If you are need to purchase vacuum lifting equipment, you may be unsure how to choose between vacuum lifters, which at face value appear to be the same. The initial or upfront cost isn't necessarily the most important consideration. Safety, Reliability & the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are important considerations.
Here are some facts you should consider:-
Can cost affect safety?
To reduce cost some manufacturers ‘down spec’ their equipment. Basic control & warning systems, non-existent guiding handles, non-interlocked vacuum controls, low safety factors. These deficiencies can result in operator injury or fatigue and accidental load release.
BS EN 13155:2003 + A2 2009 was published to advise manufacturers of the minimum design specifications required to meet the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC as amended. Kilner Vacuumation has always put safety first, our products are designed to meet or exceed the relevant standards.
Will the equipment be reliable?
The heart of the vacuum lifter is the vacuum pump. Cutting costs by fitting small, undersized pumps means that the pump will have to work harder and run longer to achieve working vacuum. This can mean slower production cycles, more frequent servicing and increased maintenance costs. Poor or no filtration causes damage to pumps and valves, which is a major cause of leaks breakdowns.
Vacuum lifters rely on various electrical devices for safe reliable operation. Our control panels are built to a high standard and comply with regulations. In addition to well designed control and alarm circuits we fit quality components to ensure reliable operation.
Does the manufacturer provide on site support?
Some companies don't provide on site service, which can leave you with compromised safety or costly production downtime. While certain maintenance tasks can be accomplished safely and easily by the end user, there are other aspects of vacuum lifter inspection or maintenance that require experienced vacuum lifting engineers. Kilner Vacuumation has a service team that cover the whole of the UK. We keep stocks of critical spares and vacuum pads, which are produced in our own factory. We are the only UK company who does this.
What are the consumable & maintenance costs?
Vacuum pads, sponge vacuum seals, hoses and vacuum pumps are subject to wear. Our vacuum pads are designed to be durable, the wear rate depends on the working environment. We can normally supply replacements from stock and in emergencies can produce replacements within a day or so.
Rotary vacuum pumps require periodic servicing but usually last for many years. They are the first choice for reliable equipment. Diaphragm vacuum pumps are sometimes used for light duty battery powered vacuum lifters. These pumps require replacement diaphragms, brushes and motors. In high usage applications they may need replacing frequently.
If you have any questions about reliability or maintenance costs we would be glad to advise.