How to Determine the Cost of a Vacuum Pump

vacuum pump for secondary packaging

For manufacturers and resellers, calculating the true cost of a vacuum pump before purchasing is often a challenge. We look at the real factors that affect what you’ll pay for a new vacuum solution.

One of the first things an OEM wants to know when they’re in the market for a new vacuum pump is, “what’s it going to cost?”

Sourcing a new vacuum pump solution is a significant decision, and it’s not something the average buyer does every day. There’s no wonder it isn’t easy to nail down a price, especially with all the features and technology available.

That’s why we made this post; to help you identify the variables that influence the cost of a vacuum pump.

Do you need a custom pump design? Our in-house design team can help.

Consider Factors Impacting Vacuum Pump Pricing

For a deeper look into the cost of a vacuum pump, it helps to understand standard pump technologies, their operating principles, and how your application affects pump operation.

Pump technology

One of the first things to figure out is what kind of pump you need. We’ll focus on positive displacement pumps in this post.

Oil-lubricated rotary vane pumps generally have the lowest initial cost because this technology is the oldest and the manufacturing process is well-established.

The initial cost of a vacuum pump with oil-less rotary vane technology is slightly more than an oil-lubricated unit. Touchless pump technology (hook & claw) is the most expensive.

Flow rate

A pump’s flow rate is a measure of the gas (or vapor) volume that the unit can move in a given time interval, typically measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Sometimes flow rate is referred to as “pumping speed” or “air displacement”.

Your application will have a minimum flow rate a pump must deliver in order to achieve the desired vacuum level. If you’re using a pump that can’t generate enough flow, the unit may take too long to complete its job.

Vacuum level

The pressure differential between an evacuated area and the adjacent atmosphere is known as the vacuum level, and it’s measured using Hg or Torr. Vacuum levels can be grouped broadly as Low / Rough, Medium, and High.

Because the more air (or gas or vapor) a vacuum pump removes, the harder it has to work. Hence, pumping speeds are not constant, and flow rate decreases as the pump works to form a perfect vacuum.

It’s essential to consider the working flow rate at the vacuum level your application requires. Otherwise, a pump manufacturer has no way to ensure a unit’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Available voltage

Voltage is the amount of potential energy between two points on a circuit. A pump’s motor must match the available voltage level. Voltage typically depends on location; for example, a unit could be wired directly into a building or installed as a component within a piece of mobile equipment.

Voltage affects the size and positioning of pump parts and also influences the motor’s power efficiency.

Ambient conditions

The ambient conditions surrounding a vacuum pump, specifically the temperature and atmospheric pressure, significantly affect a unit’s performance as well as its cost.

Ambient temperature is critical because operating a pump generates heat, which affects the unit’s service life and performance. Atmospheric pressure impacts pump effectiveness at high altitudes—a unit’s maximum vacuum potential decreases about 30% for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain.

Application

Vacuum pump selection is dependent on the unit’s application and the system it’s connected to.

Applications such as lifting and work-holding, including secondary-packaging or CNC, typically use a low to medium vacuum system. Applications like thermoforming often require a unit that can deliver a high vacuum level.

To enhance pump performance as it relates to your specific application, Becker Pumps offers a selection of useful accessories. Some of our most frequently requested additions include:

Trying out a pump is the best way to find out if it’s right for your needs, which is why Becker offers a 30- to 90-day test & trial program.

Contact Becker Pumps to book a free testing session, talk through the pricing facts with a specialist, or get expert help determining the cost of a vacuum pump.

Do you need a custom pump design?

Our in-house design team can help.

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Assess the Full Cost of Vacuum Pump Ownership

The total cost of a vacuum pump involves more than the upfront purchase price. When budgeting, remember to include sales taxes, shipping and insurance fees, and assembly and installation costs.

Maintenance, which continues for the life of a pump, is also worth taking into account.

In general, oil-lubricated rotary vane vacuum pumps are the most expensive to maintain. In contrast, oil-less rotary vane pumps have relatively small maintenance costs, and touchless (hook & claw) pumps require very little upkeep.

What’s the Bottom Line with Becker Pumps?

There are many different pump technologies, and they all have associated costs. Knowing what you need upfront is the key to selecting a unit with the lowest possible cost of ownership. However, cost is just one consideration, and looking for the absolute lowest pricing isn’t always wise.

For example, a well-designed vacuum pump will keep up much of its speed throughout its operating range. A cheaper unit may tout the same specs but deliver an inferior performance, quickly dropping its flow rate.

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