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Vacuum Technology in the Lab

Quiet, Clean and Powerful Vacuum Technology for Analytics

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Two flexible interfaces and handling of water vapor

Configured with two interfaces options, the pump can also be controlled remotely. When used in commercial analysis systems, they are often integrated into the control system and started and stopped, varied in speed and also monitored as required.

The Ecodry plus is also suitable for large-scale accelerators because it avoids contamination through dust or oil. What is more, modern pumps should be able to handle the continuous presence of water vapor. Vapor can be produced in drying applications, for instance, the regeneration of cryogenic pumps or the pumping out of big chambers with large surfaces. The Ecodry plus is accordingly configured with a gas ballast valve that can be opened manually in order to pump water vapor at rates of up to 500 g/h without condensation. Since the gas ballast intake has an integrated muffler, undesired noise is likewise suppressed.

Integration into compact high-vacuum pump systems

In addition to forevacuum pumps such as the Ecodry Plus, the high vacuum pumps from Leybold such as the Turbovac i and Turbovac iX turbomolecular pump families have also been developed for the Analytical and Research and Development markets. These product ranges are similarly showcasing their maximum performance in very different industries.

Equipped with an additional compression stage, the Turbovac 90 i, 250 i, 350 i and 450 i models are suitable for ultra-high vacuum applications and integration into compact pump system solutions. With a pumping speed for light gases that is up to 60 percent more than that of comparable products and a compression value some 100 times greater than was the case with products of the previous generation, they are designed for processes with small fore-pumps.

By contrast, the Turbovac T 350 i and T 450 i are characterized by their classic rotor design, high gas throughput, faster run-up times and insensitivity to particles, which predestines them for process applications and high gas loads.

The Turbovac i models with multiple pump inlets — available in all four pumping speeds of the pump range — were likewise developed for use in analytical instruments. This pump series offer a high degree of flexibility, thanks for instance to the individual configuration of the vacuum connections and the rotor design. The multi-inlet turbo-pumps are also available as cartridge variants. These are pumps that are pushed directly into the vacuum system without any housing of their own for maximum compactness, minimized conductances and ease of assembly and maintenance.

Purge gas connection for high system availability

The oil and maintenance-free hybrid bearing with lifetime lubrication is characterized by reliability and durability and removes the need for regular maintenance through oil changes. The replaceable bearing system keeps noise and vibration in operation to a minimum, while the optimized thermal design of the Turbovac i and Turbovac iX ensures effective cooling of the bearings. To protect the bearings from critical gases or particles, all pumps are fitted with a purge gas connection, enhancing their service life and system availability. The Turbovac i family does not just set standards in vacuum technology, though: users also have plenty of options and high flexibility when it comes to the electronic control. All models feature a digital I/O, USB and RS485 interface and can control a 24 V DC accessory. Other fieldbus interfaces are available as an option. In addition, a pressure gauge head can be connected to the Turbovac iX models and three accessories can be controlled independently of each other, turning the pump into a complete vacuum control system for the user. Their compact design tends to make the tried-and-tested Turbovac-turbomolecular line of pumps a first choice for integration into high-vacuum systems such as the Leybold Turbolab used in many labs and research facilities. The flexible use covers a broad spectrum of R&D and analysis applications, whether in the desktop or the mobile cart variant. Predefined connections allow rapid plug & play of the components without any configuration. In the Turbolab system a variety of fore-pump technologies can be employed as well.

However, Turbolab systems also deliver on another critical research aspect that is becoming increasingly important: intelligent data management. This makes system configuration, operation, monitoring and control much simpler. Parameters such as errors, warning messages, frequency, temperature, current or pressure characteristics are recorded internally and can be adjusted directly on site by the user. An integrated web server allows Turbolab devices to be remote controlled, monitored and configured, even from a mobile terminal device or stationary computer. The PC-based software tool Turbolab Data Viewer analyzes the recorded data and logs and monitors the status and key parameters — even of multiple devices — in real time. Events can be visualized chronologically by opening the trend view, allowing data to be quickly compared. This new way of viewing the event-related data helps in the diagnosis of all conditions of relevance to the vacuum system. That means it is not only the vacuum hardware from Leybold that meets the increasingly more stringent requirements profile in analytics: the options for recording and processing the data also satisfy the ever more important criterion of generating data from the systems in order to continuously obtain new findings for customers and users.

* Dr. A. Kaiser, R. Funke: Leybold GmbH, 50968 Köln