2013 Vacuum Pumps Survey Results

By Lab Manager

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%
Oil-free-scroll pump 6%
Other type 5%

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
Back-up system

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

See the most recent survey results

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Herding Cats Magazine Issue Cover
Herding Cats

Published: July 1, 2013

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Herding Cats

Lab managers make no secret of their desire for a bigger serving of commitment and cooperation from their staff scientists and technicians. However, dealing with such highly trained and knowledgeable workers can prove challenging. Managers need to create environments in which their staff can become energized, motivated, cooperative, and committed.

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