracy feeding without damage to the tablets or granulation. Vibratory feeders can often be a viable alternative to screw feeders for difficult materials such as pharmaceutical powders, where gentle vibratory feeding may allow feeding without build-up which can occur on screws and screw tubes.

This revolutionary new generation of Coperion K-Tron loss-in-weight vibratory feeders offers gentle handling of the bulk material, higher accuracy and faster product changeover, resulting in less product waste, less downtime and better end product quality. For more information visit

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