Chances are that you’re more used to working with pneumatic circuits in which positive pressure flows from one end, which features a compressor or perhaps some type of air cylinder. When it approaches the other side of the system, it works an actuator and then exhausts away as air out of a port.
This is probably true of the configuration of an overwhelming majority of pneumatic installations, hence it’s become exactly what people think of when they assemble this kind of equipment. That being said, you can use a compressor to drive a device that generates an actual vacuum and thus negative pressure that actually sucks away from a source rather than blows inward toward it.
Vacuum Generators use compressed air to generate vacuum using a venturi. Vacuum levels down to -27 inHG (-91kPa) are obtained from multi-stage units with suction flow greater than 7 SCFM (200 l/min.) SMC’s air vacuum generators can be connected via a manifold or used individually. These compact devices can also be customized to integrate suction filters, vacuum sensor switches, and supply/release valves onto the generator. Additionally, SMC’s generators can be configured to manage the distribution of vacuum from an external vacuum source.
Those who aren’t as familiar with the principle behind which vacuum generators work might want to look a bit more into the so-called venturi effect, which is what powers them behind the scenes.
How The Venturi Effect Powers Pneumatic Vacuum Generators
A significant reduction in fluid pressure occurs whenever a fluid is forced to flow through a constricted section of a pipe or other passageway. Originally, the 18th and 19th-century Italian physicist Giovanni Battista Venturi discovered that this happens with water, which is sort of fitting seeing as that’s the first fluid that most engineers learn to work with. It’s ubiquitous and relatively safe to use.
However, modern pneumatic equipment relies on-air as fluid on as opposed to water, which makes it even safer to handle. Venturi found that air works as well as water, and he found that you could theoretically use any other fluid too. You just needed to construct the right kind of system capable of containing it.
Our vacuum generators don’t have to worry much about these theoretical principles, but they are a good idea to keep in mind. If nothing else, then it can help to dramatically illustrate how many centuries worth of engineering have actually gone into these components.
Regardless at the operating principles that power this kind of equipment, you should be able to use a number of stock components with it so you won’t have to worry about finding vacuum generator-specific parts.
Interfacing Other Components With Vacuum Generators
Check out the specifications sheet for any piece of equipment that you plan to use. There’s a good chance that it actually does state that it’s okay to use it with vacuum levels up to a certain point. Treat this number the same exact way that you would treat a maximum positive pressure level.
Naturally, it’s never a good idea to operate any device in a manner that would be deemed out of spec. That’s quite dangerous irrespective of which direction the air is flowing.
Assuming that the level of vacuum pressure doesn’t exceed the maximum specification of the air fitting in question, however, you should find no significant difference between the two different types of assembly schema.
In fact, you should find that you’re already quite familiar with the way these pieces connect together since they’re based around the same standard size plugs and adapters that you’ve already been working with while you’ve been creating pneumatic circuits based around traditional components.
Over time, you might even find new ways to deploy them. Some technicians have looked to vacuum-based gear as a way of ensuring that they’re able to move some powder from one place to another. Others have looked to these components as a manner of keeping certain areas free of certain types of debris.
This is fitting considering the name and the fact that venturi-based vacuum generators were once used to power consumer grade vacuum cleaners. While modern devices normally work in a slightly different way, the underlying principle is the same for those who might be dealing with a vacuum system in a pneumatic air installation.
Engineers are always developing new ways to make use of this kind of technology, and they’re also bringing significant improvements to it as well. As you’ve seen, the numbers that modern devices put up are quite impressive. Several models also include some extra features that are every bit as impressive.
Special Features Provided By Vacuum Generators
Consider the ZA compact generating unit, which is designed from the ground up to be compact and extremely lightweight. That makes it perfect for those that use pneumatic grippers to manage to pick and place operations. It also makes it equally attractive to almost every type of industry regardless of the type of business that it does.
Due to its compact size, you could theoretically put them on moving parts. Each ZA unit is finished with a relatively short tube, which helps to improve the response time of the device. Technicians can find them in both single unit models as well as manifold type devices. Those who need pressure sensors and suction filters can find modules that have them already integrated as well, which makes this an excellent option for those who have very diverse requirements. You may even wish to order several different modules in order to apply them to various mounting points across the entire length of your system.
Locate Your Negative Pressure At Orange Coast Pneumatics
At Orange County Pneumatics, we distribute only the highest quality parts from said brand. As a result, you can trust that anything you get from us is backed up by years of experience. No matter what kind of business you might run, there’s going to come a time when you’ll need some sort of pneumatic component that you might not have otherwise considered.
When that happens, make sure you contact us online and tell one of our seasoned representatives all about the type of equipment you’re looking for and what sort of problems we might be able to help you solve. Our team will make sure to get back to you as soon as they can to help you spend less time thinking about pneumatic construction and more time about the truly important things like running your business.