Vacuum generation is vital to many industrial processes:
*Pick-and-place. Vacuum cup systems are used to move metal sheets onto laser & plasma cutting beds, precisely place parts for assembly using end-of-arm robotic tooling, or moving awkward objects, like plates of glass, by hand.
*Bag/package opening. When plastic bags come off a roll and are fed through an automated filler, vacuum cups can make quick work of opening them up, immediately before the filling operation.
*Vacuum filling. A closed container can be easily filled, without a pump, by simply drawing a vacuum on it. Same mechanism (and simplicity) as when you drink a beverage through a straw.
These are just a few of the typical uses for an EXAIR E-Vac Vacuum Generator…I’ve written before about how this is our most versatile product line (by number of different applications) but these in particular are the ones I want to use to make the case for the Adjustable E-Vacs.
EXAIR Adjustable E-Vac Vacuum Generators are available in four distinct models, depending on the needs of your application. Performance is variable not only by regulating the air supply pressure (like any compressed air product) but also by threading the plug into the body, which changes the size of the annular gap that feeds the Venturi, changing the vacuum and flow levels. This can be used to overcome vacuum loss due to material porosity or vacuum cup leakage in a pick-and place application, to accommodate different bag sizes or types in an opening application, or to change the rate at which a liquid is moved in a vacuum filling operation.
Because of their larger throat diameter, they’re also better suited for situations where particulates or moisture may be entrained…they won’t clog or ‘stall out’ as is common with other Venturi-type products. This is especially useful in vacuum chucking/clamping, or when contaminants from dirty environments can make their way into the system.
Like EXAIR In-Line Vacuum Generators, they instantly develop rated vacuum as soon as compressed air is supplied, so they’re well suited for fast moving operations. With no moving parts, they’re durable, effective, and if you feed them with clean, dry air, they’ll operate a good long time, virtually maintenance free.
If you have a vacuum generating application you’d like to discuss, please give me a call.
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Giovanni Battista Venturi was an Italian physicist that was born in Bibbiano, Italy on March 15, 1746. He died at the age of 76 on April 24, 1822. During his early life, Giovanni was ordained as a priest at the age of 23; and, he became a professor of geometry and philosophy at the University of Modena at the age of 28. He moved to Paris France where he worked with other scholars to expand his knowledge of physics and chemistry. In 1797, he wrote a dissertation on the now famous “Venturi effect”. However, an actual device was never created or applied until 1888 where Clemens Herschel was awarded the patent for the first Venturi tube.
The Venturi effect is a decrease in fluid pressure when fluid flows through a constricted area of a pipe. In other words, as the diameter becomes smaller, the fluid velocity becomes faster. This increase in velocity will create a lower pressure just past the constricted area. when designed correctly, you can create a strong vacuum or a large negative pressure.
The EXAIR E-Vac® Vacuum Generators use this phenomenon founded by Giovanni Venturi by using compressed air as the fluid. This type of Venturi tube restricts the internal area to generate a fast velocity through the body creating a vacuum pressure for suction. EXAIR offers three types of Venturi tubes; low vacuum, high vacuum and adjustable. The high vacuum generators can create a vacuum level as high as 27” Hg (71 KPa). The Adjustable E-Vacs can alter the internal air velocities by turning the body and getting different vacuum pressures. Without any moving parts or electric motors to wear, the EXAIR E-Vacs are a simple design that is very durable, effective and long-lasting. A great product for applications like pick and place, clamping, lifting and vacuum forming,
The Venturi effect was discovered in 1797, brought into existence in 1888, and is still used in vacuum applications to this very day. If you have an application where a Venturi tube could help you, please contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to assist you.
EXAIR’s In-Line and Adjustable E-Vacs are powerful compressed air powered vacuum generators. They’re a low-cost way to create a vacuum for a variety of different applications: pick and place, clamping, chucking, lifting, surface mounting, and vacuum forming are just some of the possibilities. Both the In-Line and Adjustable E-Vacs are available in a variety of different sizes and flows and can accommodate a wide range of applications.
With no moving parts to wear out, EXAIR’s E-Vacs are virtually maintenance free when supplied with clean, dry compressed air. To maintain proper operation of your E-Vac, installation of an Automatic Drain Filter to remove any particulate and moisture from the air supply is necessary. In addition, oil removal filters are also available if your compressed air supply contains any oil as is common in many compressed air systems.
For pick and place or lifting applications, vacuum cups will be necessary. With a wide variety of different vacuum cups available: small round, large round, oval, and bellows, we can accommodate nearly any size or shape material. For heavier materials, round cups with cleats provide rigidity and ensure that the load remains stable. For applications on textured or uneven surfaces, bellows style cups have convolutions that allow for the cup to quickly decompress when it touches the surface of an uneven part or material.
The vacuum port of the E-Vac has an NPT thread, vacuum cups can be installed directly in this inlet. For applications where the vacuum cup(s) are remotely located, we offer polyurethane vacuum tubing as well as a variety of different fittings to connect them. Both 1/4” and 3/8” O.D. sizes are available in 10’ lengths up to 50’. Simply indicate the model number of the tubing and add the length with a “-“ at the suffix. For example, a 900795-30 would be 30′ of 1/4″ O.D. tubing. In addition to fittings and tubing, vacuum check valves are also available. These can be beneficial if there is potential for fluctuations in the compressed air pressure or supply. In the event that there is a significant drop in pressure or loss of compressed air supply, the check valve will ensure that the load remains held.
With all of the different options making a selection can seem like a daunting task. A highly trained EXAIR Application Engineer is ready and available to help you!! With just a few quick details, we can help advise you about the proper size E-Vac generator for your application as well as recommend the most suitable cup and accessories. Give us a call, shoot us an e-mail, or reach out to us online via chat and we’ll make sure you have a complete vacuum solution ASAP with all parts ready to ship from stock!
E-Vac Vacuum Generators are a highly efficient, versatile compressed air vacuum pump. Their versatility allows them to be adapted to many applications such as pick and place, clamping or vacuum forming. They’ve also been used in more unique applications like wood veneer pressing and basketball deflation.
EXAIR manufactures (3) types of E-Vacs – Low vacuum generators for porous materials, like cardboard, generating up to 21″ Hg with vacuum flows as high as 18.5 SCFM. Our high vacuum generators, designed for use with non-porous materials like glass or steel sheets, produce vacuum levels up to 27″ Hg and up to 15.8 SCFM of vacuum flow. The adjustable generators provide flexible vacuum performance, up to 25″ Hg and 81 SCFM, which can be easily adapted to meet the application.
When making a selection, there are a few key areas you want to consider:
Is the material porous or non-porous?
This will allow you to select the proper type of vacuum generator to fit the application and the type of vacuum cup best suited for the process.
What is the weight of the part and how will it be lifted?
If the part is being lifted where the vacuum cups will be positioned horizontally, like on top of a sheet of glass, you want to use a safety factor of 2 times the actual weight of the part. In processes requiring the cups be positioned vertically on the part, such as picking up a sheet of plywood and hanging it on an overhead conveyor, a safety factor of 4 would be used.
How many Vacuum Cups do I need?
Consider the quantity and placement to evenly distribute the weight for safely moving the material.
Depending on the maximum vacuum the generator produce, how much weight can each cup lift?
Once you have selected the type and number of cups needed, you can then begin to look at which additional accessories items you might need.
Filters – supplying clean, dry air is key for maintaining optimal performance. An automatic drain filter can be used to remove any water or contaminants in the supply line. If there is oil present, consider using an Oil Removal Filter.
Mufflers – help to reduce the noise level without restricting the airflow. We offer 2 different styles – Standard and Straight Through. Standards mufflers are a good choice where the supply air is clean and dry. These mufflers can only be used with the porous and non-porous generators. The Straight Through mufflers reduces sound levels by up to 26 dBA and are the better choice in processes where dirt or particulate may be present.
Tubing and Fittings – polyurethane tubing is available in 10′ sections up to 50′ for processes requiring the vacuum cups be placed in a location that wouldn’t allow for direct mounting to the NPT vacuum port on the generator or where multiple cups are needed. You want to keep the length of tubing as short as possible though for effective pickup and release time.
Check Valve – will maintain vacuum on the load if the supply pressure were to drop or be lost during operation.
For additional assistance selecting the proper E-Vac and accessories for your process, please contact an application engineer at 800-903-9247.
With the amount of energy in compressed air, EXAIR can manipulate it by design for a variety of applications. One way that we can do this is by creating a vacuum pressure by the Venturi effect. By increasing the velocity of air through a constricted area, a low pressure, or vacuum, is created. Unlike a mechanical vacuum pump, the E-Vac does not have any moving parts or motors to wear. This maintenance free device uses only compressed air to generate a powerful vacuum pressure in a very compact and lightweight design. They can create vacuum levels up to 27” Hg (91 kPa) where complete vacuum is at 29.92” Hg (101.4 kPa). With our single stage systems, we can generate different vacuum levels and flows to create the optimal vacuum generation for your application.
Have you ever placed your hand over the hose of a vacuum? You can feel the maximum amount of vacuum pressure on your hand. The maximum vacuum pressure value is only at the condition of zero air flow. When you remove your hand from the hose, you change the vacuum pressure to a much lower value, but now you have the maximum amount of air flow. Like the E-Vacs, EXAIR has designed the product to either give you the maximum vacuum pressure or the maximum vacuum air flow. EXAIR separates these two vacuum generators as High Vacuum and Low Vacuum.
The high vacuum style is designed for non-porous products like glass, marble, and steel sheets. The low vacuum style is for porous products like cardboard, fabric, and plywood. Both types of vacuum generators are commonly used to pick and place parts, open bags, evacuate molds, and vacuum forming. They are easily adjusted by a regulator and a solenoid valve making the E-Vac very versatile. Even with no moving parts, these vacuum generators are quick to respond with very long cycle rates. The inline design makes them easy to install, so, you can begin using this vacuum product without much setup time. With the single stage design, it eliminates any vacuum fluctuation. I will go through both types of E-Vacs to explain the advantages in using these kinds of vacuum generators for different applications.
The High Vacuum Generator is used for non-porous products in pick and place applications as well as vacuum forming, clamping, and evacuation. This type of generator can create a vacuum pressure up to 27” Hg (91 kPa). In conjunction with the EXAIR vacuum cups, it allows for maximum holding capacity for heavy materials. We offer 7 different sizes ranging from 2 SCFM (65 SLPM) to 31 SCFM (872 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). They can be matched to the size and quantity of vacuum cups for increased efficiency as well as for improved cycle rates. If the surface of a rigid sheet is smooth or the application requires a high vacuum pressure, the High Vacuum E-Vac Generator would be the best product to use.
The Low Vacuum Generator is used for porous products as well as more delicate surfaces. This generator has a maximum vacuum pressure of 21” Hg (71 kPa). The design is such to allow for maximum air flow to make up any losses through the material or sealing area. With a regulator, you can control the maximum vacuum level to eliminate dimpling or disfiguring of the surface. Even with fabrics and rough surfaces, the Low Vacuum Generator can still pick up and hold the material. We offer 7 different sizes ranging from 1.5 SCFM (42.5 SLPM) to 17 SCFM (476 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). They can also be matched to the size and quantity of vacuum cups as well as to overcome any leakage. If the surface of the product being moved is rough or the surface is very delicate, the Low Vacuum E-Vac Generator would be the best product to use.
EXAIR created a video to show the difference between the E-Vacs as well as a demonstration.
For experimentation with the E-Vacs and the vacuum cups, EXAIR offers kits for both types of generators. The standard kit includes four pairs of vacuum cups (matched to the size of the E-Vac), 10 feet (3 m) of poly line, and an assortment of fittings. For the Deluxe kit, it will include the same items in the standard kit, plus an automatic drain filter and a regulator. The E-Vacs are made of a durable 6061 aluminum, but if a different material is required for your application, EXAIR can review this request.
The EXAIR E-Vac offers an efficient, simple, and maintenance free solution to create vacuum. Whether lifting product horizontally or vertically, opening bags, aligning sheets or leak checking, the E-Vac ensures a flexible and reliable way to continuously keep your operation moving. As compared to an electric vacuum pump, these vacuum generators are much smaller, less expensive and much quieter. If you need help in sizing and selecting the correct model, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.
When I think of “special” in regard to Air Amplifiers, I’m more inclined to think of the applications they can be used in. I mean, the Air Amplifier itself is about as straight-forward as an engineered compressed air product can be:
Considering the simplicity of the product itself, they can be used for a large variety of “typical” applications:
There are no shortage of “special” applications either. They’re used successfully in Air Operated Conveyance applications (when the stronger vacuum head of a Line Vac isn’t required) and we’ve even got a customer who uses one instead of an E-Vac Vacuum Generator for a “pick & place” operation…they’re picking up small, porous fiber discs (sort of like a coffee filter) one at a time, and the E-Vac wanted to pick up a good part of the whole stack, no matter how low they turned the pressure. And of course, I can’t think of anything more special about Air Amplifiers than this:
With fifteen distinct models to choose from in a range of sizes (3/4″ to 8″,) materials (aluminum or Stainless Steel) and even a High Temperature model that’s rated to 700°F (374°C), we’ve still made a fair number of Custom Air Amplifiers too…thirty-four, to be exact, as of this writing.
I won’t bore you with all the details – I can’t, actually, because some of them are proprietary* – but here are some “regular” examples of “special” accommodations:
Connections: EXAIR Air Amplifiers have smooth bores on the inlet & outlet plenums that you can hose clamp a hose (or round duct) to if you need to get air flow from, or to, one place or another. Sometimes, though, they’re going in to an existing system, so we’ve made them with flanges (150#RF and Sanitary Tri-Clamp, for example) or threads (NPT or BSPP.) If you want to use something other than a standard hose or duct line, we can help.
Material of construction: Our durable, lightweight aluminum Super & Adjustable Air Amplifiers are just fine an awful lot of the time. Our type 303 Stainless Steel Adjustable Air Amplifiers will hold up to heat and corrosives. We’ve also in PTFE (Teflon™) as well as a range of metal alloys to meet specific corrosion or wear conditions. If your environment calls for a little something extra, we can help.
Assembly: Super Air Amplifiers are fitted with a stock shim that gives you published performance. We’ve got other thicknesses, though, if you need more (or less) flow, though. Adjustable Air Amplifiers are, well, adjustable…you just thread the plug in/out of the body until you get the results you want. Sometimes the user knows what shim they want in a Super Air Amplifier, or what gap their Adjustable Air Amplifier needs to be set to, and we can assemble it accordingly. If you have a ‘tried-and-true’ performance setting and want it met right out of the box, we can help.
Assembly, part 2: Good engineering practices call for lubrication on O-rings and threaded connections, and we use high quality, general purpose compounds when assembling our Air Amplifiers. These are detrimental, however, in certain situations (silicone exclusion areas, I’m looking at you.) If certain chemicals or compounds are prohibited by your application, we can help.
*Let’s say you’ve done the “heavy lifting” to call out one (or more) of these special design features. If we make a custom product (and that’s not just Air Amplifiers, by the way) using directions based on your time and labor, we’ll treat that product as proprietary to you, and you alone.
EXAIR has 208 catalog pages worth of Intelligent Compressed Air Products on the shelf…8 of those pages are our Air Amplifiers. If you want to talk about customizing one to meet your needs, give me a call.
A textbook application for vacuum generators is the ‘pick and place’ function. With ever increasing automation and robotic cells, more and more opportunities present themselves to utilize the E-Vac Vacuum Generator as a part of the system to ‘pick up’ an object and ‘place’ it in a new position. But the E-Vac’s can be used for many more types of applications.
Another popular usage is to hold something in place. One of our customers uses an array of Adjustable E-Vacs to pull a vacuum and hold down various sizes of Styrofoam sheets during a machining operation. The previous system was a 1 hp blower type, and did not offer any flexibility for handling different size sheets. Sheets would slip and produce off quality results. After installing the new design, the system was able to handle any size sheet, and scrap levels went down dramatically.
A unique implication that was solved with an E-Vac was to deflate sporting balls. The customer printed custom logos, and preferred the items to be flat for the printing operation. Using a commercial grade electric shop vac didn’t completely deflate the balls, and motors burned out often. Using a low vacuum In-Line E-Vac with a quiet Straight Through Muffler, the customer can now quickly and quietly, fully deflate the balls.
Another popular use for the E-Vac is to pull a vacuum for drawing up liquids or gases. A customer that manufactures automotive seats was having issues with the process, where the expanding foam was producing a gas, and the gas would produce pockets and voids in the foam after setting. The customer used a model 800017 In-Line E-Vac to create a vacuum inside the mold and draw off the gas, eliminating the pockets and the voids in the final product.
Lastly, as I am big fan of recycling, anything and everything, we worked with a customer that recycles the old CRT style of computer monitor (remember those?) The housing would be sawed in half, so that access to the internal components could be made. Because of the variability in the size and shape of the monitors, the customer was using an adjustable chuck system, which took time to set-up for every monitor, each being a bit different. To speed up the process, an EXAIR In-Line E-Vac and 5″ Suction Cup was implemented, and the monitor held in place by the screen, which was was very consistent in shape from monitor to monitor. This change reduced the set-up time required.
These and other Applications for the E-VACs and all other EXAIR products can be found on the EXAIR website on the Products page, under the Related Info section toward the bottom of each page.
If you have questions regarding E-Vac Vacuum Generators or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.