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Drum Inverter

The Rheo Drum Inverter is designed to help operators safely transfer materials out of drums by fully inverting drums to remove the contents with limited operator interaction. Safety, containment, and productivity are all addressed with this simple to use machine.

Safety: The Rheo Drum Inverter addresses the ergonomic risk factors of manually dumping drums. The Drum Inverter can position drums directly above the receiving vessel or container to reduce operator lifting, even in locations that are difficult for an operator to reach.

Containment: The Rheo Drum Inverter can be used to achieve various levels of containment from simply containing visible dust to creating a completely closed transfer system.

Productivity: The Rheo Drum Inverter has multiple flow aid options which can be customized for specific product properties to prevent bridging and ratholing and to increase the flow rate. Rheo can conduct material flow testing prior to the machine design to come up with the best combination of flow aids for a particular project.


The Drum Inverter has several benefits when implemented in the manufacturing process:

  • Multiple Discharge Heights
  • Ergonomic Product Transfer
  • Efficient Product Transfer
  • Easy to Clean
  • Simple Controls
  • Low Maintenance
  • Customizable Flow Aids
  • Reduced Cycle Time
Features of the Rheo mobile slewing drum inverter

Compression Funnel

secures multiple drum sizes.

Operator Controls

wash down control pendant with momentary push button controls.

Tiller Handle (Option)

allows for easier movement and positioning of the heavy-duty Drum Inverter.


non-marking rigid or swivel casters for GMP compliance.

Mobile Slewing Column (Option)

flexibility of a mobile unit without needing to reposition the unit to empty each drum.

Pneumatic Vibrator (Option)

assists the flow of stubborn powder through the drum funnel.

Integrated Powder Screening (Option)

Quadro FlexSift on the compression funnel outlet de-agglomerates materials and captures foreign materials and other impurities.

Bridge Breaker (Option)

used to break up any bridges formed by the powder in the compression funnel.

Pneumatic Butterfly Valve

easy transfer of powder and regulation of product flow. Sanitary butterfly design can be manual or pneumatically actuated.

Common Specifications [customized per application]

Load Capacity 330 lbs [150 kg]
Maximum Drum Size 24 inches [610 mm] diameter, 36 inches [920mm] height
Discharge Height customized per application up to 100 inches [2540 mm] for free standing units, taller for fixed mount units
Material of Construction 304 stainless steel frame structure, 316 stainless steel drum cradle and product contact surfaces
Surface Finish Product Contact Area: 25 µin [0.64 µm] Ra with ground and polished welds
Non-Product Contact Area: 35 µin [0.89 µm] Ra with smooth welds as laid
Utility Air Supply: 90 PSIG [6.2 bar], 8 SCFM [3.1 L/s] clean, compressed air
Electric: 480 VAC, 3 Phase, 60 Hz
Manual, All-Pneumatic, All-Electric (Battery or Plug-In) Utility Options Available
Controls momentary push button controls on wash-down control pendant
Hazardous Rating configurable for use in Hazardous Locations: Class I Divisions 1 and 2 [ATEX Zones 1 and 2] or Class II Divisions 1 and 2 [ATEX Zones 21 and 22]


The Rheo design library and fast track design services allow our team to efficiently tailor our products to meet the specific requirements of each application. During the design phase, the Rheo engineering team analyzes the application to develop a custom and comprehensive material handling solution. By using standard options as well as custom-designed features, a GMP operator centric design can be achieved. Load capacity, drum size, discharge height, and discharge reach are all easily customized to fit a specific application.

Rheo Drum Inverter - custom drawings and specifications

The Drum Inverter has multiple stages to allow for elevated material transfer and safe transportation

Multiple Stage Option

The Rheo Drum Inverter is designed to accommodate a wide variety of applications. Offering the multiple stage option allows the Drum Inverter to reach higher discharge heights while maintaining a low height for easier transportation through low doorways.

Design Configurations

The Rheo Drum Inverter can be configured with four different styles to best fit the specific application.

Free Standing Drum Inverter

The Free Standing frame is fully mobile, allowing it to be used in multiple applications and requiring no floor installation. The mobile cart can be configured with a powered slewing column, allowing the operator to load a drum in one position and then rotate the machine into position over the discharge point.

The Drum Inverter has multiple stages to allow for elevated material transfer and safe transportation

Fixed Mount Drum Inverter

This bolt down design is made for permanent or semi-permanent installation into concrete or steel flooring. The floor mount provides increased stability for high loads. A slewing column is standard for fixed-mount Drum Inverters, allowing the operator to load a drum in one position and then rotate the machine into position over the discharge point.

Fixed mount option for Drum Inverter by Rheo

Rheo designs multiple Power Configurations for equipment

Power Configurations

The Rheo Drum Inverter has two power configuration options available.

  • Manual: For loads less than 75 kg, an all-manual Drum Inverter can be used. Hand cranks are used to grip, lift, and invert drums. This configuration also allows the Drum Inverter to be used in environments where other utilities are not readily available.
  • Fully Pneumatic: For loads less than 100 kg, a fully pneumatic Drum Inverter can be used. This configuration allows the Drum Inverter to be used in environments where hydraulics are not accepted. Air cylinders and air motors are used to lift and position the drum.
  • Pneumatically-powered Hydraulic: This option is the simplest design if compressed air is available. Compressed air is used to power a hydraulic pump which provides pressure to hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors.
  • Battery-powered Hydraulic: Without the need for a compressed air hookup, this option allows for the greatest mobility in a low cycle application. The battery can be used to either power a hydraulic pump for use with hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors or the battery can power electric motors to drive a ball screw and rotary actuator.
  • Plug-in Electric:  This option is the most common configuration because of the speed that it can provide. The Drum Inverter can be configured to use any voltage input and the motors can be sized to deliver the desired speed. This configuration is often coupled with a compressed air input to run some of the components but all-electric is also an option. This configuration can either use a hydraulic pump to power hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic motors or an electric motor can drive a ball screw and rotary actuator.


A variety of options are available for the Rheo Drum Inverters to ensure the final product meets the application needs.

The following are a selection of the options available:

  • Various Discharge Aids [including vibrator, interval impactor, bridge breaker, crusher/screener, and empty-assist]
  • Discharge Valve Types [including manual or pneumatic butterfly valve, tablet valve, rotary valve, dosing valve, iris valve, and split valve]
  • Sight Glass [for viewing inside the compression funnel]

Additional Options for the Drum Inverter by Rheo are available

Use a variety of drum sizes in the Drum Inverter with the compression funnel addition

Drum Compression Funnel

The use of a compression funnel allows for various sized drums to be secured while the Drum Inverter is in operation. A drum liner restraint ring prevents the drum liner from falling into the discharge valve. The compression force can be easily adjusted to allow for various drum weights and structures. The slope and integrated flow aids are customized per application to ensure product flows efficiently.


All exposed surfaces on the Drum Inverter can be fully washed-down for cleaning. Most exposed surfaces are stainless steel, with the exception of some small plumbing components.

Surface Finish

Rheo offers several different surface finish options to fit your application needs.

Visit our GMP Compliance page to learn more.

Common Applications

  • Tablet Press
  • In-Floor Chute Charging
  • IBC Charging
  • V-Blender Charging
  • Packaging Line Hopper Filling
  • Mill Charging
  • Vessel Charging

Drum Inverter in application. See how Rheo customers use their Drum Inverters on the floor