Mini Chip Vac System Keeps Dry Machining Application Clean

Have you ever been faced with cleaning up a machining center after machining plastics? It can be quite messy and troublesome to deal with because the chips like to stick to everything.

I had a customer contact me recently about this very situation. They were machining plastics and needed a way to easily clean up the machining area after about every third or fourth cycle of parts. They were removing so much material during the machining process that the chips would begin causing problems getting stuck in the tooling, in the machine way covers and in the bellows. Following is a photo of what the application looked like.


The customer had been using electric vacuums for the application but those ended up burning up on them quickly. They were purchasing one every three to four months as they kept burning up. The customer then tried looking around for vacuum solutions which did not involve an electric motor. They saw EXAIR’s Vac-U-Gun and contacted me to ask what I thought about using it for their application. After finding out that the chip size can be as large as one inch in any direction, we soon determined that the throat diameter Vac-U-Gun would be too small for pick-up of this larger type material.

The nice thing about EXAIR is that we do have multiple vacuuming solutions to pick from. Next, we looked at EXAIR’s Mini Chip Vac. This unit has a 1-1/2 inch hose size that is used to vacuum up a variety of metal, wood and plastic chips from machining centers. The compact size and the ability of this model to suck up the larger chip sizes made it a viable solution to the customer’s problem. The feature of the Mini Chip Vac that most interested the customer was the fact that it had no moving parts. The compressed air is what does all the work in this product to provide for a clean machining center. And as a side benefit, the sound level of operation was much quieter at 77 dB @ 1 meter when compared to electric vacs which can operate as much as 90+ dB @ 1 meter. All you hear is a slight rush of air moving into the small barrel from the vacuum hose. The Mini Chip Vac comes with a 0.1 micron filter bag to trap most any chip and small particles that become airborne during the vacuuming process.

Chip Vac family

Chip Vacs are available with other sizes of drums being 30, 55, and 110 gallon for applications which require a larger reservoir for the material to be deposited into.

If your process looks like the one above and you have been searching for a new and different way to clean up, contact us. We have quite a few choices to pick from in our Industrial Housekeeping range of product. Or you can watch the Chip Vac Video.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer

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