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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

  • Suction cups

    How do I know which lifting forces I need?

    It depends on the weight of the product that should be lifted and how many suction cups that can be used for the object. Calculate the weight to be lifted per suction cup and then take the weight multiplied with the gravity force (g = 9,81) and you have the lifting force needed in Newton (N).

    How do I know which suction cup to choose?

    Our recommendation is to start at the application listing to find the products we recommend to different applications. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact our partners to find the optimum solution.

    I have a variation of number of objects to be lifted - how can I make sure to not drop them or to use too much energy? How to optimize this type of system?

    All suction cups not in contact with an object (open) will draw in a lot of air and demand a larger pump than actually necessary. By using different valves, such as piSAVE® sense, in the suction cups, the suction cups will be normally closed until they come in contact with the handled object. Only the cups needed in the specific lifting cycle will be open and flow air. Please see the video piSAVE® sense.

    What is DURAFLEX®?

    DURAFLEX® is a patented material specially developed to feature the elasticity of rubber and the wear resistance of polyurethane. The DURAFLEX® material is mark-free.

  • Vacuum pumps

    Does an ejector pump use more energy than a mechanical pump?

    When the pumps are on, the vacuum ejector pump actually uses more energy than the mechanical, however most vacuum applications are intermittent- suction and release- and the ejector pump can follow that cycle and be switched off and on easily along with the cycle which in total gives a much lower energy consumption compared to the mechanical pump that is on all the time.

    Does Piab offer any warranty on vacuum pumps?

    Piab offers a warranty to distributors, integrators and users of Piab products worldwide as per the following definitions:

    • A five-year warranty is valid for vacuum pumps excluding accessories and controls.
    • A one-year warranty is valid for other products if the failure has occurred within specified lifetime in terms of duty cycles.

    General warranty principles:

    • Piab guarantees against defects in the manufacture and materials by normal use in proper environment, when following the instructions for care, maintenance and control described in the appropriate Piab manual.
    • Piab replaces or repairs, free of charge, faulty products provided that these are returned to Piab, and found to be covered by the warranty.
    • It is at Piab's discretion whether a faulty product should be sent back to Piab for replacement or if the repair shall be made locally at Piab's expense.
    • This warranty does not include wear parts such as suction cups, filter elements, sealings, hoses, etc.
    • This warranty does not include subsequent damages caused by defective products.
    How can I set the vacuum level when handling different objects which individually need different levels?

    The multistage COAX® vacuum ejector is designed so the maximum vacuum level can be adjusted by the compressed air feed pressure. By using a piSAVE® optimize, you can set the specific vacuum level needed and the piSAVE® optimize will adjust the feed pressure to the pump accordingly. You will never use more compressed air than needed in the application. Please also try the piSAVE® optimize calculator to see the actual energy saving by doing this.

    How do I know which COAX® cartridge to use?

    The easiest way is to use the selection guide in the pump section. MICRO, MINI and MIDI describe size and capacity where MICRO is smallest and MIDI the largest. Each are available in a few different characteristics, one for extra high flow (Si), one for extra high vacuum level (Xi), one for handling low of fluctuating compressed air feed-pressure (Bi/Pi) and finally an extra dirt tolerant design (Ti).

    How do I service my vacuum pump?

    Due to the design of the COAX® multistage ejector in the vacuum pump with no moving parts, there is virtually no maintenance.

    I have an older Piab vacuum pump and need spare parts. How can they be identified?

    First download the manual from the homepage and there you will find the article numbers of the different spare parts.

    What are the advantages with the multistage vacuum ejector compared to a single stage ejector?

    A single stage ejector is designed for either high vacuum flow or high vacuum level. The multistage COAX® vacuum ejector has a combination of different nozzles providing both high flow and high vacuum level performance in the same ejector. This design also gives lower energy consumption for equal performance.

    What are the port sizes on this vacuum pump? I am unfamiliar with these threads

    For the port sizes, go to the product and download the data sheet, which can be downloaded after registering. Specification on thread type is not provided on the webpage.

    What is COAX®?

    COAX® is an advanced solution for creating vacuum with compressed air. Based on Piab’s multistage technology, COAX® cartridges are smaller, more efficient and more reliable than conventional ejectors, which allow for the design of a flexible, modular and efficient vacuum system.

    A vacuum system based on COAX® technology can provide you with three times more vacuum flow than conventional systems, allowing you to increase speed with high reliability while reducing energy consumption.  COAX® cartridges exist in several sizes (MICRO, MINI & MIDI) and models (Bi, Pi, Si, Ti & Xi), making them suitable for every application. The technology ensures excellent performance at both low and high feed pressures. Vacuum pumps based on COAX® technology can operate within the feed pressure range of 0.17 to 0.60 MPa.

    When should I use integration of a vacuum cartridge in my system?

    The most common problem in a vacuum system is that you have restrictions between the vacuum source and the point of suction, e.g. long narrow hoses. By integrating the vacuum cartridges in your system, you are then able to place the vacuum source close to the point where you need the vacuum. You have minimized the restrictions and will minimize the energy consumption in your system. You will also have a more compact solution.

    Which vacuum level should I use?

    In lifting applications with suction cups - do not use more vacuum than needed. We normally recommend 60 kPa (18 inHg). Too high of a vacuum level gives lower efficiency and you would use more energy than actually needed.

    Why should I choose a combined vacuum pump and gripper (VGS)?

    The most common problem in a vacuum system is that you have restrictions between the vacuum source and the point of suction, e.g. long narrow hoses. By using the combined vacuum pump and gripper, the vacuum is generated at the suction cup. You have minimized the restrictions and will minimize the energy consumption in your system.

    Why should I use an ejector pump instead of a mechanical pump?

    The ejector technology has no moving parts thus with virtually no maintenance, it will provide higher reliability. It is also much smaller in size and weight that gives you the possibility to place it closer to the point of suction or where you actually need the vacuum. The mechanical pump also has a much higher noise level and produces heat, meaning that normally you would need to have it in an insulated room.

  • Vacuum conveyors

    Can Piab vacuum conveyors be used to convey tablets, capsules, etc.?

    Yes. Piab has experience of conveying a large variety of tablets and capsules without damage. Please contact us for detailed information.

    Can the vacuum conveyor be used to dose material?

    No it can’t. Normal procedure is to dose before or after conveying.

    Can you convey liquids?

    No we can’t. It’s extremely difficult to control the amount of liquid coming in the vacuum conveyor.

    Can you convey material vertically?

    Yes, up to 8-10 meters without accessories/pipe emptying solution. With a pipe emptying solution up to about 25 meters.

    Can you provide IQ/OQ documentation with a vacuum conveyor?

    For piFLOW®p we can supply this documentation. It is a template that shall be filled in during start up and with the help of the manual that comes with the shipment.

    Do you use any electricity on the vacuum conveyors?

    No, the vacuum conveyors use only compressed air. Even our control systems are pneumatic. 

    Does Piab have any warranty on the unit?

    Piab offers a warranty to distributors, integrators and users of Piab products worldwide as per the following definitions:

    • A five-year warranty is valid for complete vacuum conveyors excluding electro mechanical pumps and controls.
    • A five-year warranty is valid for vacuum pumps excluding electro mechanical pumps, accessories and controls.
    • A two-year warranty is valid for electro mechanical pumps.
    • A one-year warranty is valid for other products.

    General warranty principles:

    • Piab guarantees against defects in the manufacture and materials by normal use in a proper environment, when following the instructions for care, maintenance and control described in the appropriate Piab manual.
    • Piab replaces or repairs, free of charge, faulty products provided that these are returned to Piab and found to be covered by the warranty.
    • It is at Piab’s discretion whether a faulty product should be sent back to Piab for replacement or if the repair shall be made locally at Piab’s expense.
    • This warranty does not include wear parts such as filter elements, sealings, hoses, pipe fittings, pipe bends, pinch valves (in-line with conveyed material), reducers, etc.
    • This warranty does not include subsequent damages caused by defective products.
    How do I troubleshoot?

    In the manual for your vacuum conveyor there is a section about troubleshooting. You are also welcome to contact your nearest Piab office for further help.

    How many meters is it possible to convey powder?

    0 – 50 meters if the conveying length does not include a vertical lift more than 5m and the product density is between 0.5-1.0kg.

    How to avoid the material segregation?

    By having the right mix of air and conveyed product. This is achieved from where the Piab vacuum conveyor draws the material with the help of our feeding point accessories. Please also read our white paper on segregation and contact any Piab company for further information.

    Is the Piab vacuum conveyor made to stand overpressure?

    No they are not, only for under pressure.

    Is there a risk of dust explosion?

    Not if instructions in the manual are followed. All Piab vacuum conveyors have a grounding point and can be sent with ATEX dust approval.

    Please tell me how to disassemble the vacuum conveyor

    Tools are not really needed for assembly/de-assembly. For more detailed information, please look in the manual for your vacuum conveyor or in our YouTube channel.

    Please tell me the approximate amount of powder transport

    From about 0.1 ton/h to about 15 ton/h.

    Please tell me the method of selecting the vacuum conveyor

    Please use the application configurator. You are also welcome to contact Piab or a Piab partner for details.

    What can go wrong with the unit?

    With regular maintenance, the vacuum conveyor unit will do the job for years to come.

    If the compressed air is dirty/has fluid in it, the filter can be clogged as well as the ejectors and the timers. Water in the air line is not optimal.

    Consult the manual for troubleshooting if you would encounter anything unusual.

    What is included in the delivery of the vacuum conveyor?

    Vacuum conveyor, filter regulator (1” connection).

    Manual.

    Troubleshooting guide.

    Drawings.

    Declaration(s) of conformity

    What is the material used for the body of the vacuum conveyors?

    piFLOW®p is made of stainless steel 316L.

    piFLOW®i and f are made of stainless steel 304.

    What kind of certificate can you provide with your vacuum conveyors?

    To a large number of Piab vacuum conveyors we can offer FDA, ATEX Dust and Gas, 2.2 certificates.

    What type of accessories can Piab provide?

    Stainless steel, aluminum, or PE, aspirated and non-aspirated feed wands.

    Feed adapter with or without flange connection.

    Feed station/hopper.

    Flexible vacuum hose.

    Remote start/stop valve.

    Level sensor.

    Containers.

    Transition from the unit to downstream equipment.

    What type of filter is available for this unit?

    Pleated rod - filtration grade 0,5µm. A hard rod filter in PE and PUR material with a PTFE membrane. Comes in black and white version.

    Pleated - filtration grade 0,5µm. A hard polyester and PUR filter with a PTFE membrane. Grey colour.

    Textile - filtration grade 5,0µm filterbag in polyester and a ePTFE membrane. Light grey colour.

    What utilities do I need?

    Compressed air with normal industry pressure of 0.4-0.6 MPa.

    When transporting granules, do the granules break or become damaged?

    It depends on the physical properties of the granules. Piab has experience of conveying a big variety of granules, tablets and capsules without damage. Please contact us for detailed information.

  • piFLOW®p

    Can the filter be washed?

    Depending on the filter type there are different recommendations. Please read the cleaning instructions in the corresponding manual for the vacuum conveyor.

    Can the unit be controlled by a level sensor in the receiving hopper?

    Yes it can, a level sensor including the electric/pneumatic valve will be integrated for it. 110VAC or 24VDC are integrated.

    Does the unit come with any type of control?

    The unit has a pneumatic control which controls the suction and discharge time.

    It can also be w/o control, in that case the end user will need to provide the sequence of operation – PLC control.

    El/pneumatic valve unit can be provided (to convert the electrical signal to a pneumatic output to signal the Piab).

    Does the unit use metric tubing and hardware?

    Yes, it is all metric tubing and hardware.

    How does the unit work/operate?

    Start the Piab control via a pneumatic On/Off valve.
    The vacuum pump starts and at the same time the bottom flap/door closes, the back pulse container (located inside the top part of the Conveyor) charges with compressed air (line pressure). The suction time begins (adjustable to 1-30 seconds via the pneumatic timer).
    When the suction time times out, the control goes into a discharge cycle (adjustable to 1-30 seconds), the vacuum pump will stop, the bottom flap/door opens and the back pulse will clean the filter. And after that it will re-start until the unit is shut off.
    Please also see our video.

    How much can the unit convey?

    100-14.000kg/h, depending on the distance and the size of the vacuum conveyor/vacuum pump/filter and product to be conveyed.

    How much compressed air does the unit consume?
    • piPREMIUM 64 pump, 2.5—3.5 Nl/sec.
    • piPREMIUM 100 pump, 5-7 Nl/sec.
    • piPREMIUM 200 pump, 10-14 Nl/sec.
    • piPREMIUM 400 pump, 20-28 Nl/sec.
    • piPREMIUM 600 pump, 30-42 Nl/sec.
    • piPREMIUM 800 pump, 40-56 Nl/sec.
    • piPREMIUM 1200 pump, 60-84 Nl/sec.
    • piPREMIUM 1600 pump, 80-112 Nl/sec.
    What are the benefits with the unit?

    The air driven Piab vacuum pump maximizes energy efficiency by using COAX® technology.

    Does not produce any heat.

    Low maintenance because of few parts.

    Efficient filtration (5 – 0.5 micron).

    Maximize productivity with quick-start operation.

    Low noise level (72-76 dBA).

    Optimize available mounting space.

    Increase vacuum conveying capacity with a large volume capability.

    What delivery time does Piab have on a unit?

    We can deliver these vacuum conveyor units in 2-4 weeks after receipt of order.

    What is included in the delivery of the vacuum conveyor?
    • Conveyor
    • Manual
    • Troubleshooting guide
    • Drawings
    What is the filtration for the filters?
    • Textile filters have a minimum particle size of 5 micron
    • Pleated and pleated rod filters have a particle size of 0.5 micron
    What is the unit made of?
    • The body is made of stainless steel 316L, polished inside and outside
    • The vacuum pump is made of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic
    What materials are the filters made of?
    • The bag filter is made of ePTFE, polyester needle felt
         
    • The pleated filter is made of PTFE, reinforced polyester and PUR – polyurethane
         
    • The pleated rod filter made of PTFE, PE – sintered polyethylene
    What type of accessories can Piab provide?
    • Stainless steel, aluminum, or PE, aspirated and non-aspirated feed wands
    • Feed adapter with or without flange connection
    • Feed station
    • Flexible vacuum hose
    • Remote start/stop valve
    • Level sensor
    • Containers
    • Transition pieces from the vacuum conveyor to recieving equipment
    What type of filter are available for these units?

    We have different ones for different needs:

    • Pleated rod. Filtration grade 0,5µm. A hard rod filter in PE and PUR material with a PTFE membrane. Comes in black and white version.
    • Pleated. Filtration grade 0,5µm. A hard polyester and PUR filter with a PTFE membrane. Grey colour.
    • Textile. Filtration grade 5,0µm filter bag in polyester and a ePTFE membrane. Light grey colour.
    What type of product can these vacuum conveyors transport?

    They can convey products between fine powder to plastic granules and from free flowing material to non-free flowing dry material.

  • piFLOW®i and f

    Can the filter be washed?

    Depending on the filter type there are different recommendations. Please read the cleaning instructions in the corresponding manual for the vacuum conveyor.

    Can the unit be controlled by a level sensor in the receiving hopper?

    Yes it can, a level sensor including the electric/pneumatic valve will be integrated for it. 110VAC or 24VDC are integrated.

    Does the unit come with any type of control?

    The unit has a pneumatic control which controls the suction and discharge time.

    It can also be w/o control, in that case the end user will need to provide the sequence of operation – PLC control.

    El/pneumatic valve unit can be provided (to convert the electrical signal to a pneumatic output to signal the Piab).

    Does the unit use metric tubing and hardware?

    Yes, it is all metric tubing and hardware.

    How does the unit work/operate?

    Start the Piab control via a pneumatic On/Off valve.
    The vacuum pump starts and at the same time the bottom flap/door closes, the back pulse container (located inside the top part of the Conveyor) charges with compressed air (line pressure). The suction time begins (adjustable to 1-30 seconds via the pneumatic timer).
    When the suction time times out, the control goes into a discharge cycle (adjustable to 1-30 seconds), the vacuum pump will stop, the bottom flap/door opens and the back pulse will clean the filter. And after that it will re-start until the unit is shut off.
    Please also see our video.

    How much can the unit convey?

    100-4000kg/h, depending on the distance and the size of the vacuum conveyor/vacuum pump/filter and product to be conveyed.

    How much compressed air does the unit consume?
    • piBASIC100 pump, 5-7 Nl/sec.
    • piBASIC200 pump, 10-14 Nl/sec.
    • piBASIC400 pump, 20-28 Nl/sec.
    • piBASIC600 pump, 26-37 Nl/sec.
    What are the benefits with the unit?

    The air driven Piab vacuum pump maximizes energy efficiency by using COAX® technology.

    Does not produce any heat.

    Low maintenance because of few parts.

    Efficient filtration (5 – 0.5 micron).

    Maximize productivity with quick-start operation.

    Low noise level (72-76 dBA).

    Optimize available mounting space.

    Increase vacuum conveying capacity with a large volume capability.

    What delivery time does Piab have on a unit?

    We can deliver these vacuum conveyor units in 2-4 weeks after receipt of order.

    What is included in the delivery of the vacuum conveyor?
    • Conveyor
    • Manual
    • Troubleshooting guide
    • Drawings
    What is the filtration for the filters?
    • Textile filters have a minimum particle size of 5 micron
    • Pleated and pleated rod filters have a particle size of 0.5 micron
    What is the surface finish?

    Ra 0.6 µm or better.

    What is the unit made of?
    • The body is made of stainless steel 304L, pickled inside and outside
    • The vacuum pump is made of aluminum, stainless steel and plastic
    What materials are the filters made of?
    • The bag filter is made of ePTFE, polyester needle felt
         
    • The pleated filter is made of PTFE, reinforced polyester and PUR – polyurethane
         
    • The pleated rod filter made of PTFE, PE – sintered polyethylene
    What type of accessories can Piab provide?
    • Stainless steel, aluminum, or PE, aspirated and non-aspirated feed wands
    • Feed adapter with or without flange connection
    • Feed station
    • Flexible vacuum hose
    • Remote start/stop valve
    • Level sensor
    • Containers
    • Transition pieces from the vacuum conveyor to recieving equipment
    What type of filter are available for these units?

    We have different ones for different needs:

    • Pleated rod. Filtration grade 0,5µm. A hard rod filter in PE and PUR material with a PTFE membrane. Comes in black and white version.
    • Pleated. Filtration grade 0,5µm. A hard polyester and PUR filter with a PTFE membrane. Grey colour.
    • Textile. Filtration grade 5,0µm filter bag in polyester and a ePTFE membrane. Light grey colour.
    What type of product can these vacuum conveyors transport?

    They can convey products between fine powder to plastic granules and from free flowing material to non-free flowing dry material.

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