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How to Choose the Right Hopper for Your Impact Riveter

Finding The Right Fit 

Posted on 12/05/2018 | by The Orbitform Blog Team


You’ve decided on impact riveting as the best process for your application. With a fast cycle time and simple operation, you have the advantage over your competitors. Now you need to determine how to feed the rivets for installation. What are your options?

Standard Rotary Hopper

Most of Orbitform’s Impact Riveters come standard with a mechanically driven rotary hopper. The hopper barrel is spaced away from the hopper back with enough clearance for the rivet head to pass between the rim of the barrel and the hopper back. The barrel also has slots along the rim roughly equal in width to the rivet shank diameter. Each time the machine is cycled, the hopper rotates and the rivets tumble within the barrel. As they move around and bump into the rim and hopper wall, they will fall through the slots upon correct orientation. They will stack up between the barrel and a rivet guide, then fall into the feed track with each machine cycle.

Vibratory Hopper

An upgrade option for feeding is a vibratory hopper. A vibratory hopper uses a gentle vibration process to move parts around in the bowl. The bowl has internal tooling that guides the rivets up the bowl track towards the feed track transition point. Once they get to the top, a mechanism will knock off any rivets that are not in the correct orientation. Those that are in the correct orientation will continue through the feeding track to be presented to the tooling.

So, which is best?

For most applications, the standard rotary hopper will sufficiently feed the rivets into the equipment for installation. In some cases, however, a vibratory hopper is required:


At Orbitform, we understand that each application, part, and rivet is unique, and work with you to find the best solution. Send us your part and rivet drawings, and we can help you determine what equipment and feeding method is fit for your application. Contact us today.