Plastic Vacuum Feeder

Plastic vacuum feeders play a crucial role in the efficient handling and processing of plastic materials within various industries. These feeding systems are designed to transport raw plastic materials, such as pellets or granules, from storage containers to other equipment such as extruders, mixers, or molding machines. This process ensures a consistent and controlled flow of materials, improving overall productivity and reducing waste.

There are two main types of vacuum feeders: volumetric and gravimetric. Volumetric feeders utilize a specific volume of material per unit of time, controlling the flow based on volume, while gravimetric feeders rely on precise weight measurements to control the rate of feeding accurately. A well-engineered vacuum feeding system offers numerous benefits, including reduced labor, improved safety, and enhanced process control.

In this article, we will explore the key aspects of plastic vacuum feeders, diving into their components, working principles, and various applications. We will also discuss best practices for their installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting, ultimately equipping the reader with the knowledge to optimize their plastic processing operations.

Vacuum Feeder Basics


A vacuum feeder is a device commonly used in the plastics industry to transfer lighter weight, granular, and powder materials from a single source like Gaylords to a destination such as a blender, drying hopper, or machine throat. The essential components of a vacuum feeder include a vacuum pump, a pickup lance, and a vacuum loader. In some systems, a vacuum injector is used to introduce liquid materials into a feed-water stream safely. Additionally, vacuum cups can be used to hold and transfer objects in various applications 12.


Generally, vacuum feeders function by generating negative pressure or vacuum force with the help of a vacuum pump. The pickup lance is then placed into the material source container, and a flexible hose connects the lance to the vacuum loader 1. As the vacuum pressure increases, the material is drawn into the pickup lance and transferred through the flexible hose into the vacuum loader 3. This system is energy-efficient and ensures less damage to delicate materials during transfer.

In some cases, vacuum feeders are also used to handle liquid materials. A vacuum injector system regulates the liquid’s flow and introduction into the feed-water stream, ensuring accurate and consistent feeding rates. The reversing servo motor and electronic flow sensor facilitate this system, giving the operator precise control over the feed rate 4.


  1. Plastics Technology 2
  2. Wxtytech
  3. Powder Bulk Solids
  4. Jcs Industries

Applications in the Plastics Industry


In the plastics industry, vacuum feeding systems play a critical role in efficiently transporting various materials to the processing machines, such as extruders. Extruders are vital equipment used for melting and shaping plastic materials into the desired forms, such as pellets or products with specific shapes and sizes. Vacuum feeders ensure that the precise amounts of raw materials, like powders, pellets, and granules, are conveyed to the extruders without any blockages, greatly enhancing productivity^[1^].

When working with extruders, vacuum feeders maintain optimal material flow and quality by eliminating the risk of contamination that may arise from manual handling. They can be utilized for various applications, including the production of:

  • Films and sheets
  • Tubes and pipes
  • Insulation materials
  • Wire coating
  • Profiles and rods

In addition, vacuum feeding systems can be integrated with other equipment in the production line, such as blenders, mixers, and storage silos, ensuring seamless material flow throughout the entire manufacturing process^[2^].

Vacuum feeders offer several benefits in plastic extrusion, including:

  • Precise dosage control
  • Reduction of material waste
  • Improved consistency in material properties
  • Enhanced process efficiency
  • Safe, clean, and dust-free environment

All these advantages contribute to a more cost-effective and environmentally conscious plastic extrusion process.

Materials Handled

Vacuum feeders can handle a wide variety of materials used in plastic extrusion, as the properties of the materials can range from fine, cohesive powders to larger pellets, pastilles, and flakes^[3^]. The versatility of vacuum feeding systems allows manufacturers to customize their processes according to the specific needs of each material type.

To ensure optimal performance of vacuum feeders, these systems can be designed with various options, such as adjustable suction levels, self-cleaning filters, and multiple inlet or outlet configurations, catering to the specific properties of the materials being conveyed.

In summary, vacuum feeding systems are an essential component in the plastics industry, particularly in the extrusion process, as they enable efficient material handling and contribute to higher productivity, enhanced quality, and cost savings.

Installation and Ease of Use

Simple to Install

Plastic vacuum feeders are designed to be user-friendly and straightforward to install. Generally, these systems can be set up without requiring any special training. For example, the Con-Evator SVR vacuum hopper loader is specifically designed for ease of use and minimal setup time.

To install a vacuum feeder, start by positioning the loader near the processing machine or hopper it will be transferring materials to. Next, connect the loader to the source of the material, such as a bin or bag. Make sure the hoses and connections between the loader and the source are properly attached and sealed to prevent material loss or contamination.

Configure the control panel settings according to the desired feeding rates, material specifications, and any special requirements for the specific materials being handled. For instance, some vacuum feeders might include a separate filter device to provide dust removal and noise reduction for quiet operation, like the 300G Automatic Material Feeding Machine Auto Loader. Adjust these settings as needed to achieve efficient and reliable material transfer.

Improper installation can lead to material blockages and inadequate vacuum. Therefore, it is essential to review the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations prior to installation for optimal performance.

Throughout the operation, it is crucial to perform routine maintenance and cleaning to ensure the system operates at peak efficiency. Most vacuum feeders are designed with features like removable lids and transparent sections for easy access and monitoring, as evidenced by Plastics Technology, making regular maintenance more convenient.

In summary, plastic vacuum feeders are designed for simple installation and ease of use, with features that promote efficient material transfer and long-term reliability. By following the manufacturer’s guidelines and performing regular maintenance, users can enjoy a hassle-free and productive experience with their vacuum feeder system.

Vacuum Loader and Its Uses

A vacuum loader is a device used for transferring various materials, such as pellets, regrind, and powders, in the plastics industry. These loaders often function as part of a vacuum conveying system, where they transport the material from a single source to a single destination (e.g., from a Gaylord to a blender, drying hopper or machine throat) 1.

There are two primary types of vacuum loaders: self-contained and venturi-style. Self-contained vacuum loaders come with an integral motor that generates the vacuum needed to convey plastic resin from a nearby bulk container, drying hopper, or blender bin2. Venturi-style vacuum loaders, on the other hand, rely on compressed air to create a vacuum convey source3.

Various vacuum loader models cater to specific material needs. Some vacuum loaders are specially designed for pellets and regrind, while others are made for handling powders2. When selecting the right vacuum loader for a particular application, it is essential to consider factors such as material type, conveying distance, and desired loading capacity.

Designing an effective vacuum loading and conveying system is crucial for optimal performance. It is necessary to plan the placement of the pump and the routing of conveying lines, keeping in mind the need to minimize the vacuum line’s equivalent distance4. Reducing the line distance helps maximize the system’s efficiency, as there is only so much vacuum capacity available.

In conclusion, vacuum loaders play a vital role in the plastics industry by providing efficient and reliable material transfer. Choosing the right type of vacuum loader and designing the vacuum conveying system with proper distance considerations contribute to the overall effectiveness of the whole process.

Regional Perspective: USA

In the USA, plastic vacuum feeders play a significant role in the plastics processing industry, with numerous manufacturers and suppliers offering a wide range of products and solutions. These feeders are designed to efficiently handle various materials, such as pellets, granules, and powders, ensuring accurate and consistent dosing and conveying.

One prominent American manufacturer of plastic vacuum feeders is Conair, a leader in plastic processing equipment. Conair offers both gravimetric and volumetric feeders ailored to individual requirements, ensuring accurate and streamlined results while reducing operating costs and increasing productivity. Their conveying equipment and feeders can be combined to create a comprehensive plastic processing conveying system designed for optimal efficiency and reliability.

Similarly, Maguire, another major manufacturer in the USA, offers a variety of suitable for different applications like small injection molding machines, powder feeding, and regrind usage control. These feeders are designed to provide precise control over the flow of materials, ensuring accurate feeding and blending.

In the United States, various vacuum feeder types are available to accommodate a wide range of applications and industries. For instance, Thomasnet lists several types of vacuum feeders designed to handle materials such as metal sheets, plastic, glass, wood, and even fiber or foam. These feeders can handle sheet sizes ranging from 22 inches to 96 inches in length and 8 inches to 48 inches in width, making them suitable for various processes.

Plastic vacuum feeders are essential components in the USA’s thriving plastics processing industry, as they provide accuracy, efficiency, and reliability in handling different materials. With numerous reputable manufacturers and suppliers offering a diverse range of products, customers can find the ideal solution for their specific needs, ensuring optimal performance and productivity in their plastic processing operations.

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