As the properties and capabilities of glass evolve, the material is seeing use in increasingly diverse applications. This, in turn, is placing greater demands on glass production systems. This includes vacuum technology, which forms a central component in the production and processing of glass products. For example, the evacuation of glass molds, the coating of architectural glass and bottling under vacuum are necessary to ensure high product quality and efficient processing. In addition, vacuum lifters guarantee the safe internal transport of heavy and sensitive glass parts.
To handle these types of applications with high vacuum requirements, Atlas Copco will introduce its new variable speed drive vacuum pump series GHS 3800-5400 VSD+ at the Glasstec 2018 expo in Düsseldorf.
The new screw vacuum pumps underline a commitment to sustainable glass production, said company officials. The GHS VSD+ vacuum pump series features a robust design, long service life and greatly improved oil cooling and retention, which contribute to savings in production processes and results in significantly reduced life cycle costs, compared to the economics of competing vacuum systems.
The GHS VSD+ series was designed as a durable plug-and-play system in a single housing. “The energy-efficient units deliver higher volume flows per hour and kilowatt power consumption than vacuum pumps with comparable performance,” explained Christoph Angenendt, communications manager for Industrial Vacuum at Atlas Copco. It therefore makes sense to convert several decentralized pumps to a central vacuum supply, he said.
With a GHS VSD+ system, users can significantly increase their productivity. Atlas Copco reports energy savings of up to 50% in glass production compared to applications with conventional rotary vane vacuum pumps. “The payback time for a converted system is correspondingly short,” added Angenendt.
During development of the GHS 3800-5400 VSD+ Atlas Copco’s design engineers drew from the experience with the established GHS 350-900 VSD+ and GHS 1300-1900 VSD+ series. They also feature high efficiency and reliability and are available as a compact, user and service-friendly package. The screw element at the heart of the pumps offers a lifetime guarantee, while intelligent turbo and humid versions ensure trouble-free performance even in difficult application environments. The coarse vacuum pumps are optionally equipped with air or water cooling. An energy recovery option makes it possible to recycle energy losses from the IE3 high-efficiency motor. And excellent oil retention improves the quality of exhaust air compared to alternative technologies. “This results in a cleaner and cooler working environment,” said Angenendt, which clearly benefits the users.
The Elektronikon Mk5 control system and speed-controlled drive system (VSD+) make pump operation extremely economical. The pressure setpoint control function ensures that the pumps deliver the lowest possible vacuum flow to maintain the required vacuum. This minimizes energy consumption and reduces operating costs over the lifecycle.
Low maintenance requirements of the series also contribute to efficiency. “There are no rotary vanes that need to be replaced, and the screw element is also maintenance-free for years. In addition, suction filters and oil separators can be replaced without dismantling the piping,” Angenendt explained.
The unit’s SMARTlink software keeps the operator informed about necessary maintenance work. The system displays all relevant information on an intuitively understandable, graphical user interface. The operating vacuum can be adjusted or changed by pressing a key. This lets users easily adapt the pump’s performance to the respective process requirements.
While the Elektronikon Mk5 system allows integration into the user’s plant management system, Atlas Copco’s SMARTlink enables remote monitoring. It simplifies maintenance and provides data needed for service technicians to adjust operating settings in real time. Equipped with compact, customer-oriented design, the GHS VSD+ series is said to be quick and easy to install. All necessary components are supplied to the users as a complete package.
Other advantages of the GHS VSD+ series include the lowest energy requirement per m3/hr flow of a coarse vacuum pump; adaptive high-performance variable speed drive (VSD) with pressure setpoint control; state-of-the-art 3-stage oil separation for ultrapure exhaust air over operating ranges from atmosphere to 5 mbar final pressure; and variable temperature control through innovative VSD cooling fan and active oil control.
It also offers quiet operation, with noise levels about 7dB below that of alternative technologies. And the vacuum pump conforms to energy management and environmental obligations according to ISO 50001/14001.