When you open your cabinet and grab the box of snacks you know you should not have, and your doctor warned you about, you never fully realize the heavy machinery it took just to create them. And no, they did not corral all the grandmothers into once place and force them to bake those delicious snacks. Instead, heavy machines like tumblrs, crumblers, vibratory screeners all came together to create and package those little delicacies only to inevitably be pushed into a food crusher.

The process is different depending on the product, and some heavy machinery even has uses that do not focus on just food alone. Take vibratory screeners, for example. Generally speaking, you have dry screening and wet screening. These two categories then encompass the materials associated with the need screening and separate them further into grades. The grades help separate potential material for products away from grades that are below standards. Or vibratory conveyors that carry products both small and large, like the aforementioned food crushers.

Another great example of a multi-purpose heavy machines are tumbling drums. Simply put, tumbling is a process that attempts to polish materials to a desired finish, as well as rounding off sharp corners, if one chooses, with media mixed in for a desired outcome. Tumbling drums are a popular machine used for applying coatings to products like cereal or even pet food.

Tumbling drums come in various sizes like the ever popular 18” to 36” diameter drums with lengths reaching 18” to 42”. You will not find many that have their length shorter than the diameter. The product and a horizontal barrel’s speed plays an important role in its revolutions per minute, alternatively known by its acronym RPM. Its RPM can be as slow as 20 RPM or as fast as 38 RPM. This is not a fast process, though. Depending on the drums load, as well as the desired results, you could be watching it from anywhere between six hours to 24 hours.

If you work with a horizontal, octagonal barrels, you might have noticed the almost exclusive use for dry tumbling. You will not find many that are not 30” in diameter and between 36” to 42” because those measurements are standard. Not to mention many are shaped with metal skins, equipped with a hardwood lining that will eventually be replaced. Its RPM is usually less varied, only have slight variation at around 28 to 32 RPM.

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