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Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

Did a search in a few forums but came up empty handed.

Using a Festo vacuum module (13 CFM) (with its own blowoff  system, and internal solenoid valves) in a very dusty environment. Even using a 40, 50 and recently 10 micron inline air filters, the vacuum modules are still malfunctioning, due to the dust. Very delicate internal parts.

Next, tried a simple always-on vacuum venturi unit (25 CFM), but the same happened; dust clogging the nozzles and vacuum drops.

Cannot use any other type of pick and place (grippers), because I'm picking up a 5-10 gram flat square pad.

The dust is corn starch, and can't get rid of it (must stay on food product).

Anyone with any information, I appreciate it. What about a Venturi nozzle, larger than the size of the dust particles that would simply exhaust the dust? Can't find any.


RE: Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

You might have to stay away from the All-In-One modules and put in a system of venturis + solenoid valves + suction cups.

A couple of vendors to look at (there are MANY more):



RE: Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

I understand that I have to use a non-complicated Venturi system, but I'm using one now but the nozzle is getting clogged with dust.

If the Venturi were 1/8" opening or larger, then I wouldn't have a problem (?), but large CFM, which is OK.

Checked out PIAM and Schmalz; look like European.

Any other hints?

RE: Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

Schmalz & PIAB are certainly Euro, but are as well represented here in the US as Festo.  Like I said, there are MANY more.  Google.

Because of the dust issue, you're probably going to have to get creative about blowing out the dust every few cycles in a clean-off step.  This can be done by piping in a solenoid valve to control clean-off through the suction tube, or put in a separate external station for clean-off.


RE: Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

There are bunches of cheap single stage venturi pumps.  McMaster-Carr has several listed.  Before you get too big on you venturi opening make sure you got enough air available to operate it.

Some things I have done in dusty applications is to put a jar type filter between the cup and pump and not turn on the pump until on the part.  The not turning the pump on until on the part really helps if you have a fairly non-porous part.

Another thing if you go with the big venturi is too make your own muffler using brillo pads in a pvc pipe.  Get a 4" pipe about 6" long and put the pads inside.  Cap both ends then run the air in on end and drill a bunch of holes in other end.  These really silence well and are about impossible to clog.


RE: Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

In My personal opinion you need use the VDS-250-ST from www.edcousa.net dont require filters have a large the max vacuum flow is 10 scfm, and their straight through non-clog design is ideal very dusty and dirty applications such a bag filling or handling ceramics or masonry products, we replace many pumps from Piab or Schmaltz in dusty enviroments.

RE: Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

I had that very same Problem on a Pick and Place application, we solved the problem with a control value,
the Suction was turned into a blowing applacation that ran all the time, untill it was time to reverse the action and vacumum up the part.

The outgoing air flow cleaned the surface, the incomming vacumum picked up the part.

RE: Vacuum Pick & Place in Dusty Environment

Good solution, zjBull.

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