The lightweight piChip vacuum pump from Piab USA Inc., Hingham, Mass., is flexible enough to surface mount quickly on a variety of materials. Its compressed-air and vacuum ports are on the same side, making it easy to add to machines or instruments. And, if adjustments are needed due to process changes, the piCHIP can be quickly modified to double the output for faster response. The small pump makes little noise, so it is well suited to clean-room operations and the medical and electronics industries.

The pump is made of polyamide with the interface to the compressed air, vacuum, and exhaust channels on the housing’s open side. Nitrile seals are standard but Viton alternatives will be available soon for challenging chemical applications. The exhaust can be routed directly from the pump or through a sealed (central) plug.

With a choice of three different types of coax vacuum cartridges to suit specific needs, the piCHIP can handle vacuum levels from 22.2 to 27.2-in. Hg with almost a 2:1 ratio of vacuum flow to air consumption. Coax cartridges are also up to twice as fast as other cartridges and provide three times the flow of a conventional ejector with the same air consumption. This lets the piCHIP provide a consistent vacuum even at low or fluctuating feed pressures (14.5 to 87 psi).