From Basement-Based Business to an Industry Leader
Vibra Screw, Inc., a third generation family owned and operated company known for engineering high quality equipment for dry solids processing, is among the most trusted names in its field. From a home-based business to an international icon, the story of Vibra Screw’s growth and success is, for the most part, the story of Eugene A. Wahl, its founder.
When he started Vibra Screw in 1955, Mr. Wahl already had two decades of experience in the field of engineering, including R&D at a major oil company affiliate, research at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, chemical manufacture and plant design for the General Chemical Company, and even a stint at the Ballantine Brewery. What served him well through all those years was an innate ability to look at a problem, think it over in exacting detail, and come up with a workable solution.
From his own experience, he knew that the feeding of dry materials into process in the chemical and food industries posed major problems. The first was getting the material from one place to another. He solved this problem by creating a vibrating-rotating-screw feeder.
The first volumetric feeder with accuracy that rivaled then current weigh feeders and selling for a fraction of the price, the vibrated screw feeder remains unchallenged today as the best solution to basic volumetric feeding. In the 50 years since its invention, Vibra Screw has simplified it, made it more cost competitive, and even improved its accuracy with certain materials. Standing the test of time, it is the key component in many of the systems that the company designs and builds today. Vibra Screw Headquarters, Totowa, NJ
The second related problem Mr. Wahl addressed was that most of the materials would not flow out of their storage bins on demand. By developing a vibrating device that would vigorously shake the outlet portion of the bin, and which would stand up to the rigors of continuous operation, he then created what has commonly become known as a Bin Activator. Dismissed as too simplistic when first introduced, the bin activator soon became one of the most widely copied pieces of equipment in the world for material handling, and still has the distinction of being the accepted bin discharging method, used almost to the exclusion of all other methods.
With these two revolutionary products, soon after its founding in 1955, Vibra Screw demonstrated the unique ability to effectively handle large feeding applications involving even the most flow-resistant materials. But while the vibrated screw feeder and bin activator were fundamental to VibraScrew’s ongoing success, the company continued to design and innovate. Incorporating numerous design changes to the vibrating screw feeder and bin activator, performance and cost were improved. New materials were pioneered for critical components. And new versions were developed for special applications.
Creating new products and new applications for existing products, Vibra Screw constantly strove to preserve and perpetuate its early insistence on legitimately solving its customers’ problems with guaranteed solutions based on quality and reliability. Another case in point is the company’s bulk bag unloader.
With the widespread growth of IBC shipping containers, or bulk bags, Vibra Screw was the first company to tackle the problem of safely unloading these bags, which typically range in size from 30 to 80 cubic feet. Borrowing the concept of a vibrating bottom from their bin activator, Vibra Screw created the strongest, safest, most efficient and cleanest bulk bag unloader on the market.
Looking outside for products that would increase its global presence and market share, Vibra Screw has also licensed size reduction and classification equipment, bulk bag filling equipment, and vibratory pan and tube feeders and screeners. Throughout the company’s history, the true importance of its inventions is found in their longevity and utility.
Over the years, Vibra Screw’s accomplishments stand out not only for their ground-breaking advances, but for their rugged, long-lasting design, as well. No other industry source stands behind its products with the same confidence and assurance. In fact, Vibra Screw equipment is unconditionally guaranteed to perform in the service for which it is sold, or the company will refund the purchaser’s money.
Today, 50 years after its founding, Vibra Screw remains a leader in solids processing, with high quality equipment to store, discharge, meter, convey, size and blend. And that same innovative spirit of problem solving that started with Eugene Wahl is the cornerstone of the company’s continued success.
Highlights of Vibra Screw’s 50 years of outstanding achievement include:
1955: founding of company based on patented vibrated screw feeder
1961: invention of and patenting of Bin Activator
1961-1970: development of vibrated continuous blender, Bin Activated hopper systems [Live Bottom Bins & Live Bins], volumetric belt feeders
1970-1975 : development of precision weigh belt feeders using prefeed Bin Activator technology.
1980-1985: development of low cost vibrated volumetric feeders, license arrangement with AEG to manufacture vibrating tube and pan feeders and vibrating screens.
1985-1995: development of Versifeeder modular feeder line, bulk bag unloaders, bulk bag fillers, Loss-in weight and batch feeders
1995-present-: development of AccuFeed molded composite feeder line, BinActivator refinement including clean flow no cross arm design, variable rate design, OEM design.
From a modern facility in Totowa, New Jersey, Vibra Screw serves its diverse markets through a worldwide network of sales representatives, licensees and subsidiaries. Staffed with experienced professionals who carry on the Wahl family tradition of problem solving, they design, build and test equipment to meet specific customer requirements including USDA, FDA, ASME, AWS, BISSC and NRC.
Backed by 50 years of first-hand knowledge in the use of controlled vibration to process dry bulk materials, Vibra Screw products are recognized and trusted by such diverse industries as food, mining, chemicals, steel, forest products, plastics, environmental control, ordnance, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.
The engineering and business genius originally responsible for the invention of the bin activator and the vibrated screw feeder remain in integral part of Vibra Screw today, where its leadership and staff are still guided by the principles Eugene Wahl established for innovative design and business integrity.
The company’s comprehensive product range includes bulk bag unloaders and fillers, volumetric feeders, bin activators, vibrating feeder/conveyors, loss-in-weight feeders, storage pile activators, live bottom bins, live bins, continuous blenders, screeners, controls, and turnkey systems.