2016 Vacuum Pumps Survey Results

Find out how readers use vacuum pump technology and more from the latest survey results.

By Ryan Ackerman

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.

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.

Types of vacuum pump used by survey respondents:

Oil-sealed direct drive pump 47%
Oil-free diaphragm pump 44%
Oil-sealed belt-drive pump 31%
Central vacuum to bench turrets 23%
Oil-free scroll pump 16%
Compressed air systems 16%
Water jet aspirator vacuum 5%
Other 3%

Vacuum pump applications as reported by survey respondents:

Vacuum or pressure filtration 60%
Degassing 31%
Liquid aspiration 25%
Mass spectrometry 24%
Rotary evaporator 24%
Vacuum oven 21%
Freeze drying 17%
Gel dryer 8%
Other 15%

Nearly 44% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new vacuum pump. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of aging pump
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase of a pump

Top 10 Features/Factors Respondents Look for When Purchasing a Vacuum Pump:

Durability of product 93%
Ease of use 78%
Leak tightness 71%
High suction 67%
Value for price paid 64%
Safety and health features 54%
Warranties 52%
Availability of supplies and accessories 49%
Low noise level 49%
On-site maintenance/cleaning 47%

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

A Lab App For That Magazine Issue Cover
A Lab App For That

Published: May 12, 2016

Cover Story

A Lab App for That

In this article, we look at more general applications that are useful in the laboratory, no matter the type, as well as specialty apps from instrument vendors.
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