Here is the problem: You aren't producing the vacuum you should, and you aren't sure where to start troubleshooting. Often, the best place to start is the source of vacuum: your vacuum pump. If your vacuum pump isn't able to produce a pressure much lower than the vacuum level at which your chamber needs to be, then look no further. If your process needs to run at 400 microns, and your vacuum pump can't deliver well below 400 microns, then start there. Most 2-stage rotary pumps easily pump below 50 microns if they are working well.
Fortunately, testing your pump is very simple with a home made vacuum test pump. Below are instrucitons:
- Simply disconnect the vacuum pump from the system and plumb a vacuum gauge directly into the suction port.
- Run the vacuum pump.
- Note the readings on the vacuum controller display.
You should see a steady increase in vacuum (decreasing micron or Torr reading). After less than a minute, you should be well below your target vacuum.
SOLUTION: Any DigiVac thermocouple gauge can do this job. If you want to log and classify pump performance for future reference, consider the Bullseye Precision Gauge or the Model 215VE, which can be set to measure, monitor set points, and turn the system off should a set point be reached. DigiVac can customize your instrumentation to optimize your system performance. Contact us!