Do you need an onsite or offsite vacuum pump?

From small-scale experiments to large industrial production lines, vacuum pump failure can force your project into downtime — leading to missed deadlines and revenue loss. For many organisations, sourcing an onsite or offsite backup pump is crucial to safeguarding projects. 

Here, we explore whether your project would benefit from keeping spare vacuum pumps. Let’s begin by looking at having an onsite backup. 

Should you have an onsite backup vacuum pump?

Having an onsite spare enables you to quickly replace the malfunctioning pump with your backup with little downtime. 

But when stored pumps aren’t properly maintained, they often don’t perform optimally. For example, some pumps need to be manually rotated to keep bearings lubricated. And by sitting on shelves for long periods, there’s the risk that spare pumps or parts become contaminated with dirt. 

These issues may not impact systems that cycle through pumps at such a high turnover that spare pumps rarely require maintenance. For most organisations, preventative maintenance is critical to keeping your onsite vacuum pumps in good working order.

Benefits to having offsite spare vacuum pumps

Vacuum pump suppliers often hold a supply of commonly-used pumps which they deliver within 24–48 hours. While relying on offsite vendors isn’t as quick as having a spare on hand, this option eliminates the need to consistently maintain backup pumps. 

However, your supplier may not have the model you need in stock and you still experience downtime as you wait for your pump to be delivered. To minimize downtime, many suppliers can hold a specific set of spares aside for you, with a guarantee of it being in stock when you need it. This service usually incurs a small monthly holding fee. 

The upside of this approach is that you do not have to pay for a spare pump until you need it, but the downside is that you have to wait for some time to have the pump delivered to you.

The right decision for your project... 

The context of your project should guide your decision to get an onsite or offsite backup pump.  If you have the capacity to maintain your spares or your project has a low tolerance for downtime, then consider sourcing an onsite vacuum pump. But if you don’t have the resources to maintain backups, then your vendor may offer a backup solution. 

Of course, you have the option of not organising any backup pumps. Not sourcing a backup may lead to weeks of downtime as you wait for your pump to be repaired. For many organisations, this is an untenable situation that limits project success. 

Sourcing a backup pump is one of many key steps in maintaining a safe and reliable vacuum system. We’ve written a free ebook to help organisations reduce project downtime by optimising vacuum system performance. In it, we share insights on:

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