Gardner Denver takes care of medical vacuum needs with oil-free screw technology29 May 2019

SHJ Hospital Pipelines (SHJ) is using Gardner Denver’s Elmo Rietschle oil-free, screw vacuum pumps in its piped medical gas systems.

SHJ is a supplier of piped medical gas systems for hospitals, which incorporate vacuum technology to help draw off liquids that might occur during surgery in theatres or from patients staying on wards. Having worked with an extensive range of NHS trusts and healthcare organisations for the past 40 years, the company is responsible for designing, installing and maintaining these critical gas systems in hospitals across the UK.

To help deliver the medical gas required, Gardner Denver has supplied its S-VSI 301 screw vacuum pump to SHJ.

The dry-running screw vacuum technology is said to require less maintenance than alternative oil-lubricated models. 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 ideally suited to the healthcare environments.

The S-VSI screw vacuum pumps offer suction capacities from 100 to 600 m3/h and end vacuum of 0.01 mbar (abs.). They also offer low noise levels – an important consideration for SHJ.

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.

“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.”

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

Rocco Fanella, Northern Europe key account manager at Gardner Denver, adds: “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. 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.”

Adam Offord

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