How to Choose a Superior Vacuum Manufacturer: 6 Considerations for an Effective Partnership

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Creating vacuum systems can be as simple as adding multiple standard components or complicated with custom design work and job requirements. Each way still requires the pivotal next step of partnering with a skilled vacuum manufacturer to bring your vision to life. In high-vacuum manufacturing, this choice isn’t merely a decision; it’s a strategic investment in the success of your projects. With decades of experience and a sterling reputation, ANCORP stands out as a beacon of excellence in this field. Today, we share the top six considerations for choosing a high vacuum manufacturing partner.

Table of Contents

Experience and Reputation

The field of vacuum science has changed rapidly over the years, and so has vacuum manufacturing. The creation of vacuum components relies on specialized machining, welding, cleaning, and quality assurance practices developed and refined over many decades. Today’s leaders in vacuum manufacturers have a longstanding commitment to developing this craft, evident in their product quality. This level of experience and reputation is what prestigious laboratories and companies look for when designing bespoke solutions for their newest system.

Since our inception in 1965, ANCORP has been at the forefront of vacuum manufacturing, driven by innovation, strategic investments, and visionary leadership. Founded by Norman Vaudreuil in the heart of Worcester, MA, ANCORP embarked on its journey in 1965 with a singular mission: to revolutionize vacuum manufacturing by addressing customers’ most pressing challenges. Over the years, we have evolved and expanded our capabilities, transitioning from a small machine shop in Massachusetts to a state-of-the-art facility in Williston, Florida. Throughout the 1980s, our strategic investments and technology acquisitions propelled our growth, allowing us to serve an expanding customer base with unparalleled expertise and dedication well into the 90s and early 2000s. Today, with over five decades of experience, ANCORP remains at the forefront of precision engineering, driven by our enduring commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.

Our worldwide market reach bolsters our stellar reputation with tens of thousands of our innovative ball valves installed in fabs, coating tools, and industrial processes across the world. The demand for our expertise in crafting high-quality custom chambers and unique products has led to the substantial expansion of our facility over the past decade.

Throughout our history, we have proudly served national labs and academic research around the world, empowering science and technology for many well-known labs and programs such as NASA, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Lawrence Berkeley, and more. To view some of our most recent custom fabrications, visit our ­­­­custom fabrications page.

Pictured left, Norman Vaudreuil, holding a large vacuum valve. On the right are newspaper clippings highlighting ANCORP's entrance into the vacuum manufacturing industry.
Arial view of ANCORP, vacuum manufacturer, that highlights the size of the facility

Product Range

Access to a diversified product catalog means that your manufacturer will have the flexibility to effectively meet more of your project requirements. When design requirements or the design scope changes, your manufacturer’s ability to avoid outsourcing can preserve your timeline while keeping you on a team of people who already understand your needs. Working with a single manufacturing partner offering a comprehensive product range can simplify your procurement process. Instead of sourcing components from multiple vendors, you can consolidate your orders with one supplier and reduce your turnaround time.

From standard off-the-shelf products to fully customizable solutions, ANCORP offers a wide range of options for various applications in high vacuum science and technology. Our vast catalog spans over 3,000 standard products. This product range includes our patented high vacuum ball valve; a curated selection of other isolation valves; three flange systems and their fittings; multiport flanges; weldable components such as elbows, crosses, and nipples; hybrid adapters; feedthroughs; viewports; traps; burst disks; bellows and metal hose; and a variety of chamber accessories. Beyond products, we also offer additional services on request, such as vacuum firing, electropolishing, and more.

In addition to our standard product offerings, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide customized solutions to meet the unique requirements of our customers. With a fully equipped manufacturing facility and a team of experienced engineers and technicians, we collaborate closely with customers to design and fabricate custom vacuum components and subsystems. Whether modifying existing products or developing entirely new solutions from scratch, ANCORP meets complex and specialized demands with precision and efficiency.

Technical Expertise and Support

Partnering with a well-established manufacturer allows you to benefit from years of experience and have unparalleled support. A facility with a high level of expertise will be able to produce standard components efficiently and offer competitive pricing while also identifying potential areas for refinement in custom designs. Having a high level of support throughout custom fabrication is essential for maintaining trust, transparency, and satisfaction.

At ANCORP, we understand that each project has unique challenges and specifications. That’s why our team of technical sales engineers is here to provide expert guidance and support every step of the way. Whether you opt for full customization or standardized solutions, we offer comprehensive assistance to help you make informed decisions that align with your project goals. Our request-for-quotes reach the desks of highly qualified estimate and technical sales engineers, ensuring your system is designed efficiently for manufacturing. Our focus on design and cost-effectiveness ensures you receive the best value without compromising quality.

Engineer working through vacuum chamber specifications

Cost Effectiveness

It goes without saying that when vetting different companies to take on your project, you want to ensure that you get the most cost-effective quote. While the initial price is crucial, it’s equally important to ensure that every aspect of the project is optimized for efficiency from the start. Few companies go through this process, which leads to potential cost overruns or delays down the line.

ANCORP is committed to delivering cost-effective solutions without sacrificing quality. Our extensive resources provide valuable insights on effectively specifying chambers and guidance on tolerances, helping you optimize your budget without compromising performance. Additionally, we offer a wide range of accessories to enhance the functionality of your vacuum systems, further maximizing your investment.

Quality and Reliability

Precision and dependability directly influence system performance and durability in vacuum science and manufacturing. Installing reliable components ensures uninterrupted operation and mitigates the need for frequent maintenance, subsequent downtime, and associated costs. Working with a manufacturer that adheres to high-quality standards is further crucial in sustaining the integrity of delicate processes or industrial operations such as beamline experimentation or thin film coating and deposition.

ANCORP maintains an unwavering commitment to excellence in every aspect of our manufacturing process. Our dedication begins with the careful selection of materials. We pride ourselves on using only the finest materials, including premium-grade stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, and meticulously engineered bimetal combinations. These materials are chosen for their exceptional durability and reliability, ensuring optimal performance even in the most challenging environments.

ANCORP strictly adheres to ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards, setting benchmarks for quality management and ensuring that our manufacturing processes meet the highest international standards. We maintain proper documentation on our processes, providing transparency on various aspects such as material composition with XRF technology, measurements by CMM, specialized vacuum welding, ultra-sonic washes, vacuum-specific packaging, and leak detection. This commitment to high-quality manufacturing capabilities guarantees that each component we produce meets our stringent quality criteria, providing our customers with peace of mind and confidence in the reliability of our products.

Dedication to Advancement

Dedication to advancement is another important consideration when selecting a vacuum manufacturer. In an industry characterized by rapid technological progress and shifting customer demands, partnering with a manufacturer committed to innovation ensures access to cutting-edge solutions and future-proofing capabilities. A steadfast focus on advancement not only propels the development of state-of-the-art products but also fosters continuous improvement in manufacturing processes, efficiency, and performance. By aligning with a manufacturer that prioritizes innovation, you can confidently navigate the evolving landscape of vacuum science and manufacturing, staying ahead of the curve and unlocking new possibilities for their applications.

Through a combination of innovative technologies and forward-thinking practices, we ensure that our customers have access to the latest advancement in vacuum manufacturing. In the past couple of years, we have upgraded our machine floor significantly, welcoming in five new machines. One being a cutting-edge five axis machine with large envelopes that enables us to achieve unparalleled efficiency and accuracy in manufacturing complex geometries. Within our own standard products, dedication to innovation is proven with our high vacuum ball valves patented with Extended Life technology. With new developments and machinery constantly integrated into our production, we uphold our dedication to remaining at the forefront of industry advancements, providing our customers with the highest quality products and solutions.