The Elmo Rietschle S-VSI 301 screw vacuum pump has dry-running vacuum technology.
The Elmo Rietschle S-VSI 301 screw vacuum pump has dry-running vacuum technology.
The Elmo Rietschle S-VSI 301 screw vacuum pump from Gardner Denver.
The Elmo Rietschle S-VSI 301 screw vacuum pump from Gardner Denver.

When a supplier of piped medical gas systems for UK hospitals was looking to save on energy it approached Gardner Denver, who supplied its S-VSI 301 screw vacuum pump delivering oil-free vacuum while aiming to improve whole life costs.

SHJ Hospital Pipelines (SHJ) is using Gardner Denver’s Elmo Rietschle oil-free, screw vacuum pumps in its piped medical gas systems, delivering oil-free vacuum while aiming to improve whole life costs.

SHJ supplies piped medical gas systems for hospitals, compliant with HTM 02-01, which incorporate vacuum technology to help draw off liquids that might occur during surgery in theatres, or from patients staying on wards. SHJ is responsible for designing, installing and maintaining these gas systems in hospitals across the UK.

Less maintenance
To help deliver the medical gas required, Gardner Denver has supplied its S-VSI 301 screw vacuum pump to SHJ. The manufacturer’s claim that its dry-running screw vacuum technology requires less maintenance than alternative oil-lubricated competitor models, which rely on lubricating oil to operate effectively. There is no oil at all within the screw technology’s pumping chamber and so the risk of process contamination is reduced to zero. This makes it suitable for the healthcare environments in which SHJ need these solutions to operate in.

Offering suction capacities from 100 to 600 m3/h and end vacuum of 0.01 mbar (abs.), the S-VSI screw vacuum pump aims to deliver a lower total cost of ownership throughout its lifetime, due to the vacuum pump’s contactless technology; designed to reduce potential breakdowns but minimise on-going maintenance costs too.

The vacuum pump has low noise levels courtesy of the low rotational speed of the screw technology. Quiet operation was an important consideration for SHJ too, to help ensure low noise levels for engineers and other staff.

The new S-VSI screw vacuum pumps from Gardner Denver have already been supplied to a range of hospitals with existing vacuum plant, in order to help their medical gas systems operate more efficiently. This includes Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital in London.

Reliable plant
Kevin Witt, service manager at SHJ, explains: “The gas used in hospitals is absolutely vital. There’s typically no back-up to the vacuum pump being used in these medical gas systems, so it’s critical that we install trusted and reliable plant equipment.”

Mr Witt continued: “Most hospitals will commonly fit oil-lubricated centrifugal vane vacuum pumps within these systems. In contrast, we are one of only a few medical gas companies in the UK that are now using screw vacuum pumps too. This is for a number of good reasons, but the key one is the improved energy efficiency that the technology offers. Driven by an inverter, these variable-speed vacuum pumps are in line with the NHS’ commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, offering an efficient solution that consumes less energy.

“Oil-free technology requires less servicing as well, which is another key advantage. There is only oil in the gearboxes and bearings, which means no separator elements are required. The result? Maintenance spend that is at a fraction of the cost of oil-lubricated models," said Mr Witt.

“When it comes to dealing with Gardner Denver, we have been continually impressed with the delivery dates that have been met, the market-leading products on offer, and the aftersales support that we receive. The team continues to go above and beyond to ensure that all our needs are met, and I would not hesitate seeking out their advice, support and expertise when it comes to vacuum solutions,” Mr Witt concluded.

Energy efficient
Rocco Fanella, Northern Europe key account manager at Gardner Denver, said: “By choosing our oil-free screw vacuum pumps, SHJ can be confident that they are investing in a robust, reliable and energy efficient product.” Mr Fanella continued: “We initially approached SHJ some years ago, replacing a number of competitor rotary vane pumps with screw models, which were better suited to meet the needs of SHJ’s customers.” 

Mr Fanella, summed up: “Thanks to their oil-free operation, our latest screw pumps provide long service intervals, helping to dramatically cut down on costs, while delivering efficient vacuum that can be relied on. SHJ’s units deliver essential medical gas to hospitals across the country, and we are very happy that our screw vacuum pumps play such an important role in these systems.”