Bulk Handling Review, Australia
Oli Vibrators: Good vibrations
ABHR speaks to Mark Thompson, General Manager of Oli Vibrators, to find out what separates a good vibrator from a bad one.
Australia’s building boom has led to an almost insatiable need for concrete, asphalt and other building materials.
Process productivity is critical for the manufacturers feeding this demand, but when machinery breaks, this is jeopardised.
One key piece of equipment for bulk material commodity producers are vibrators, especially when it comes to construction. Vibrators are used to consolidate and eliminate voids in concrete, especially when reinforcing around steel. In addition, being used for more complex shapes, vibration becomes vital.
Mark Thompson, General Manager of Oli Vibrators, says that poorly designed and manufactured industrial vibrators run the risk of having inferior lifespans that end up costing more in the long term.
“When you look at some of the products on the market, the quality just isn’t there,” he says.
“As inferior vibrators start to wear, consistency of performance will drop, which has a flow-on effect to the rest of the operation. Imagine you are producing 10,000 bags of material a day, and then you find that you can’t get your product into the bags properly.
“You might need to pull two to three people off the line to deal with this, not only affecting productivity, but also creating an inefficient use of labour.”
Safety can also become a concern, as manually assisting flow by striking a hopper can create a hazardous work environment and present ergonomic risks as well as damage to the asset.
In addition, if a breakdown does occur, the impact of these inefficiencies begins to affect overall profits, meaning a replacement should be sourced as soon as possible.
Thompson says Oli Vibrators prides itself on high-quality, European-built equipment and its large stock holding.
“Product performance and reliability – whether out on site or in the factory – is of paramount importance,” he says.
“There’s a limited timeframe to work in, and our customers need to know that the equipment will be working as it should, when they need it. If a business has a hang up and isn’t able to get its product out of a silo or hopper, we can be there straight away.”
When it comes to clientele, Oli Vibrators has found itself popular in the concrete sector. It has been involved with a number of major tunnelling projects in Melbourne and Sydney, along with highway infrastructure upgrades and pre-cast concrete manufacturing.
Although its products are most often used in the construction industry, Oli Vibrators’ products can be found in recycling plants, in confectionary factories, or at the bottom of a coal mine.
Thompson says the company takes a solutions-based approach, meaning it can match the vibrators or flow aids to specific problems.
“We can offer a specific fix for a process’ hang-ups, whether that’s ratholing or bridging or something else entirely,” he says.
“Our range of equipment means we can provide the best tool for the job, instead of something generic.”
The company is based in Modena, Italy, where it engineers and develops its products. Its mission statement, ‘when you need it, where you need it’ has helped form its strategy to keep all 18 of its global trading subsidiaries well-stocked.
In Australia, the business has a service centre in Scoresby, Melbourne, along with a network of support agents across the country.
Thompson says there will be a number of new products set to launch in 2020 that have been designed by expert engineers.
“The vibrator market is competitive, so we rely on our high-quality products, technical expertise and the ability to provide all the specifications an engineer could possibly want,” he says.
“We’ve got all that along with a global network to back us up and specialisation in vibratory equipment.”