Edwards (EVAC)

IBA12 Gold Stevie WinnerCompany: Edwards (EVAC), Crawley, England
Company Description: Edwards is a leading manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products and abatement systems and a leading provider of related value-added services for the manufacture of semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells and a leader in vacuum technology for industrial, process, chemical, scientific and a wide range of R&D applications.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best New Product or Service of the Year - Industrial Products & Services

Nomination Title: CXS vacuum pump - setting new standards for reliability, performance and control

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 500 words). Describe its functions, features, benefits, and sales results to date:

Vacuum, or sub-atmospheric pressure, is essential in a wide range of chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing applications to facilitate and optimize fundamental processes such as evaporation, crystallization, drying, solvent recovery, deodorization and filtration. It is a critical function: vacuum equipment performance and reliability affects every aspect from quality, yield and safety to energy consumption and environmental impact.

CXS is the latest generation dry vacuum pump for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries from Edwards, the company that first introduced the concept of 'dry' vacuum in the 1980s.

Two key features of CXS make it an important ‘tipping point’ for vacuum technology. First, the innovative tapered screw design facilitates excellent liquids and solids handling leading to high operational reliability. Second, a range of built-in control and safety features make CXS far easier and cheaper to install and set up than anything else available.

Together, these advances (among other improvements) have created the world’s first ‘plug and pump’ system offering vacuum ‘on demand’. Cost of ownership is significantly lowered and the maintenance requirement is almost non-existent.

CXS takes vacuum from ‘specialist equipment’ to ‘utility’.

•Excellent liquids handling

Tapered, discrete variable pitch screw technology delivers a smooth, gradual compression along the length of the rotor. CXS can continuously pump up to one litre of liquid per minute and up to 25 litre slugs without stopping, even in harsh pumping environments. It can provide a deep vacuum down to 10-3 mbar and is certified for use in hazardous environments (explosive atmospheres).

•Easy installation

CXS comes with integral control and safety systems. This makes installation and set up quick, easy and cheap (cost saving approx $12,000 compared to competitive pumps). It can be linked to external control systems via standard interfaces (Ethernet, Profibus DP).

•Long service intervals

Unlike earlier screw designs, CXS does not use a cantilever rotor design or an end compression plate, so material is not compacted during the cool-down phase, and cold seizures are prevented. Pump life expectancy is 25+ years with service intervals of five years.

•Energy efficient and quiet

CXS uses flooded air-gap potted motors, which are up to 15% more efficient than standard motors. Noise levels are typically 64dB(A) without the need for a silencer. CXS’ unique ‘green mode’ saves energy when vacuum is not required but maintains optimum temperature in the pump so that it is available for immediate use. This is better than just turning the pump off between process batches because it saves warm-up time (about 30 minutes) and avoids the possibility of start-up seizures.

•Low cost of ownership

Year-on-year running costs are about 20% lower than those of the nearest competitive dry pump. Savings compared to traditional ‘wet’ technologies are even greater: CXS running costs are less than 50% of those for a liquid ring pump (LRP) and about 75% lower than running a steam ejector.

For chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, CXS offers a chance to reduce production costs. For sites running multiple pumps, the savings can be significant. One customer in India reports a return on investment of just three months!

Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that developed the nominated product or service:

Dr. Don Collins is the Market Development Manager for the chemical and pharmaceutical dry pump section at Edwards. Responsible for Edwards' global chemical dry pump applications engineering, and for identifying value-added vacuum solutions to help grow the company's chemical dry pump business, Don led the design and development of the CXS pump.

Having joined Edwards in 1995 with a background in R&D, mathematical modelling, plant simulation and optimization, Don has designed hundreds of successful vacuum systems which have been installed across the globe.