The SmartVac II Vacuum Control Unit from Pierson Workholding is an example of a Vacuum Generator type of pump. This unit converts 80 PSI of compressed air into a vacuum of 28″ HG using no moving parts. These units do not require tanks or filters since fluids and particles simply pass through the system. Even though the vacuum flow (0.5 CFM) is lower than the two other types, these still reach maximum vacuum quickly (1-2 seconds) in low volume applications such as vacuum chucks and small fixtures.
Bottom Line – These setup easily, are simple to maintain and are ideal for wet or dirty environments found in metal and plastics machining.
The TorrVac Central Vacuum Tank Unit is an example of an electric vacuum pump paired with a tank. These types are ideal for running vacuum lines throughout an entire facility often running parallel to compressed air lines. These turnkey systems can draw deep vacuums at a high flow rates due to the accumulator tank. Filters and water traps are a necessity to keep particles and liquids out of the tank.
Bottom Line – Compared to other types, these are far more costly in both initial cost and maintenance, but make up for it with power and capacity.
The Electric Pump is the most common type due to its widespread use across different industries such as Medical, HVAC, Food Processing and Bulb Manufacturing. These pumps are best used when a high vacuum flow rate is desired (2-10 CFM) with a trade-off of a lower vac level (8-16″ Hg) – often times the maximum vac level isn’t even listed in the product specs.
Bottom Line – Fluids and particles are enemies of these types and perform best when evacuating dry gasses.