Getting a vacuum from compressed air seems a bit like magic, but it works and it works well. EXAIR’sE-Vac® Vacuum Generators are compressed air powered, single stage vacuum generators. They are a low cost way to create vacuum for pick and place, clamping, lifting, chucking, vacuum forming and other applications.
The Low Vacuum Generators are ideal for ‘porous’ types of applications. When we say ‘porous’ we are describing those processes where a lighter vacuum level combined with higher vacuum flows are needed. A good example of this is lifting a cardboard box. The cardboard is not air tight, and when you place a vacuum on it, air is able to be pulled through the cardboard. To maintain the vacuum level, the air needs to be able to be pulled through the cardboard and exhausted as fast as it is being pulled through in order to maintain the vacuum level. This requires higher vacuum flow and the design of the Low Vacuum Generator allows for the development of a good vacuum level and a high rate of vacuum flow.
The High Vacuum Generator is ideal for ‘non-porous’ type of applications. ‘Non-porous’ are those processes where the material is air tight, and no or very little air can pass through. Material such as glass, ceramic, and steel are ‘non-porous’. Because little or no air passes through, the need for high vacuum flow is not as important, and the highest of vacuum level can be achieved. A perfect vacuum is 29.92 in-Hg, and the High Vacuum Generator is designed to reach vacuum levels of 27 in-Hg, or a 90% vacuum level.
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Both the Low Vacuum and High Vacuum Generators come in 7 different sizes, ranging from light to very strong vacuum capabilities, to match any application. Special Kits are available as a way to experiment with an assortment of vacuum cups to determine the best configuration.
And for maximum flexibility, EXAIR offers the Adjustable E-Vac Vacuum Generator. Engineered for high efficiency, compressed air can be minimized due to the ability to adjust and tune the vacuum flow and level to perfectly match the application requirements.
If you have questions about vacuum generation and the E-Vac or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
In my last blog, I went over How to Choose/Build an E-Vac system, and you can read about that here– The E-Vac’s are a compressed air powered, single stage vacuum generator, providing a low cost solution for creating a vacuum for many applications. Today, we will look at the many accessories that are available to complete a vacuum system best suited to your vacuum application.
For pick and place operations and hold down or clamping processes, we offer an array of Vacuum Cups. Available from stock are small and large Round, Oval, and Bellows styles. Round cups are best suited for smooth, flat surfaces. Oval cups provide the most vacuum due to the larger surface area, making them ideal for lifting heavy loads. The Bellows style is best suited for textured or uneven surfaces, where the folds provide a collapsible area that allows the cup to compress and seal to the uneven surface.
For vacuum processes where personnel are nearby, there are two (2) types of mufflers available to reduce the sound level to comply with the limits OSHA Standard 29 CFR – 1910.95(a) has established. The EXAIR E-Vac Mufflers are designed so that the E-Vac exhaust is not impeded, so that the highest and fastest vacuum response is achieved. The Standard Muffler (for use with In-Line E-Vacs only) has a closed end and is best suited for vacuum draws that are free from dust and debris. The Straight Through Muffler is open all the way through and is recommended for those vacuum draws where there will be dirt and debris, since it will not plug up. The Straight Through style offers the best sound level reduction, up to 26 dBA.
The vacuum port of the E-Vacs has an NPT threaded connection and with a suitable connector, a vacuum cup can be closely installed, minimizing the system air volume. When vacuum cups are to be remotely mounted, Push-In Connector Type Fittings of assorted styles are available along with the polyurethane tubing to make the installation and vacuum plumbing a cinch.
And finally, to get the best performance and maintenance free operation from your E-Vac, always use a source of clean, dry compressed air. We can help you do that with a wide array of Automatic Drain Filter Separators and Oil Removal Filters sized to pair up with the various E-Vac’s. Also available are Pressure Regulators, Vacuum Gauges, Manual Shut Off Valves, Solenoid Valves, and Compressed Air Hose.
If you have questions about E-Vacs and accessories or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
EXAIR’s compressed air powered E-Vac single stage vacuum generators are a low cost way create vacuum for many operations including- pick and place, clamping, chucking, alignment, lifting, and many others.
The E-Vac provide instantaneous response and are commonly used for pick and place operations.
EXAIR offers the In-Line and Adjustable style of E-Vacs. Both are compact and easy to mount at point of use. With 18 total models available, there is sure to be one that meets any application.
How to Build An E-Vac System:
Step 1 – Select E-Vac type:
A – Determine if the part to be lifted is porous (Example, cardboard) or non-porous (Example, plastic sheet)
Porous materials require a low vacuum generator which produces a lower vacuum in exchange for higher vacuum flow which is capable of maintaining a good vacuum level through material that aloows air to flow through itself.
Non-Porous materials are best suited to use the high vacuum generator which is capable of producing more powerful vacuum for the application.
B – Select a style of E-Vac – In-Line Low Vacuum, In-Line High Vacuum, or Adjustable
Non-Porous – high vacuum generator, max vacuum = 27″ Hg (91 kPa)
Adjustable – max vacuum = 25″ Hg (85 kPa)
Step 2 – Find the weight of the part to be lifted:
Step 3 – Multiply the weight by a vacuum cup safety factor (2 for a horizontal vacuum cup position, and 4 for a sideways vacuum cup position)
Step 4 – Determine the number of cups needed, considering the following:
A – How many cups are needed to evenly distribute the weight for stable lifting and placement.
B – What is the weight that each vacuum cup can lift based on maximum vacuum available?
C – Select the appropriate vacuum cup from the different styles available.
Step 5 – Choose the E-Vac model, considering the entire vacuum system from the E-vac to the part:
A – Number of vacuum cups per E-Vac.
B – Length and size of the vacuum tubing.
C – Vacuum cup size and type.
The volume of air to evacuate from your vacuum system and the vacuum flow of the E-Vac selected will determine the time it takes to build the lifting vacuum level.
A lower volume of air in the system and/or higher capacity (SCFM/SLPM) E-Vac will result in faster pick-up times.
It is difficult to calculate an exact pick-up time.
Example – Sheet of material 3′ x 3′ (0.91m x 0.91 m) that weighs 25 lbs. (11.3 kg). Each sheet is in stack and will be placed on a conveyor.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when building an E-Vac system. Feel free to contact us and we can help go through the steps.
If you have questions about E-Vacs or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Vacuum cleaners…most of us think of the electric-powered devices that we clean our carpets at home with. The idea of utilizing vacuum in cleaning applications, however, predates the widespread introduction of electric power by a couple of decades. The original idea was to marry a manual vacuum generating device to a carpet sweeper. These had been around for some time, and they’re still seen today: the beater brush turns as the sweeper is pushed across the floor; it picks up dirt in the brush bristles, and deposits it in an internal receptacle. You’ve probably seen them used in restaurants to tidy up small messes on the floor, in lieu of dragging out the noisy vacuum cleaner while folks are eating.
Anyway, these first vacuum cleaners relied on a bellows, piston cylinder, or other such device that was operated by hand, foot – or, according to one source, a rocking chair – to generate a vacuum. Since it took one person to operate the vacuum generating part, and another to push the sweeper, they weren’t very popular at a time when folks were generally looking for labor SAVING products.
The proliferation of electric power around the turn of the 19th/20th century brought about electric vacuum cleaners. Most homes have one…including the ‘shop vac’ in my garage, my home actually has three. These are great for home use; many have long cords that allow you to clean the floors in adjacent rooms without unplugging & re-plugging, and most come with a convenient set of tools for baseboards, furniture, HVAC vents, etc. For carpet & upholstery, they can’t be beat.
In industrial settings, though, the electric-powered models can find themselves at a disadvantage. The impellers can clog or break, and the electric motors will, in time, burn out. If used in wet environments, great care must be used (as with any electric products) or there can be a very real shock hazard.
EXAIR Industrial Housekeeping Products offer a solution to all of these issues. With no moving parts or electric motors, they are extremely reliable. If you supply them with clean air, they can run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free. And no electric power means no shock hazard.
We have a variety of products to meet most any need. Our Chip Vacs and Heavy Duty Dry Vacs are made for dry material cleanup. They install (in minutes) on an open top drum, and are available with a variety of accessories…tools, drum dollies, tool holders…even the drum itself if you need one. The Chip Vac is specified for most ‘general purpose’ jobs; the Heavy Duty Dry Vac is more powerful, and abrasion resistant, for more aggressive needs. Both exhaust the vacuum air flow through a Filter Bag to contain the particulate in the drum.
The Heavy Duty HEPA Vac features the same high power and rugged construction as the Heavy Duty Dry Vac, but replaces the Filter Bag with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter for maximum dust containment. These are used where critical dust removal, mold & allergen containment, or trapping airborne irritants are called for.
The Reversible Drum Vac is a two-way liquid pumping system, also made for mounting on standard steel drums…closed top drums, in this case. They can fill or empty a 55 gallon drum in 90 seconds. Options include 5, 30, and 110 gallon drum sizes, and a High Lift model – increased suction head for deep wells, underground tanks, or higher viscosity liquids, up to 1,400 cP.
The Reversible Drum Vac is also at the heart of our popular and award-winning coolant filtration system: the EXAIR Chip Trapper. A Filter Bag in the “fill” line traps chips, swarf, and shavings. The liquid passes through, and is able to be immediately pumped back out. Not only is coolant life extended, regular cleaning of the coolant sump prevents loss of coolant flow due to clogging of the supply lines. The Chip Trapper is available in 30, 55, and 110 gallon sizes, and also in the High Lift version.
Speaking of two-way operation, the EXAIR Vac-u-Gun is both a vacuum AND blow gun…simply reverse the orientation of the nozzle insert to reverse the operation:
The Vac-u-Gun is an efficient, quiet, and versatile tool with numerous applications, from vacuuming sawdust or shavings, to conveying small parts or pellets, to blowing off chips, water, coolant, or scrap. And, just in time for Spring Cleaning season, we’re letting you find out just how handy it is, for free – by including one with any qualifying Industrial Vacuum purchase, now through April 30, 2019.
If you need to clean up spills, pump out a sump, or basically just move liquid from one place to another, the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac is what you’re looking for. The Model 6196 Reversible Drum Vac System is all you need to turn a closed top steel drum into a powerful two-way pumping system. They’re reliable (no moving parts), durable (stainless steel construction), safe (no electricity), they install quickly, they’re compact, and portable. They’re also very low maintenance…in fact, if you supply the Reversible Drum Vac with clean air, it’ll run maintenance free, darn near indefinitely.
That’s not to say things can’t go wrong…Murphy’s Law still applies…but most anything that can go wrong with the EXAIR Reversible Drum Vac can be identified fairly easily, and remedied fairly quickly. Here’s a rundown of “the usual suspects:”
Vacuum leaks. Even small leaks can be a big problem…a crack or split in the hose, a worn hose cuff, a damaged seal, even a hairline crack in the drum or lid…if air can enter anywhere other than the suction end of the hose, vacuum performance can suffer. The first thing to do in most any troubleshooting procedure is a visual inspection, and the Reversible Drum Vac is no exception. We stock the gaskets for the vacuum hose quick connect, as well as the drum lid seals.
Compressed air supply, part 1. There are some tight passages in the Venturi chamber inside the Reversible Drum Vac; this is how the vacuum is generated. Any contaminants such as dirt or rust can accumulate in these passages, hampering the ability to draw its rated vacuum levels.
Use of a Filter Separator (like our Model 9004 Automatic Drain Filter Separator) with a 5 micron particulate element is recommended. If the Reversible Drum Vac does get dirty inside, though, it can be cleaned pretty easily…here’s a video that walks you through the process:
Compressed air supply, part 2. The Reversible Drum Vac will produce rated performance when supplied with compressed air at 80psig. Make sure you can get enough air to it; if your supply line is too long and/or too small in diameter, you’ll get line loss…and poor performance. Use a 3/8″ ID compressed air hose, or a 1/2″ ID if it’s longer than about 10 feet, and avoid any restrictions like quick connect fittings.
Compressed air supply, part 3. If you want to fill the drum a little faster, you can increase the supply pressure to 100psig or so. Too high of a supply pressure can actually degrade vacuum performance, though. Excessive pressure can create enough flow to overwhelm the Venturi, hampering its ability to generate vacuum.
Safety Shutoff Valve Float. The Reversible Drum Vac provides overflow prevention via a plastic float that rises when the drum is full. This breaks the vacuum so that no more liquid can be pumped into a full drum. When the float rises, you’ll hear a change in pitch. If you hear this, and the drum isn’t full, remove the Reversible Drum Vac from the drum lid and turn it upside down/right side up a few times. The float should move freely, all the way from the bottom to the top of its chamber. If it doesn’t, remove it and make sure the float, o-ring, and the inside of the chamber are clean. Certain chemicals can cause the float and/or o-ring to swell, which will impede its free movement. If the body of the Reversible Drum Vac is damaged (pro tip: don’t drop it) that can also cause the float to hang up and not work properly.
Like I said, these are just the first things you want to look for, and it’s highly likely you’re going to solve the problem before you reach the end of this list. If your Reversible Drum Vac (or any EXAIR product) isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, though, don’t hesitate to call an Application Engineer. Chances are, the vacuum unit is just fine and just needs a fresh gasket, a little cleanup, or a new drum. We want to make sure you get the most out of our products.
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Last week, we looked at the Vac-u-Gun, and you can take a look at that blog here.
This week I wanted to present the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun, a special iteration of the Vac-u-Gun, designed to provide a solution to the troublesome process of cleaning cavities and drilled holes.
The Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun is a low cost solution to quickly remove chips and debris from grooves and drilled holes where blow gun could create potentially hazardous flying debris. The Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun is simply positioned over the hole, and the trigger squeezed and then a small blow tube delivers a a stream of air to dislodge and lift the chips while the large suction tube vacuum them away. The operator is protected form flying debris since all chips and debris is contained within the clear suction tube. The device is capable of cleaning holes up to 1-1/4″ (32mm) diameter and 18″ (457mm) deep!
How does the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun work?
Compressed air, normally 80-100 PSIG (5.5 – 6.9 bar), flows through the inlet (1) into an annular plenum chamber (2) when the trigger is pressed. A small amount of air is injected into the blow tube (3) to provide agitation and lift to the chips or debris. The larger airflow is injected into the the throat of the gun through directed nozzles (4). The jets of air create the vacuum at the intake (5) which draws the material in and accelerates it through the unit. The chips, debris or other particulates can then be exhausted into a filter bag or hose attached to the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun System.
We have found many applications where the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun is beneficial- including removing chips and debris in:
Holes in fixtures, drilled plastics, T-slots’groove cleaning , coolant evacuation from parts, woodworking, tapped holes, cavity evacuation, and many more!
Low cost, no moving parts/maintenance free, durable die cast construction, eliminates shock hazard – no electricity, meets OSHA pressure requirements, safe operation – no flying chips, lightweight and portable, and quiet.
The Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun uses less compressed air than ordinary blow guns, and the amplified output flow is 12 times the air consumption rate.
Note that the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun should not be operated without a filter bag or vacuum hose attached to the exhaust.
There are three (3) Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun System options-
The Model 6094 is the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun only.
The Model 6194 comes with a reusable bag and clamp for debris collection.
The Model 6394 comes with the reusable bag and a 10′ (3m) section of vacuum hose for transferring the debris to a collection point.
If you have questions about the Deep Hole Vac-u-Gun or any of the 16 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
What is the Vac-u-Gun? It is a low cost solution to many types of cleaning operations within an industrial setting. The Vac-u-Gun is a vacuum gun, a blow gun, and a transfer tool, all-in-one! It is lightweight, easy to use, has durable die cast construction, and best of all, no moving parts to wear out. Simply hook up to a compressed air hose, and get to work.
The Vac-u-Gun contains a nozzle insert that dictates the direction of air flow and operation. By simply unscrewing the the cap, reversing the orientation of the nozzle insert, and re-installing the cap, the gun is changed from a vacuum device to a blowoff device, and vice-versa.
The Vac-u-Gun can be used in three modes- Vacuum, Transfer and Blowoff-
Vacuum Mode – Vacuum shavings, absorbents, sawdust, or spills into a reusable bag, or into a receptacle via the vacuum hose. Why blow it off and the have to sweep it up later?
Transfer Mode – Transfer small parts, pellets, or trim over long distances, using the smooth bore vacuum hose.
Blowoff Mode – Blow chips, water, coolant, or scrap away from the work area. The large 1-1/4″ diameter outlet directs the air over a larger area in less time. The Vac-u-Gun uses less compressed air than an ordinary blow gun.
There are many advantages to a Vac-u-Gun, and some are:
Low cost, no moving parts/maintenance free, durable die cast construction, easy to switch form vacuum to blow mode, safe – no electricity, meets OSHA pressure requirements, lightweight and portable, versatile, and quiet.
Versatile! In just seconds, the Vac-u-Gun can transform from a powerful, handheld vacuum tool into an efficient blow gun or transfer tool for lightweight materials. Each Vac-u-Gun System comes with the attachments needed to suit numerous industrial applications.
Three (3) Vac-u-Gun System options are available and shown below-
All of the Systems include the Vac-u-Gun, brush, crevice tool, skimmer tool and (2) extension wands.
The Model 6192 Collection System also includes the reusable bag with clamp for debris collection.
The Model 6292 Transfer System also includes the vacuum hose, for transferring the debris to a collection point.
The Model 6392 All Purpose System also includes both the reusable bag and clamp and the transfer hose, providing the most versatility of all.
To view a video that shows the Model 6392 All Purpose System, and demonstrates how it works, please view the video below-
If you have questions about the Vac-u-Gun or any of the 16 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.