Choosing the Right Industrial Vacuum
An industrial vacuum is a powerful machine that is designed to handle different materials. It is important to understand what your cleaning needs are before choosing an industrial vacuum to ensure that the machine you choose will be able to perform its job effectively.
For example, if you will be using the system to pick up flammable materials, it must be explosion-proof. This will prevent fires due to static energy buildup or friction and also reduce the risk of electrical shock.
When used properly, industrial vacuum cleaners help protect workers from health risks. Companies should work closely with a system supplier to assess facilities and determine the best machine for the job, taking into consideration the environment, materials handled and voltage needed to maintain safety protocols.
Woodworking: Woodworking machines create large quantities of dust and chips that can contaminate the air and damage equipment, so an industrial vacuum is often a critical piece of the operation. Proper dust extraction enhances air quality, reduces fire hazards and increases the lifespan of woodworking machinery.
Food industry: In the food industry, cleanliness is critical for quality and compliance with hygiene standards. An industrial vacuum is an integral tool that helps eliminate food particles, spills and contaminants to protect employees’ health and ensure compliance with strict regulations.
Chemical industry: In the chemical industry, dangerous substances are routinely handled. An industrial vacuum provides a means of safely removing these hazards from the workplace, including hazardous liquids, powders and sludges.
When handling potentially explosive substances, it is important to use an industrial vacuum that is explicitly certified for those material pickups. Using one that isn’t can cause catastrophic explosions. Some systems also feature features that protect against industrial vacuum operator injuries. For instance, some models have wheeled collection containers that are mechanically raised and lowered to eliminate heavy lifting and reduce back injuries and muscle strains. Others have a wet-collection function that prevents overfilling and minimizes spillage, which cuts down on cleaning time and disposal costs.
Industrial vacuum systems improve plant cleanliness and safety, reduce downtime for material transfer and production operations, and help companies maintain operational compliance with regulatory and industry standards. Employing these industrial cleaning tools can save a company tens of thousands of dollars annually in labor costs, equipment maintenance and material costs through reclamation.
Unlike large mechanical systems that require frequent repairs, industrial vacuum systems have few moving parts. This greatly reduces unit wear, virtually eliminating system failure rates. This also allows for easier and more frequent preventative maintenance to extend the life of the system.
For example, in the baking industrial vacuum industry, many industrial vacuum cleaners are designed with flour recovery capabilities, multiple-stage filtration to prevent clogging, and nozzles for wet spill recovery. This is because if flour is not cleaned up immediately, it can contaminate other products and lead to costly product rejections.
Additionally, these industrial systems can be used to clean confined spaces. Often, coordinating entry into permit-required areas is time-consuming and expensive and can inhibit regular housekeeping activities. However, industrial vacuum cleaners can eliminate the need for entry by facilitating cleaning from outside of these areas, significantly cutting cleaning times and saving on employee costs. They can also be used to decontaminate employees’ clothing prior to entering facility break rooms or their homes, which is required under certain regulations, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) silica dust standard.
Purchasing a vacuum that matches the primary application is key to maximizing performance and minimizing the risk of clogs, machine damage or system failure. An industrial vacuum that is not suitable for the type of media being collected will contaminate the system and lead to expensive repairs and replacements.
Bagged and bagless industrial vacuums are available to handle a variety of material types including abrasives, coolants and oil mist, explosive materials, metalworking chips and fluids, litter pick-up, non-free flowing media, reclaiming and recycling, spill recovery and welding fumes. A vacuum’s filtration system can also be customized to meet specific needs. For example, some industrial vacuums are designed with HEPA filters to eliminate fine dust particles. Others are equipped with a wet filter to collect water-based materials, and some have a liquid sensor or float valve to prevent overfilling and reduce the risk of operator injuries.
Unlike their domestic counterparts, industrial vacuum cleaners are typically larger and more powerful. Despite their larger dimensions, industrial models are still easy to manoeuvre. Many have features like high-quality swivel wheels, which allow for quick and simple movement. A number of accessories are also available to help users adapt their vacuum to the environment and conditions in which they work. These include battery packs, wall and hand brushes, hoses of different sizes, bulk collection nozzles and a range of fittings.
Industrial vacuums have a variety of uses and can be applied to many different types of systems. They can pick up liquid and gaseous media, solid particulate waste, abrasives, metal chips and fluids, explosive materials, and more. They can also be used in a variety of environments, including outdoor sites, confined spaces, and automated platforms.
When choosing an industrial vacuum for your business, it’s important to consider the type of material you will be picking up and what conditions your work will be performed under. For example, if you are working with combustible materials such as flour or wood shavings, you may want to opt for an Atex-certified system that is fully grounded and designed with non-sparking materials from the outer shell and internal mechanicals.
Another consideration is the size of your facility and the space where you will be operating the industrial vacuum. If you work in a small, intricate space, a portable unit with a lightweight backpack design might be the best choice. Alternatively, if you’re working in a larger, open space, you might need to choose a large system with a powerful motor and multiple outlets to handle the volume of work that your facility produces. The capacity of your industrial vacuum will determine how quickly and easily you can clean your work area and how much time you can save when performing the task at hand.