Vac-U-Max celebrates its sixty-fifth anniversary

May 27, 2019

Vac-U-Max celebrates its sixty-fifth anniversary

Frank Pendleton, Founder, Vac-U-Max (left) and Steve Pendleton, present-day President, Vac-U-Max (right) (Courtesy Vac-U-Max)


Vac-U-Max, Belleville, New Jersey, USA, is celebrating its sixty-fifth year in business as a provider of bulk material handling and industrial vacuum cleaning solutions to industries worldwide, including a full range of industrial vacuum cleaning systems for fine, combustible metal powders. The company was founded in 1954 by Frank Pendleton, who is believed to have designed the world’s first industrial vacuum cleaner to operate only on compressed air, for servicing the highly-combustible textile mills industry of 1950s New Jersey.

In addition to providing technology for combustible dust handling, in 1970 Vac-U-Max designed and engineered compressed-air powered industrial vacuum cleaners for the evacuation of highly flammable jet fuel for Pan American Airways, recovering jet fuel from the wing tanks of the first Boeing 747 aircraft. Since 1954, the company has designed, manufactured and marketed a full range of compressed air-driven industrial vacuum cleaners for combustible dusts, flammable liquids and reactive powders, with its product range expanding to include explosion-proof electric-powered vacuums as well as portable, continuous-duty, and central vacuum cleaning systems.

In 1965 Vac-U-Max entered the pneumatic conveying business by designing the first venturi-powered vacuum-generator with patented noise suppression for applications conveying black powder for a US ordnance manufacturer. In 1977, it introduced the vertical-wall ‘tube hopper’ material receiver designed for difficult-to-convey materials. Today’s manufacturing environment uses pneumatic conveying systems for moving a wide variety of powders and granular materials from sources like drums, totes and super sacks, to destinations like process equipment or packaging lines, with vacuum conveying technology the most commercially accepted.

Vac-U-Max’s application expertise now spans three generations, with Steve Pendleton currently serving as the company’s president. “It gives me great pride to follow our family tradition and entrepreneurial spirit,” he commented. “We are committed to building, expanding, and continuing our legacy by manufacturing high-quality solutions for industries worldwide. I am proud of what our company and employees have accomplished and will continue to accomplish, following the legacy of our founder, Frank Pendleton.”

“The secret to the success of any business is being able to focus not on fighting to keep the old, but also on building and expanding the new,” added Doan Pendleton, Vice President. “At Vac-U-Max, we focus on our customers and their applications and in doing so incorporate 65 years of process expertise.”

With over 6,000 square feet of available floor space at its the Customer Test Facility, Vac-U-Max now offers its customers the ability to create a number of equipment configurations. Over 10,000 difficult-to-convey materials have been tested in its 65 years, adding to its application expertise in bulk material handling and industrial vacuum cleaning. The test facility is equipped to meet the demand for full-scale vacuum conveying, flexible screw and aero-mechanical conveying testing, in addition to testing a wide range of industrial vacuum cleaners.

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