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Single, double or quattro vacuum circuit. What are the differences?

Single, double or quattro vacuum circuit. What are the differences?

According to CE directive EN 13155, it is required in all countries of the European Union to use secondary safety devices when a vacuum lifter is used on a construction site. This rule applies to all lifting devices. The secondary safety feature can be applied in different ways. The safest ways are:

  • While using a vacuum lifter with one (single) vacuum circuit you can use secondary safety devices.
  • Another way is to use multiple independent vacuum circuits. There are two kinds of ways we implement multiple vacuum circuits:
    • Two (double) independent vacuum circuits
    • Four (quattro) independent vacuum circuits

Single vacuum circuit in combination with secondary safety devices

With a single vacuum circuit, all suction cups are connected together to one circuit. The lifting capacity of a vacuum lifting device is a sum of all lifting capabilities of the suction pads combined. The use of a secondary safety device is required, which we achieve by means of safety straps.

Single vacuum circuit advantages:

  • Fewer or smaller suction cups needed to maintain the same lifting capacity.

Disadvantages single vacuum circuit:

  • Tie-down straps needed to carry the load, and that takes time.
  • Fall protection can be forgotten by contractors

Multiple independent vacuum circuits:

At VIAVAC we use two kinds of multiple vacuum circuits:

Two (double) independent vacuum circuits

Two completely separate vacuum circuits operate independently of each other. Each circuit is sufficient for the maximum lifting capacity. This means the one of the two circuits must be able to carry the full lifting load. In reality, with a double vacuum circuit, the vacuum lifter maintains 50% of the actual lifting capacity. So the rule is that should one circuit fail, the other circuit will have to hold the full weight of the load. Both visual and audible alarm will sound to warn the user.

With a double-acting vacuum circuit, the use of an additional fall protection device is not required.

Four (quattro) independent vacuum circuits

This is a vacuum system with four different circuits, each operating independently. Just like with a double vacuum circuit, this system provides additional safety. If one circuit fails, there are still three working circuits to carry the full load. In the case of four circuits (quattro), 75% of the actual lifting capacity is taken into account. The advantage over double vacuum circuits is that you make optimum use of the maximum lifting capacity.

With a quattro-acting vacuum circuit, the use of an additional fall protection device is not required.

Benefits of multiple vacuum circuits:

  • Operates automatically and does not need to be switched on.
  • No tie-down straps needed to carry the load, this saves you time.
  • Increasingly safe; chance of release is minimal.

Disadvantages of multiple vacuum circuits:

  • Multiple or larger suction cups required to maintain the same lifting capacity
  • More expensive due to more vacuum components
  • Extra attention required when connecting the suction cups

Our conclusion:

For sandwich panels

Working fast, but above all working safe, is preferred. Multiple vacuum circuits have proven to increase safety on construction sites. Also, no tie-down strap are required, which increases the speed of assembly. With alternative solutions, there is a risk of damaging the lifting load, but with vacuum, the load remains undamaged. The situation (indoors, outdoors, large load, small load or, for example weight) should be the deciding factor for choosing to use a single or multiple vacuum circuit. Our sales and rental departments can give you appropriate advice.

For glass

Due to the great variety of sizes and mounting positions, it is often practically impossible to use alternative fall protection devices. Even when tie-down straps are possible, it is disadvantageous because you lose a lot of time with the fixing of the material. We recommend always using vacuum lifting tools with multiple vacuum circuits for glass assembly.