The physical benefits for employees, along with the long-term time and cost savings, have made vacuum lifters an important part of factories world-wide. While many people understand the science behind how vacuum lifting works, some  may not understand exactly what is used to power these lifting mechanisms. There are two main kinds of power units that are utilized for vacuum lifting: pulley-driven and direct drive. These powerful drives are the force behind vacuum lifters and each kind provides benefits to users.

Pulley-Driven Power Units

To understand how a pulley-driven power unit works, it is first important to understand how a simple pulley system works. These systems essentially change the direction of the pull or force applied. This means that with a single pulley, a user would be able to double the weight of a load that could be lifted without assistance. Understanding this, it makes sense a drive pulley is just a pulley that is attached to a power source that when in use, puts force on a belt, cable, or chain. Therefore, a pulley-driven power unit utilizes this pulley and belt to spin and create a power transmission.

The UniMove enclosed, pulley-driven power units operate at >5,000 rpm (rotations per minute). This speed on the high-capacity compressors is nearly 50% greater than a direct drive power unit. Therefore, pulley-driven power units are more suitable for higher capacities and highly porous loads because they can compensate for air loss. Porous loads contain pores that are permeable to air and fluids, making them harder to handle utilizing a vacuum lifter. With a pulley-driven power unit, a vacuum lifter can be perfectly suited for porous lift applications.

Direct Drive Power Units

Direct drive power units transmit motion to a system or object requiring actuation without the use of any further mechanical components (source). While pulley-driven power units need both a pulley-system and a belt to function, these units do not. Instead, the motor drives the vacuum pump directly (hence the name), giving them a high degree of reliability and precision over other systems. In fact, direct drive power units are known as the most efficient and effective units available because of their greater dynamics in comparison to other drive forms.

While the UniMove pulley-driven high capacity compressors can operate at a 50% increased speed and are extremely useful for lifting porous loads, there are economic reasons that direct drive power units can be an effective solution as well. Because of their simple structure, direct drive units have low degrees of wear and tear and offer users a long-term solution. Because of lowered maintenance costs and downtime, these drives are an economic solution in many lower capacity vacuum lifting applications.

You have the Power – Now What?

Now that you know what kind of power unit will work for your vacuum lifting application, it’s important to pick the best vacuum lifting systems on the market. UNIMOVE, LLC.’s systems are superior in quality, durability, and reliability. They offer the highest lifting capacities in the industry for both porous and nonporous loads. Our unmatched experience allows us the versatility to respond with unique solutions to a variety of lifting scenarios. Contact us today to get started!

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