This article provides detailed information about industrial vacuum cleaners.
You will learn:
- What is an industrial vacuum cleaner?
- How an industrial vacuum cleaner Works
- Types of industrial vacuum cleaner
- Uses for industrial vacuum cleaner
- And much more …
Chapter One: What is an Industrial Vacuum Cleaner?
An industrial vacuum cleaner is a heavy duty piece of cleaning equipment designed to remove debris, industrial waste, construction refuse, and matter that remains after a manufacturing process or construction project. An environmentally friendly piece of cleaning equipment, industrial vacuum cleaners safely remove and dispose of contaminants and harmful matter.
Aside from their use as a method for cleaning industrial messes, industrial vacuum cleaners are an environmental tool that filters and purifies the air at manufacturing facilities. Used in dust extraction systems, industrial vacuum cleaners collect, filter, and purify the air of heavy particulate concentrations in work environments to create a safe and clean workplace.
Chapter Two: How an Industrial Vacuum Cleaner Works
Industrial vacuum cleaners use alternating current (AC) power to drive a high pressure fan to generate negative pressure. The created vacuum pulls in particulate matter and air that passes through a series of filters to be deposited into a bag or collection space.
The principles for the operation of an industrial vacuum cleaner are based on the concept of negative air pressure where the pressure outside the collection pipe is higher than the pressure inside. The negative pressure pulls in the particles and air from the outside.
How an Industrial Vacuum Cleaner Works
The first step in an industrial vacuum cleaner’s operation is the creation of the negative pressure. For a household vacuum, negative pressure is generated by a small motor that changes the pressure inside the wand. Industrial vacuum cleaners require far more energy to create sufficient negative pressure to pull in the heavy materials it collects.
The purpose of a vacuum pump, which can be a centrifugal fan, is to use mechanical, physical, or chemical processes to remove air from a small space to create a vacuum. A vacuum pump for an industrial vacuum cleaner can maintain a vacuum for an extended period of time.
The brief video below from Vac-U-Max offers an explanation of the operating principle of an industrial vacuum cleaner.
VAC-U-MAX Model 1050 Continuous-Duty Industrial Vacuum Cleaner
The change in air pressure in the vacuum is created by the fan, which forces air toward the exhaust port of the vacuum. The density of the air particles in front of the fan increases, while the density decreases behind the fan. This creation of a pressure drop draws in the outside particles. The diagram of the fan below offers a representation of the suction caused by the pressure drop on one side of the fan.
Filtration systems on industrial vacuums vary depending on the vacuum’s design. As could be seen in the video from Vac-U-Max, the filter can be located where the vacuum tube connects to the vacuum and filter out large particles that drop into a collection unit or bag. A requirement for toxic and hazardous material handling is a high efficiency particulate filter (HEPA) that has a 99.99% efficiency rating and is used in cleanrooms or where exceptional air filtration is required.
Hoses for industrial vacuum cleaners are made of durable abrasion resistant material. A common type of industrial vacuum cleaner hose is steel wire made of wear resistant polyurethane, which makes it exceptionally strong. Since pressure is a main component of an industrial vacuum cleaner, it is the main consideration when selecting the hose.
The pressure resistance of a hose is determined by the thickness of the hose wall, with thicker walls being capable of withstanding higher pressure gradients. With clear industrial vacuum cleaner hoses, it is possible to see the medium of the hose as a means of preventing blockage.
The types of accessories for an industrial vacuum cleaner vary depending on the characteristics of the matter and materials that the vacuum will be handling. The purpose of the accessories is to adapt the vacuum to the working conditions and include battery packs, hand and wall brushes, squeegees, floor nozzles, bulk pick up nozzles, and various sizes of fittings and tubing.
Chapter Three: Types of Industrial Vacuum Cleaners
Industrial vacuum cleaners are as wide and varied as the industries that use them. The removal and cleaning of different materials requires equipment that is specifically designed to meet the needs of the cleaning process. The varieties of industrial vacuum cleaners are engineered and designed to remove oil slicks, powders, sand, rocks, and an assortment of materials of different consistencies and particulate size.
Traditionally, vacuum cleaners are thought of as a cleaning device that has a canister on wheels pulled around by custodial workers. Though this is true for some industrial vacuum cleaners, many are as large as a room or are set on the back of a truck. Clean up workers are specially trained to operate the equipment and deal with potentially dangerous materials. When visualizing the work of an industrial vacuum cleaner, it is important to envision the types of materials being removed, which can include heavy, bulky, hazardous, and toxic substances.
Types of Industrial Vacuum Cleaners
Truck Mounted Vacuum Cleaner
Truck mounted industrial vacuum cleaners have the mobility to go to disaster sites and locations where sludge, slurry, industrial waste, liquids, sewage, and other types of materials need to be removed. Though they are much larger than the traditional industrial vacuum cleaner, they have the same operating principle with a tank for collection and a pump to create negative pressure. The waste material is collected in the truck’s tank and transported to a disposal location.
Explosion Proof Vacuum Cleaner
Explosion proof industrial vacuum cleaners are designed to remove flammable substances, dangerous solids, and hazardous liquids that may be ignited by a spark or friction. They are made of non-flammable fibers and metals designed to decrease the potential for sparking due to material friction or the generation of static electricity.
The parameters for the construction of explosion proof industrial vacuum cleaners include a consideration of static dissipation, electrical insulation, and the maintenance of chemical neutrality. To achieve these requirements, manufacturers carefully choose the materials for the housing, inlets, casters, and nozzles.
Central Vacuum Systems
Central vacuum systems are designed, engineered, and constructed as part of a structure or building. They are powered by the electricity of the building and function much like a heat or air conditioning system. They are connected to the central unit through a system of tubes that can be attached to the ceiling or built into the walls.
The collected waste is sent through the tubing system to a large enclosure equipped with filters, bags, and storage equipment. The purpose of central systems is to provide an efficient method for the clean up and removal of debris. Central vacuum systems are unique and designed to fit the requirements of the building or structure where they are installed.
Stationary Vacuum Systems
Each stationary vacuum system, much like central systems, is built to specifically meet the needs of the industry it serves. They can be located indoors or outdoors and are manufactured for ultra-heavy duty use. Included in the design of stationary vacuum systems is the capability to handle wet or dry heavy abrasive materials, fine powders, and granular particulate substances. Stationary vacuum systems operate 24 hours a day and have a variety of filtration mechanisms from shake out designs to centrifugal ones.
Portable Vacuum Cleaner
Much like truck mounted industrial vacuum cleaners, portable industrial vacuum cleaners offer the flexibility to move to isolated locations to clean up after a disaster, liquid spill, or construction project or to remove debris from locations that are inaccessible by conventional means. The types of portable industrial vacuums vary from those that can be carried on the back of a worker to those that are on wheels.
The central design parameter for portable industrial vacuum cleaners is ease of mobility, and they are designed and engineered to fit the needs of the industry and the materials to be handled.
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Vacuum Cleaner
ESD industrial vacuum cleaners are designed and manufactured for the electronics market as a means of cleaning, removing, and collecting dust and debris from sensitive electronic components. They include a permanent dissipative and grounded rubber nozzle. Unlike other industrial vacuum cleaners, ESD models are precision designed for special applications involving delicate electrical systems such as circuit boards or electrical panels.
Air Powered Vacuum Cleaner
Air powered industrial vacuums operate on compressed air and are used in dangerous environments where electricity isn't available. They have no moving parts and can collect wet or dry materials. Air powered vacuums are ideal for industries that have to comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations regarding the handling of toxic and harmful debris and waste materials.
The operation of an air powered industrial vacuum cleaner includes a compressed air line that plugs into a Venturi box, a constriction in the air flow, that creates the negative air pressure to pull in debris and waste materials through a vacuum hose inlet. The model below from Vac-U-Max has a twin Venturi suction source.
One and Three Phase Motor Vacuum Cleaners
One of the distinguishing features of industrial vacuum cleaners is their motor type, which can be one or three phase. Both single and three phase motors operate under the principle of the creation of a magnetic field. The difference between them is the movement of the magnetic field. The magnetic field for a three phase motor rotates due to the 120o phase offset in each phase of the power supply.
A single phase motor has an oscillating magnetic field and moves back and forth. This type of motor has zero starting torque; this necessitates the use of a second phase. The difference between the two types of motors is the amount of power they produce, with three phase motors being more powerful and stronger than single phase motors.
The different designs of the motors can be seen in the diagram below.
Chapter Four: Uses for Industrial Vacuum Cleaners
Industrial vacuum cleaners are an efficient and safe method for cleaning up spills, dust, dirt, and debris. Cleaning that would take several hours, or days is completed promptly and expertly in less time than would be required with more traditional methods. Industrial vacuum cleaners save on labor costs and create safe, clean, and uncluttered work environments.
Traditionally, a vacuum cleaner is thought of as a household appliance used to clean carpets and floors. In manufacturing and industrial operations, industrial vacuum cleaners are an essential and necessary tool to assist in promoting safe and productive conditions.
Uses for Industrial Vacuum Cleaners
An issue farmers have dealt with for centuries is the dust that is created by the cultivation of grains and livestock feed. As inconsequential as the dust may seem, it is flammable and volatile and can be easily ignited. Explosion proof industrial vacuums that are air or electrically powered safely collect the dust and remove the threat.
Part of the production process for the automotive industry is the use of paints and coatings as protection for the products. When doing a changeover, the residue and overspray left in a paint booth must be recovered using an exceptionally efficient filtration system that is provided by a specially designed industrial vacuum cleaner.
The aviation industry has the same requirements as the automotive industry since they make extensive use of powders and paints in aircraft assembly. A common part of aircraft production is the use of clean rooms, which require the use of HEPA filters and high performance industrial vacuum cleaners. Prior to the delivery of an aircraft, it is thoroughly cleaned using backpack portable industrial vacuum cleaners.
The main ingredient in the baking industry is flour, which is very fine and tends to spread easily during processing. Industrial vacuum cleaners used for the collection of flour are specially designed to avoid clogging during clean up. To overcome the clogging problem, manufacturers produce vacuums with multi-stage filters and filter shakers that clean the filters and keep them clear.
Hazardous conditions are a common part of the chemical industry. Workers are constantly in danger of being exposed to toxic and harmful substances. Industrial vacuum cleaners are used in the chemical industry for product recovery, maintenance, and assistance in product packaging. They are also an essential part of product transfer.
The standards and regulations for the healthcare industry require that facilities be exceptionally clean and contaminant free. Industrial vacuum cleaners, with HEPA filters, are used to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare workers by cleaning and removing any form of harmful dirt or bacteria. Though it is possible to use common vacuum cleaners, the use of such equipment has the danger of spreading airborne infectious substances that are easily caught and rendered harmless by industrial vacuum cleaners.
The problem of dust in the mining industry is similar to the difficulty faced in agriculture. Dust from mining operations is flammable, volatile, and highly concentrated in an enclosed environment. Industrial vacuum cleaners, with high static lift, are ideal for recovering mine dust and liquids used as part of mining operations.
The main ingredient for plastics production is small round resin pellets that are melted and shaped into plastic products and devices. During manufacturing, the pellets are poured or scooped into hoppers that feed the pellets into the production process. Recovery of spilled pellets is essential for cost effectiveness and inventory control.
Specially designed industrial vacuums are used to remove dust and waste to ensure smooth and continuous production. They are designed to clean floors, on board machinery, or be inserted directly into the production processes.
The pharmaceutical industry works with a wide range of chemicals and powders in the production of medicines and drugs. The residue from production is carefully controlled and monitored for the protection of the final product and pharmaceutical workers. The standards for the pharmaceutical industry are much like those established for healthcare facilities. Industrial vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters are constantly used by the industry for cleanup and recovery.
Mistakenly, dust collectors and industrial vacuum cleaners are used interchangeably by pharmaceutical personnel. In reality, a dust collector functions differently than an industrial vacuum cleaner. The main difference is in how a dust collector processes dust, which is by high air flow without suction or water lift. Dust collectors are designed to collect airborne dust but not pick it up. An industrial vacuum cleaner has better air flow, water lift, and suction to collect debris, dust, contaminants, and other matter.
Spill recovery is a necessity for the beverage industry. To assist in efforts to control spills, industrial vacuum cleaners with high static lift are designed to pick up a wide variety of liquids. Stringent and demanding government requirements regarding safety, hygiene, and cleanliness have significantly increased the need for highly efficient industrial vacuum cleaners in beverage production.
The beverage industry uses industrial vacuum cleaners for cleaning and transporting raw materials, waste control, and handling scraps and cut outs from packaging. An essential function of industrial vacuum cleaners is the prevention of food contamination from microbes and other substances; this is a major reason for their use in beverage manufacturing.
Chapter Five: The Benefits of Using an Industrial Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuum cleaners are designed to remove dirt, dust, waste, and unwanted materials through negative pressure. As the waste debris is collected, it is blown into a bag or collection unit for later disposal. The process of cleaning through vacuum use is somewhat simple, but industrial vacuum cleaners have become a necessary part of production and manufacturing operations.
Industrial vacuum cleaners are efficient, fast, and reliable. Their usefulness goes beyond the need for cleaning and includes the creation of safe and secure work spaces.
The Benefits of Using an Industrial Vacuum Cleaner
Initially, the cost of purchasing a reliable and high quality industrial vacuum cleaner may seem to be prohibitive. The purchase price is quickly overshadowed by their long work life and exceptional reliability. Cleaning jobs that took hours are cut in half and completed more efficiently. Industrial vacuum cleaners can be designed and adapted to fit any type of cleaning conditions or requirements, regardless of the demands of the situation.
Cleaning is a time consuming and labor intensive job. Investment in an industrial vacuum cleaner ensures time and energy spent on cleaning is reduced and minimized.
Every industry is constantly concerned about their environmental footprint and is continually researching methods to reduce their environmental impact. Industrial vacuum cleaners are designed with mechanisms for trapping dirt, dust, mites, allergens, and other contaminants. Their use assists in the creation of a healthy, safe, and clean environmentally friendly workplace.
For many years, companies relied on old-fashioned cleaning methods using mops, brooms, and inefficient vacuums. Though these processes created the appearance of cleanliness, they did not clean deep enough to remove harmful and toxic materials. The use of mops and brooms has not proven to be sufficient for thorough cleaning, and it leaves behind dirt and dust residue.
A major investment for a company is its buildings and facilities. Protection of these assets is an essential part of a company’s business plan and a necessity for continuance and longevity. An investment in an industrial vacuum cleaner system is an important step in asset protection and stability. Their many designs can easily be adapted to fit any cleaning situation or set of parameters.
High quality industrial vacuum cleaners are designed with HEPA filters for improved removal of air contaminants. All work environments are polluted with allergens, bacteria, and microbial contaminants that are blown through the air flow system or are a part of production operations. Efficient, safe, and reliable industrial vacuum cleaners are designed to trap and capture harmful airborne pollutants and remove them.
Chapter Six: Industrial Vacuum Cleaner Regulations
Industrial vacuum cleaners fall into the classification of heavy duty industrial equipment and are designed for exceptional performance in critical industries such as healthcare, pharmaceutical, and food production. Their use in several industries has led to the establishment of regulations regarding their design, structure, and implementation. Agencies that oversee industrial vacuum cleaners include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), ATEX, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The regulations that have been established by these various agencies are in regard to possible flammable, toxic, hazardous, and harmful substances that may be handled by industrial vacuum cleaners.
Industrial Vacuum Cleaner Regulations
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA was established in the 1970s as a regulatory agency as part of the United States Department of Labor. Its main directive is to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of workers and their working conditions. General Industry standard 29 CFR 1910 outlines criteria regarding the cleaning industry and includes the handling of hazardous substances.
A dust material that has become a concern due to its extremely harmful effects and widespread use is silica dust, which is found in bricks, tiles, roof slate, concrete, glass, and ceramics. The dangerous nature of silica dust requires that it be controlled and removed from worksites, a job that is completed by industrial vacuums. In 2016, OSHA updated its ruling regarding the handling of silica dust and human exposure to it. The previously published rules were not sufficiently stringent and required adjustment to meet the rising use of materials that produce silica dust.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
The NFPA is an international fire prevention organization that has established standards with the hope of eliminating death, economic loss, or injury from fire. NFPA standards 652 and 654 are related to the design requirements for vacuum systems that handle flammable, combustible, or volatile particulate matter.
- NFPA Standard 652 is regarding dust hazard analysis and its potential to be combustible.
- NFPA standard 654 outlines the prevention of fire and dust explosions from the manufacturing, processing, and handling of combustible particulate solids.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA is continually developing standards regarding filtration systems used on all forms of equipment and especially industrial vacuum cleaners. The recent enactment of the Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule has enhanced the need for modifications regarding the use of filters on industrial vacuum cleaners.
The ATEX directives are European Union (EU) rules regarding potentially explosive conditions and substances that could be found in a work environment. Industrial vacuum cleaners that have received an ATEX certification are approved for use in explosive conditions or atmospheres where combustible dust is present.
The directives include orders regarding the minimum health and safety requirements for any form of equipment that is designed to handle potentially explosive substances. ATEX approved industrial vacuum cleaners offer an extra level of safety.
- An industrial vacuum cleaner is a heavy duty piece of cleaning equipment designed to remove debris, industrial waste, construction refuse, and matter that remains after a manufacturing process or construction project.
- Used in dust extraction systems, industrial vacuum cleaners collect, filter, and purify the air of heavy particulate concentrations in work environments to create a safe and clean workplace. .
- Industrial vacuum cleaners use alternating current (AC) power to drive a high pressure fan, which generates negative pressure in a collection space..
- Industrial vacuum cleaners are as wide and varied as the industries that use them..
- Industrial vacuum cleaners save on labor costs and create safe, clean, and uncluttered work environments..