The Best Industrial Vacuum for a Superior Cleaning Performance

Industrial vacuum cleaners are powerful, durable heavy-duty appliances, custom designed to help you meet even the largest, most demanding cleaning needs of a facility. Whether the job requires you to lift light or heavy loads, wet or dry materials, solid particles or spilled liquid, there’s an industrial vacuum for that, but which one? Read this guide on how to choose an industrial vacuum cleaner and ask yourself these helpful questions to get started.

Question 1: What's the Application?

Industrial vacuums deliver the best performance and customer satisfaction when their features and specifications are matched with specific applications. From the smallest grain of powder to the largest piece of scrap, every detail counts, so the more you know about the application, the easier your decision becomes. What kind of material are you collecting?

EV-30 Industrial Vacuum

Below are the some common substances specific industrial vacuum cleaners have been designed to safely handle:

  • Scrap metal
  • Metal chips
  • Coolant
  • Floodwater
  • Dust
  • Debris
  • Paint powder
  • Flour and spices
  • Food particles
  • Sawdust

Getting to know your environment can also help you better determine how efficiently the industrial vacuum cleaner you choose will perform. Will you have access to air supply? Just how small are the particles in your facility? Are they highly flammable? Not only can knowing this information help you make smarter cleaning choices, it can also prevent major work injuries and hazards from occurring on the job.

Did You Know?

When vacuuming in a combustible environment, or collecting combustible materials such as fine powders, hazardous paint chips, or other flammable materials found in a facility, it’s important to select an industrial vacuum cleaner certified to meet Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards for use in Class I, Class II, or Class III.

If a pipe were to burst in your facility, just how effective do you think it would be to sweep up the flooding water with a brittle straw broom? This is what makes the experience of cleaning with an industrial vacuum so unique; there are several models built specifically to lift an array of substances and take cleaning to a whole new level.

The application’s consistency alone can quickly help you decide if the job will require a wet vacuum, or a dry vacuum. Both, wet and dry vacuums have one objective – to create suction strong enough to collect and gather material. Dry vacuums achieve this with a specialized vacuum system designed for picking up lighter particles. Wet vacuums, on the other hand, require the use of heavy-duty pumps to move dense, heavier liquids. Below are a few things to consider to achieve maximum results when collecting liquid waste with your industrial vacuum:

  • Make sure your wet, or wet-dry vacuum, is equipped with a liquid shutoff switch
  • Be sure to empty the bucket immediately after use, to avoid buildup and decreased efficiency in your industrial vacuum cleaner

Don’t get sucked into automatically buying a combination vacuum though, especially when your primary application is either wet, or dry.

Did You Know?

You are almost always going to experience better results when buying a vacuum specifically designed for the task, but beware. Wet-dry vacuums can pick up both, wet and dry substances, but in most cases, you would have to give up a little on one side for a high wet/dry performance.

Matching the right application to the right vacuum is also critical in metal chip recovery, especially for those that require you to collect coolant, as well. Goodway has an exceptional line of industrial vacuums, specifically designed for CNC machining environments. The DV-2-MET is a prime example. This high performance industrial vacuum cleaner separates coolant from chips down to 0.05” and its unique tangential intake port can recover strings and clumps. While the 7 gallon capacity basket collects chips, the coolant is stored inside the canister for easy disposal.

Question 2: How’s the Filtration System?

One of the most frequently asked questions when purchasing an industrial vacuum for dry pickup is regarding filters. These are an important part of the process that begins when your vacuum captures smaller particles, as they travel through the moving airstream called the filtration system. Depending on your environment and the application, the task at hand may require the use of a standard HEPA, or in some cases, an ULPA filter, to free the facility of contaminants. Continue below to see which industrial vacuum cleaner you will need for your vacuum, if any.

HEPA Filters

Choosing the Right Filter: HEPA vs ULPA

HEPA Filters

According to OSHA, a HEPA, or high-efficiency particular air filter, is defined as a filter that is at least 99.97% efficient in removing particles of 0.3 micrometers in diameter. That’s much smaller than a coffee grind, one single grain of cayenne pepper and even a little dot, which is approximately 615 micrometers! HEPA filters were created to capture microscopic substances, like dust mites and other airborne particles that can be hazardous, or cause health issues in your environment. Depending on the industry, there are strict maintenance guidelines that must be adhered to in order to properly clean a facility.

ULPA Filters

ULPA, or ultra-low penetration air filters, are even more efficient than HEPA filters, removing at least 99.99% of particles of 0.12 micrometers in diameter. The high-quality filtering of ULPA is accomplished via slow filtering that can’t exceed 0.025 micrometers per second, allowing just enough time for the air to enter through the filtered particles. ULPA is often used in clean room applications, or situations where critical cleaning is absolutely needed.

Question 3: How Powerful is it?

When seeking a high-performance, heavy-duty industrial vacuum cleaner, automatically, many assume the vacuum’s power can be identified solely through the horsepower of the motor. However, educated industrial vacuum buyers aren’t fooled by the horsepower rating alone. Don’t simply limit the power of an industrial vacuum to suction; there are several other factors that play into how well it can lift your application.

BPV-100 Dry Backpack Vacuum
  1. For starters, if your applications requires the pickup of dry materials, the airflow of the vacuum is by far one of the most important details to consider when examining its cleaning ability.

    The speed of airflow is measured by cubic feet per minute (CFM) and this force draws and collects particles inside the vacuum. For example, the higher the CFM of the airflow, the more volume you can receive when picking up fine powders, like flour or dust particles.

  2. Secondly, measuring the static lift of the vacuum is more important than the CFM rating because it is directly related to the power of the airflow and its ability to lift the material.

    For example, vacuums designed for lifting liquids or heavy metals will have high lift specifications. In general, the higher the lift the lower the CFM, so when suctioning liquids heavy in density like water, it’s the static lift that allows industrial vacuum cleaners to lift these substances.

Did You Know?

The unique features of air vacuums produce very large lifting strength, making them a terrific option for lifting heavy, or dense items.

Question 4: What’s the Maximum Capacity?

Another very important question to ask when buying an industrial vacuum is what type of capacity will you need. Unlike vacuums that store collected material inside of a small dust bag and require frequent changing, industrial vacuums are designed to simplify this process by offering larger volumes and capacities.

Wet/ Dry Vacuum Features

Goodway offers several high-quality industrial vacuums for both, wet and dry loads ranging in up to 55 gallons of capacity, so you can choose wisely for current and anticipated future needs.

  • Dry vacuums are designed to lift dry loads, like fine powders, or dust and can collect and recover these particles through the use of a filter. When selecting a wet vacuum, consider features, like tilting tanks, or pumps for easier removal of accumulated liquids.
  • Wet vacuums are known for their waterproof canister-design and are specifically built to handle liquid loads.

Did You Know?

If you plan on using a wet/dry vacuum, make sure to clearly understand the capacity for both types of pickup, as they will differ.

Question 5: Does it Require Special Features?

Consider the space of your facility when thinking about the capabilities of your industrial vacuum cleaner. Will you be lifting a thin, powdery substance that can easily cake onto a HEPA filter and may require the use of a filter shaker? Or a liquid spill that could benefit from a vacuum with a dump valve for easy disposal? Take a look around the area. How many outlets are available and what’s the highest voltage they can take?

Pro Tip: If you need to pick up explosive materials, refer to our guide on understanding NEC hazardous classes.

No matter the problem, Goodway’s top of the line industrial vacuum cleaners have a solution for everyone’s toughest cleaning challenges:

Industrial Vacuum Accessories
  • Coolant filtering for CNC machining industries
  • Portable backpack vacuums for hands-free carrying and less stress to hands and wrists
  • Quick connect wands for access to those hard-to-reach spaces
  • Special pumps and tilts for easier disposal
  • Explosion and static proof vacuums
  • Clean room vacuum systems
  • HEPA and ULPA filters available

So now that you know which questions to ask, what are you waiting for? Take the next step to reaching your cleaning needs and speak with Goodway about industrial vacuum cleaners today!