Modular vacuum networks provide stable vacuum at up to 20 bench turrets, fume hoods, and biosafety cabinets from a single compact, quiet, oil-free vacuum pump. VACUU•LAN® networks can provide much deeper vacuum than that from central systems, and prevent sudden pressure dips or spikes. The approach eliminates lab-to-lab cross-contamination through vacuum lines, and the multi-user networks reduce noise and save space compared with individual pumps. This energy-saving technology scales readily from a single lab to an entire building, and can adapt as scientific needs change over time.

Why Local Vacuum Networks?

Since VACUUBRAND launched modular lab vacuum supply in 1994, thousands of labs have replaced central vacuum and individual pumps with local networks. Scientists appreciate the much higher-performance vacuum from the bench turrets. Facilities and construction trams like the simple installation. Institution owners value energy and maintenance savings and long-term adaptability. The following case examples illustrate the versatility and appeal of local vacuum networks.

Replacing water aspirators 

A leading research university was relying on water-jet aspirators for vacuum in teaching labs. Unfortunately, water pressure was to low when many labs used vacuum at once, and high volumes of water led to occasional flooding of the labs. They replaced the aspirators with local vacuum networks, got more reliable vacuum, and reduced water use by thousands of gallons per year.

Expanding science program

A regional liberal arts college was expanding its STEM offerings. The old vacuum system lacked the capacity to serve the new labs. Competition for vacuum resources led to canceled lab sections. After an older lab was retrofitted with  VACUU•LAN® networks to supplement the central system, local vacuum networks were chosen again when a classroom was later converted to more lab space.

Failed central vacuum

Scale build up in the central vacuum system at a major Midwestern University reduced flows, and energy costs were excessive. The vacuum system in 28 working labs was replaced with minimal disruption in about two days per lab. Another university’s central vacuum pumps failed twice – costing $25,000 per incident – because of reagents sucked into the vacuum system.

For a new building, the university chose local vacuum networks to reduce vulnerability to aspiration of corrosive reagents. 

Sustainable vacuum

A university with a strong commitment to the environment chose VACUU•LAN® networks for the combined benefits of energy savings (vacuum is produced only on demand), high performance (rotary evaporators rely on the 2 torr vacuum networks) and building emissions reductions (waste vapors from vacuum applications can be captured at the in-lab pumps for proper disposal). 

Whether your need is for versatile labs in multidisciplinary lab buildings, protection against contamination in critical environment labs, buildings that adapt easily as needs change, or renovations from a single lab to an entire building, VACUU•LAN® local vacuum networks may be the right solution. Contact VACUUBRAND to learn more.

First published in Lab Manager magazine’s December 2017 issue.