Vacuum pumps are an essential piece of equipment and are used in a wide variety of processes in most laboratories. Over the past 25 years, it has become apparent that vendors have made significant innovative improvements to vacuum pumps, with important developments in high vacuum technology, corrosion resistance, vacuum control, and improvements in the efficiency and ecological impact of vacuum pumps.
Types of vacuum pumps currently used by survey respondents:
|Oil-sealed direct drive pump||25%|
|Oil-free diaphragm pump||22%|
|Oil-sealed belt drive pump||15%|
|Central vacuum to bench turrets||10%|
|Compressed air systems||8%|
|Water jet aspirator vacuum||8%|
Top 5 vacuum pump controls as reported by survey respondents:
|No control – just turn it on||35%|
|Manual adjustment of knob||24%|
|Electronic control on pump||16%|
|Central Vacuum – on/off control||13%|
|Electronic control on vacuum application||12%|
Nearly 45% of respondents currently using a vacuum pump plan on purchasing a new or additional system in the next year for the following reasons:
||Replacement of an aging pump|
||Addition to existing system – increasing capacity|
||Setting up a new lab|
||First time purchase|
Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Vacuum Pump
|1. What will you be using the vacuum for? Filtration needs modest vacuum. Evaporation requires deeper vacuum. Molecular distillation requires even more. Match the pump to the use.
|2. Can you use a dry (oil-free) vacuum pump? Oil-free vacuum pumps can support most lab applications. For the service advantages, choose a dry pump where possible.
|3. What is the pumping capacity at the intended vacuum level? Actual pumping speed declines from the nominal speed as depth of vacuum increases. The rate of decline differs among pumps.
|4. Do you work with corrosive media? Standard duty pumps have lower purchase costs, but corrosion-resistant pumps will have lower lifetime costs if working with corrosives.
|5. Should you invest in vacuum control? Electronics can improve reproducibility, protect samples and shorten process times when specific vacuum conditions need to be maintained.
|6. What is the lifetime cost of operation? Include purchase cost, service intervals, servicing cost, pump protection (e.g., filters, cold traps), and staff time for operation.
Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a vacuum pump:
For more information on vacuum pumps, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/vacuum-pumps
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