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Reusable Vacuum Bag (RVB) Case Study: Enhanced Efficiency and Cost Savings in Composite Fabrication

Industrial Technologies' RVB system, engineered in 2017, is a game-changer in manufacturing complex-shaped composite parts. This study compares the traditional hand-made vacuum bagging method with the RVB system, focusing on cost savings, process efficiency, reliability, and environmental benefits.

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ROI Analysis:

Process and Cost Efficiency Analyzing a 10”x10”x10” composite tool, we found that RVBs offer significant cost reductions. Here's a breakdown for production runs of 300 and 900 parts:


Data Review:

Below is a chart comparing the costs for Reusable Vacuum Bags (RVB) and Hand Vacuum Bags for producing 300 and 900 parts. As shown in the chart:

  • The cost for RVBs is significantly lower than for Hand Vacuum Bags at both production levels.

  • The difference in cost becomes more pronounced as the number of parts increases, highlighting the increased cost-effectiveness of RVBs in larger production runs. ​

Labor and Consumable Cost Breakdown

Detailed analysis of the labor and consumable costs for both methods highlights the efficiency of RVBs.

RVB Labor and Cost for 300 Cycles

  • Prep tool for bagging: 5 minutes

  • Place and pull vacuum: 5 minutes

  • Vacuum soak: 5 minutes

  • Leak check: 5 minutes

  • Total Labor: 20 minutes

  • Consumable Cost per Cycle: $23.34

  • NRE cost is $4,000

  • RVB lifespan is 300 cycles

  • RVB unit cost is $3,000

RVB Cost for 900 Parts

  • Consumable Cost per Cycle: $14.44

  • NRE $4,000 for 3 RVBs

  • RVB cost is $3,000 per unit or $9,000 total

  • The unit cost significantly reduces with a larger run of parts.

Hand Vacuum Bag Labor

  • Total process steps: 87 minutes

  • Including bag film preparation, pleating, leak checks, and rework.

Hand Vacuum Bag Consumable Cost

  • Bag Tape: $7

  • Bag Film: $7

  • Total Cost: $14


Process Reliability and Quality Improvement

The RVB system minimizes human error, enhancing process reliability and ensuring consistent part quality. This leads to lower rework costs and higher yield.

Environmental Impact

Adopting RVBs aligns with sustainable practices by reducing waste generation compared to single-use vacuum bags.


Industrial Technologies’ RVB system not only offers substantial cost savings but also boosts production efficiency, enhances reliability, and contributes to environmental sustainability. The transition to RVBs empowers manufacturers to achieve superior operational efficiency and a reduced ecological footprint.

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