Single-stage and multi-stage vacuum pumps have been around for quite some time, but some designers and engineers remain unsure about when to use one versus the other. For example, which pump is best for pick-and-place applications with large objects? Is one a better option for end-of-arm tooling? What about for evacuating tanks, bottles or drums? Or processes such as box-carton folding and handling? How about clamping and holding during bottle-filling operations?
The best choices depend on variables such as dirt tolerance; costs to reduce clogging; actions needed to regain lost suction; and vacuum level, flow and speed requirements. They are also affected by the size, shape and material of the object being lifted, as well as by the application for which the vacuum pump is being used. For example, semiconductor applications, medical industries, material handling in manufacturing processes, manufacturing lines and vacuum pumps used on robots may all have different vacuum pump requirements.
Which pump type is better? Under what circumstances? Let’s take a deeper dive into vacuum and see:
Vacuum is used to hold things in place or move them from one place to another. When air is removed from an enclosure, the pump creates a pressure differential between the enclosure and the surroundings. This pressure change at the surface of a vacuum cup and workpiece forces the two pieces together. That force is determined by the interface area between the cup, workpiece and vacuum level. In other words, vacuum technology uses the surrounding atmosphere to create force and pull on a workpiece. The vacuum itself exerts no force; the air outside of the container exerts the force.