Vacuum pumps are used throughout research labs for a variety of applications. Because of this broad array of uses, finding the pump best suited to your needs can be a challenge. Following these 5 tips will help you find the right pump to support your work and meet your budget.
Consider your application: Make sure that you pick a pump that provides vacuum in the same range as the vacuum required by your application. Both too much vacuum and too little vacuum can cause problems.
Performance Specs: Vacuum pumps are specified by their ultimate vacuum and maximum flow rate. But what really matters is the flow rate at the working vacuum you need. Look at published flow curves, or talk with manufacturers, to make sure that the pump you’re considering is strong enough.
Maintenance: Some vacuum pumps require regular maintenance, others only require service every few years. Some pumps need to be sent out for repair by specially-trained technicians, while others can be serviced by lab personnel. Make sure you factor in maintenance considerations like these when selecting your new pump.
Intangibles: Before you buy, think about topics like how loud the pump will be, and how that noise will impact the lab environment. Also consider how the pump will fit into the lab – can it sit on the bench? Fit inside a cabinet? Or does it have to be wheeled around on a cart?
Cost: When weighing the cost of the pump, don’t look at the upfront cost alone. Also consider how long the pump will last; operating costs like power and the cost of consumables (e.g., oil); and the frequency and cost of maintenance. If you’re looking at a high maintenance pump, also consider the cost of downtime when that pump is unavailable.