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OTC Insights Team

Established in 1963, OTC Industrial Technologies is one of the largest industrial distributors & service providers in the United States. We're committed to seeing industrial operations advance through expert technical solutions & unmatched support using our years of experience.

Manufacturing is a complex process, with a multitude of devices and processes working in conjunction to produce an effect or product. Today, one of the most vital tools in manufacturing is the vacuum pump.

Vacuum Pumps for Every Situation. Discover Pump Solutions from OTC. Start Now.

The Definition of a Vacuum Pump 

Vacuum pumps are designed to remove gas and air particles from a sealed area.  

This creates space that is empty of particulates — gas and air. In this way, the vacuum pump achieves the desired pressure. These vacuum pumps come in a variety of different sizes, based on different technology and desired pressure standards. They are also designed to manage a media, either gas or liquid.  

How Is the Vacuum Pump Used? 

Most often, a vacuum pump is used to clean or seal an area.  

You can find vacuum pumps in almost any industry where you need to remove gas and air particles from an area. They are common in the food and beverage industry, electronics, medical and medical device manufacturing, semiconductors, and the pulp and paper manufacturing verticals. 

Types of Vacuum Pumps 

Depending on your need in the manufacturing process, there are a variety of vacuum pumps. These include: 

Gas Transfer Pumps 

These pumps work to transfer gas molecules through kinetic action. As a result, the same amount of gas particles that enter the pump, exit the pump.  

Kinetic Transfer Pumps  

Kinetic transfer pumps work to eliminate gas through the use of fast-moving blades. These pumps typically achieve high compression but do not produce sealed volumes.  

Positive Displacement Pumps  

Next, there are positive displacement pumps which work by trapping gas and moving it forward through the pump. These pumps are typically used to create a low vacuum.  

Entrapment Pumps 

Finally, there are entrapment pumps which use chemical reactions to trap gas molecules on the surface.  

Determining the Vacuum Pump for Your Needs 

Before making a purchase, it is important to consider the following to determine the specific vacuum pump you'll need, especially for new processes:  

  • Are there space or size restrictions to the area where the pump will be located? 
  • What material will be handled by the pump? 
  • What pressure is required from the vacuum pump? 
  • Is there a necessary pump speed for the application? 
  • What vacuum flow is required from the pump? 
  • Are there any contaminants in the location where the vacuum pump will be? 

While these questions don’t cover every factor that should be considered before purchasing a pump, they'll give you a starting point as you build a requirement list for a new pump.  

Optimizing Vacuum Pump Installation and Use 

Vacuum pumps are a fundamental tool for many companies and manufacturing verticals. While there may appear to be a multitude of options when it comes to pumps, it is important to optimize your choice.  

Look at every factor. Are there regulations that need to be met by the pump? How important is access for maintenance and repair? Will one pump material interact with the material being pumped? 

Rather than leave the results of your purchase up to chance and luck, work with a team like OTC Industrial Technologies that understands pumps and pump operation. They understand manufacturing and pump and motor technologies and can provide the experience and training that you may not have on staff. 


Contact OTC today to learn more.