I Need a Vacuum Pump That Really Sucks!!!

I have heard this request MANY times over the years and have found more often than not, that the lack of performance experienced in VACUUM APPLICATIONS has LITTLE TO DO with the pump and much to do with simple plumbing considerations or effector sizing. Putting a much larger pump on a restrictive system is inefficient and can have limited effect on system or effector (vacuum cups or similar) performance.

BASIC System Considerations:

  • Are plumbing, tubing, and related fittings sized properly?
    • Restrictions to flow have a huge impact on system performance.
      • Think of the 3” fire hose vs. garden hose analogy. Which do you suppose moves more water @ the same pressure?
    • Plumbing , tubing and related fittings should be at least the size of inlet and outlet ports (if plumbed).
    • Larger ID components are much less restrictive to flow, providing greater system efficiency.
    • Limiting the length of tubing and plumbing runs also adds to overall system efficiency.
  • Are there restrictive valves, filters, and mufflers plumbed into the system?
    • Make sure valve port size and CV rating are adequate to limit restriction.
      • Note: There is only about 10 PSI of motive force available, with a system operating @ 20” Hg, based on 14.7 PSI atmospheric pressure and max vacuum of 29.9 inches.
    • Are filters, mufflers, and their respective elements properly sized.
      • Service elements regularly! Clogged filters and mufflers kill performance and efficiency.


  • Vacuum gauges are the simple way to QUANTIFY system performance, as components are changed and modified.
    • At a minimum, the suggestion is to have a gauge at the pump inlet and another at the point of application.
      • This way system resistance can be observed as components are changed and modified or filter elements clog.Tip:  A vacuum system without gauges is like flying an airplane in the fog without an altimeter!
  • Vacuum cup size has a big impact with lifting force performance and system efficiency in pick, place and material handling applications.
    • Example: Please see info below for your consideration…

Approx. Lifting Force in Lbs. @ Ref Inches Hg

Cup Dia”     10 inHg       15 inHg      20 inHg      27 inHg

2”             15                23               30               41

3.25”         40                61               81              110

4.75”         87               130             174             235

Note: 200 – 500% Safety factor is commonly used in cup selection, as each situation is different.

  • Question: On a simple percentage basis, does a larger vacuum cup (more surface area) or a greater vacuum level (Inches Hg.) produce more lifting power?

Bottom Line: Use the largest cup possible to increase safety and ease the requirements on your vacuum pump.

RG-Group can provide vacuum pumps with open flows of less than 1 CFM to 22,000 CFM and maximum vacuum to 1.0 x 10-3 mbar / 7.7 x 10-4 Torr. In addition to a myriad of related system components and accessories.

Let us help you find the right solutions to your vacuum requirements.

You can count on RG Group for excellent quality and service

Contact us today