Mo explains the characteristics and advantages of a permanent central vacuum…
For large productions with numerous material loaders and consequently many delivery points, large throughputs, frequent conveying cycles, and long conveying distances, there are two solutions for automated material supply: single lines (line vacuum) or a central permanent vacuum system (central vacuum).
For line vacuum, multiple material loaders are connected parallel to a vacuum line. For larger conveying systems, multiple of these single lines are often needed in order to supply the processing machines. Every line requires a central filter and a vacuum pump. The maximum required performance of the vacuum pump is determined by the total throughput and conveying distance. Single lines operate sequentially. This means that only one material loader at a time can be supplied. If more than one integrated material loader signals material demand within a short time frame, “waiting times” until filling of the units can occur.
A permanent central vacuum, on the other hand, has only one (central) vacuum line. All material loaders, multiple parallel operating pumps, as well as one or more central filters are connected to this one line. The total combined performance of all pumps is determined by the maximum system capacity. In the vacuum line – which has a large diameter – a permanent vacuum is generated in order to balance out any differences in pressure and to act as “vacuum storage”. Due to this, a permanent central vacuum allows for conveying at any time, without having to wait for the pump to start up.
The pumps are turned on or off by the controls as needed, regulating the pump power. This ensures that the required vacuum is constantly maintained in the system. Multiple material loaders can convey material simultaneously in a central vacuum system. The controls constantly calculate the maximum possible number of simultaneous conveying cycles according to the data, provided by the connected material loaders and their air requirements. Requirement messages only occur on a waiting list when the maximum system performance has been reached.
Because of this, a central vacuum system can achieve a high degree of efficiency at a relatively low energy consumption. Due to the optimised use of pump performance and running times compared to line vacuum, energy savings of up to 50% are possible. An additional benefit is the low maintenance costs, as fewer pumps and filters need to be installed.
Motan Colortronic is the world’s leading supplier of ancillary equipment to the plastic manufacturing sector.
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