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How to streamline your heat-treating business part 1 vacuum pumps

May 12, 2020


If you work in the heat-treating business, you know that the most important area of your factory is the hot zone.

When it comes to creating proper maintenance protocols, it’s critical to ensure that your team can dedicate most of their time and energy to the hot zone. To do this effectively, you’ll want to be proactive about limiting maintenance requirements in other areas of the factory. That means replacing outdated pieces of machinery and streamlining processes wherever you can.

For heat treatment facilities, the best place to start this streamlining process is with vacuum pumps.

Creating better piston pump solutions

Vacuum pumps are a key point where most factories can cut down on maintenance time.

Let's have a look at the numbers: Say you have 20 piston pumps operating in your shop. Your maintenance staff must change the oil on each pump every three to six months. If it takes about an hour to perform an oil change for a single pump, that adds up to about 20 hours or half a week of work to complete.

You'll be able to save that time by installing dry vacuum pumps instead of oil pumps. Leybold offers many options, including the DV650/WH4400, the DV300/WH2500, or the Varodry 200. By replacing your piston pumps with dry vacuum pumps, you'll be able to free your maintenance team to work on the more important elements of your factory, like ensuring that your furnaces are running smoothly.

Related: Learn more about the Leybold VARODRY VD200 air cooled pump on our product information page. 

Maintaining and replacing diffusion pumps

Diffusion pumps can be changed out to cut down maintenance time as well. 
In general, most shops change the oil in their diffusion pumps twice per year. This is done biannually since there's no way to know exactly when the oil needs to be changed. Because heaters in the typical diffusion pump burn out frequently, it's important to be proactive. 
As you know, an oil change often takes a whole shift, while changing a heater can take an entire day. With 20 diffusion pumps, you could be spending 40 days of maintenance on these pumps alone. 
With newer diffusion pump technology, however, you can reduce your diffusion pump maintenance to a small percentage of your current maintenance demands. The Leybold DIJ line of diffusion pumps tells you when the oil needs to be changed, virtually eliminating heater burnout and extending the life of your oil. In fact, that oil can last almost three times as long as a result. Check them out on our DIJ product page. 

Related: When is a diffusion pump the right choice? Our blog post on the topic takes you through when it'll help you get the job done.

Learn more about how to save maintenance time

By creating a plan to minimize downtime, you can maximize the impact of your best maintenance people. Consider upgrading your vacuum equipment so that your workers are free to spend more time working on your hot zones.

Of course, there are other benefits to these upgrades as well. Thanks to oil-free systems, you won't have to worry about meeting EPA oil smoke emissions standards. Plus, you won't have to deal with oil disposals, and you can produce greater efficiency from your furnace. This, in turn, reduces downtime and can result in huge cost savings in vacuum pump oil alone.

Read part 2 of this blog series and get tips on streamlining operations to attract high-value customers to your heat-treating business.

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