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Tips for vacuum success

May 14, 2014
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Along with following a routine maintenance schedule, Wes Taggart of Auto Vac Vacuum Systems, offers up these tips for success:

Follow the rules: Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance manual and service the equipment as necessary and instructed. The manufacturer knows best.

  • Keep it neat: Hang up all vacuum hoses when not in use.
  • Check for wear and tear: Make sure that the vacuum tools and rubber pads are in good condition and not worn out.
  • Check for leaks: Check the separator, piping, hoses, tools, hangars, fittings. Seal any/all leaks or replace items as necessary.
  • Keep it going: Run your vacuum throughout the day. Turning it on and off reduces the life of the equipment and can be cause for unnecessary power spikes, resulting in higher electric bills.
  • Keep the manifold clean: Clean out the manifold as needed to ensure there are no clogs in the piping.
  • Check the size: Confirm that your vacuum horsepower and separator are sized correctly. The power of the turbine and size of the filter separator should be sized according to the demand of the number of simultaneous users on the system. An over-powered system is an inefficient and expensive system.
  • Check your manifold: If the line loss calculation was not considered in your piping to reduce the piping size according to the number of drops and length of the manifold, both loss of pressure and unnecessary clogs will become evident in the system.

What about energy efficiency?

For those operators wanting to invest in an exceptional efficiency solution for their vacuum station, Taggart suggests installing a software-installed, programmed VFD (variable frequency drive).

“The manufacturer should be able to physically demonstrate the functionality of the drive and provide an energy savings estimated report based on the specific implementation of the drive at the site,” says Taggart. “A programmed VFD will improve the efficiency of the motor-driven equipment by matching the speed to the changing load requirements.

Installing a correctly programmed VFD, according to Taggart, will:

  • Dramatically lower electric bills through reduced energy consumption;
  • Extend the equipment life;
  • Lower maintenance costs;
  • Simplify equipment needs;
  • Improve airflow control;
  • Protect driven equipment; and
  • Increase productivity and much more.

The return on investment is short (usually around one year), Taggart says, and, “the savings continue on year after year.”