Using vacuum blowers for better hold down in CNC router table application
Significant energy savings for furniture manufacturer: only 120 hp is needed to provide exceptional hold down instead of the 320 hp previously used for the vacuum screw units, resulting in $74,000 saved in energy costs.
A large furniture maker had issues with vacuum hold-down on their CNC router tables. Despite having multiple rotary screw vacuum units set at 27”Hg vacuum, plywood sheets moved after portions were cut away — resulting in significant scrap materials and downtime. Over time, 40 hp vacuum screw units were upgraded to 100 hp units and special roller bars were added to help keep the sheets in place. Energy and maintenance costs rose noticeably, and the problems continued.
Kaeser engineers noted that since this was a spoiler board application, high flow is more vital to keep workpieces in place than vacuum level. They recommended blowers instead of traditional screw or vane vacuum pumps. This ran contrary to the operator's experience but after continued problems they agreed to try it on one table. Kaeser installed one Omega DB 236C (30 hp) vacuum blower operating at 13"Hg. After a successful test period, the plant removed several of their large vacuum screw pumps and replaced them with three additional DB 236C units.
In addition to improved hold down, the total motor reduction from 320 to 120 reduced energy costs by 65%. The maintenance manager also noted a significant reduction in maintenance and repair costs. The blowers need less oil and consumables, making them a greener solution. As an added bonus, the blower packages have a smaller footprint.
To save on energy, maintenance, and repair costs, as well as floor space, sometimes you just have to go with the flow!