When the team of Vacuum Experts and Engineers at Prolux decided to invent the world's first bagless backpack vacuum we had no idea that we would also have to reinvent bagless technology as well.  

Here is our story......

So 3 years ago the team of Vacuum Experts and Engineers that work in the Prolux R&D department decided to invent the world's first bagless backpack vacuum.  Why a Bagless Backpack Vacuum?

  • Because Bagless Backpack Vacuums can vacuum the same surface twice as fast as an upright.
  • Because a Bagless Backpack Vacuum can vacuum hardwood, tile, carpet, floor edges, stairs, and under furniture without having to change any tools.  Just turn them on and go.
  • Because most large businesses use a backpack vacuum and all backpack vacuums to date use bags which are very expensive.  By creating the world's FIRST bagless backpack vacuum we would be saving these companies thousands of dollars.

Our other goals with the project were to make the Bagless Backpack vacuum 20% more powerful than bagless uprights and half the weight.  We knew that professional cleaners already knew how awesome they were but we wanted to make a product so powerful and so light that when home owners tried them and found out how easy they were to use that they would want them as well.

We started out and 1 year later we had invented the world's FIRST bagless backpack vacuum.  See picture below.  Not a bad little unit and we had created a lightweight backpack vacuum that never uses bags and saves people lots of money.

THEN WE RAN INTO A PROBLEM.............You see we have this weird culture here at Prolux.   We believe when we release a new product that it has to be absolutely perfect and we are kind of crazy about it.  Our company philosophy at Prolux is that we don't dump money into our brand but instead we put all our money into R&D and making great product.  Our thinking is that the rules of retail have changed.  We call it "The Amazon Effect" and basically it is that customers will buy an unknown brands product OVER a known brand if the reviews are better.  For example let's say we (Prolux) and the brand Dyson came out with a similar product.  If our Amazon reviews were 4.9 and Dyson's (or whatever brand) was 3.9 that customers would buy the Prolux brand with the better reviews OVER the known brand.  So here at Prolux you won't catch us advertising how cool our brand is but you will catch us putting a lot of money into R&D and making our product perfect. 

So before we release a product to the market it has to pass a series of tests :)  One of the tests is vacuuming up stuff that normally destroys other vacuums.  We know some warehouses locally that have bought some commercial vacuums from us that last longer than any vacuum you can buy at 'the big box stores' which literally only last about 10 minutes of commercial use.  These places have screws, wires, and pieces of metal, dust, thread, sand, and gravel.  It's extreme vacuuming.  So we took the bagless backpack prototype and ran it through the worst vacuuming you could imagine.  Before we started the bagless backpack was pulling 98 CFM of airflow (really good considering the average bagless vacuum on the market does 70 to 80's).  After its rigorous test we tested the bagless backpack vacuum and it only was pulling 25 CFM.  25!!!  That was horrible.  We could not release a product like this on the market!  Now I know that we probably vacuumed up a year of cleaning in less than 24 hours and most vacuums would have done much worse but still we were very disappointed.  WHY would it do this?  We wanted a bagless backpack vacuum that we could JAM to the top with dirt and debris and it would still have enough power to keep on cleaning!

So at the R&D department we believe in doing LIVE testing of USED VACUUMS (Hint Hint Consumer Reports) because most vacuums behave very differently once they have been used for an hour.  We don't think vacuum testing should be done in a computer 3D model or on a BRAND NEW vacuum with no dust in it.  As a result our R&D department has literally bought and tested nearly every model of vacuum made in the world.  So we have done the same thing with bagless vacuums.  We bought and tested nearly every model of bagless vacuums and ran it through the same test as we did the bagless backpack and guess what THEY PERFORMED EVEN WORSE!  After running other bagless vacuums through our rigorous test, we then tested their CFM power and they were even worse!  After testing and tearing apart and studying the design of nearly 300 different bagless vacuums we came to the following conclusion.

ALL CURRENT BAGLESS VACUUM TECHNOLOGY IS FLAWED!

They all have the same problem.  OK in a nutshell this is what is wrong.  They work great on larger dirt and debris but it's the small lightweight material that does them in (you know the stuff that causes allergies).  This small material passes right through all the "centrifugal force" and "100 times the force of gravity" and "vibrating cones" and lodges right into the filters.   

These filters are deep inside the vacuum where most users cannot see or get to.  The power of the vacuum begins to decrease and cleans worse and worse.  The brushroll then grinds the dirt and sand deep into your carpet where you can't see it.

TEST - Try this test for example.  Go to your local big box store and buy 2 brand new bagless vacuums of your choice.  Leave one in the box and put it away.  Take the other one out and begin to use it as your daily vacuum.   Then wait 1 year (or 6 months it's up to you) and take your vacuum you have been using all year and vacuum as much as you want through your entire house.  Then go and break out the brand new model you have never used and vacuum your house again (remember it's supposed to be clean as you just vacuumed it).  You WILL be shocked at how much dirt your 1 year old vacuum left behind!  The reason is that your 1 year old vacuum has dirt in all its filters.  No problem you say I will just replace all the filters.  OK is that what you really want?  Do you know how expensive it will be to replace all of your filters every 6 months?  Way more expensive than vacuum bags, this is the point.

Below is an actual filter removed from a Dyson vacuum.  If you look close you can see the filter is totally full of dust, dirt, hair, and small debris that made it through the Dyson filtration system and lodged in the final filter.  Not to pick on Dyson all bagless vacuums have the same problem and it chocked down the power of the vacuum. 

So we were depressed :(  How could we solve the problem that ALL bagless vacuums have when huge companies with billions in sales could not solve the problem.  We are a medium sized company but without the huge budgets of these other brands.  HOWEVER we would pit our vacuum knowledge against any company in the world.  We felt that our Vacuum Experts and Engineers in our R&D department know more about vacuum cleaners and design than any company in the world and that if anyone could solve the problem we could.  So we decided to tackle it.

If we had known it would have taken 2 more years to finally figure it out we might not have tried it :)  Needless to say we were humbled quite a bit when month after month our prototypes failed over and over to improve over current bagless technology.  Below is a list of SOME of our tests and prototypes that we came up with but that failed.  Keep in mind the problem that all bagless vacuums have is that the suction power of the vacuum is greater than gravity and it sucks all the small dirt into the filters (as shown in the Dyson filter below).

Below is a list of our failed ideas and Prototype's:

Prototype 7 - Our idea here was to make the filter vibrate.  If the filter would vibrate then the dust and debris would drop off.   By attaching a rod from the motor (that vibrates) to the filter then it could........(It did not work).

Prototype 13 - Create a Chamber above the final filter with floating balls that are picked up by the vacuum suction.  When the vacuum turns off the balls fall down and strike the filter knocking off any accumulated debris from the filter.....and no it did not work.

Prototype 17 - We came up with this idea of negative pressure.  Which is when the user would turn off the vacuum the vacuum cleaner would reverse its suction power and blow air back against the dirty filter forcing the filter to be clean each time.  We abandoned this idea because we pictured the user every time they turned off the vacuum a giant puff of dust going into their air :)  Bad idea :)

Prototype 20 - Certain filtration companies are advertising a special spray that you can spray on filters that will actually "repel" dust and debris and won't let it stick to the filter.  Then when the suction turns off the dirt and debris falls off.........didn't work as advertised.

Prototype 28 - Static Electricity.  By charging the filter with Static Electricity it could repel the dust away from the filter.  We were concerned about shocking the user and it also did not work as the suction power of the vacuum was too great.

Prototype 32 -  A cone type filter in an inverted tube.  This is where the dust would go up a chamber and down a tube.  When it hit the tube it would hit a cone type filter.  We passed on this idea because for it to work the user would constantly have to be cleaning the cone filter every couple of weeks.  We wanted an idea where users did not have to clean a filter for at least a year.  Ironically after we passed on this idea a big brand came out with their new model with this design. 

Prototype 37 - Having a slowly turning filter cleaner.  We would have to install a separate motor that spun around an arm that wiped the filter clean as it was being used.  It did not work because it still did not clean off small dust particles and it added to the cost.

Prototype 43- Create a cork screw design inside a separate chamber that forces the dust to travel up the "screw" as the centrifugal force forced the dust to the outside the dust would strike the chamber and slow down.  The problem was the vacuums suction was so strong it did not work (but we were getting close).

 

Nearly 2 years went by and we were stumped!  No wonder no one else could figure it out.

So my kids actually helped me figure it out :)  We went on vacation to Lego Land (my kids love that place).  My kids also decided they wanted to take in a day of museums at San Diego.  My kids and wife were excited to go to the Aviation Museum and also the Museum of Electricity.  At the Museum of Electricity they had a demonstration on static electricity (it's really entertaining if you ever get a chance to see it).  They asked for a volunteer to come get electrocuted.  Of course my 9 year old son was the first to jump up waving his hands like crazy.  So he got picked and the lady was doing all these funny tests with him being shocked by static electricity which he loved.  While that was going on I happened to glance over and read a sign.   As I recall the sign was on the importance of static electricity.  It said something to the effect of "As particles in nature get smaller and smaller gravity has less of an effect on them and static electricity has more of an effect on them".  I thought how that could apply to our problem but couldn't see how it could help as we had already passed on static electricity not working.  I thought it was ironic as how that described the problem exactly.  

Current technology is based on gravity separating dirt from air.  However "As particles in nature get smaller gravity has less of an effect on them", which is why current bagless vacuums did not work very well.  The force of the suction of the motor had more of an effect than gravity.  As I drove home from vacation I thought about this and how "Gravity had less of an effect".  Then it hit me, we needed a force OTHER than gravity to separate out the fine dust.  I went back to the lab and tested some of our failed prototypes and was watching how dirt and air moved.  I was struck by something.  I noticed in the bagless chamber that the inner tube was very clean and the outside of the chamber was dirty.  As I was watching the dirt circulate in the dirt chamber the dirt and dust was forced to the outside.  Forced by what?  CENTRIFUGAL FORCE.  Here was my other force besides gravity I was looking for.  What IF we created a filter on the inside just like that inner chamber and what IF we created a powerful tornado like force that forced all the small dust and debris to the outside of the chamber allowing the clean air to pass through.  The point was not to filter out the fine dirt but to MAKE IT AIRBORNE while the air passed through the filter.  

The following morning I had a meeting with our engineers with my hand drawn design.  They thought my drawing was quite funny but they got the idea.

The following day our engineers came up with this design which we affectionately call "The Vortex Chamber".  

 

 

The purpose of The Vortex Chamber is to 1 - Force air to pass through the filter horizontally (not vertically like nearly all other bagless vacuums).  2 - To spin the air super-fast right before it passed through the final filter, then dust and debris are spun away from the filter and strike the outside of the chamber and drop down. Also to create a force stronger than the suction of the vacuum.  3 - To create it so that even when small particles get stuck to the filter that a tornado effect creates a SELF CLEANING filter.  As the air spins around the filter it actually cleans the dirt off the filter.

This final Vortex Chamber could be jam packed full of dirt and small particles AND still NOT lose any suction power.  But would it actually work?  Time for Prototype 44 :)  Below is what it looked like.....hey don't laugh at me :)  It might look funny but I was EXCITED to try it out.  So we used a cardboard tube for direct suction and a K&N Air Filter (3x more surface area than a vertical filter).  Don't laugh at me!  Yes that's my wife's glass bowl and NO I never told her (it was the perfect size).  Yes it's true a multi-million dollar company uses cardboard, duct tape, a cut down K&N Air Filter, and my wife's glass bowl to build our final prototype.  LOL :)

 

So if you look carefully at the images above you will see how in the final chamber we literally vacuumed so much fine dirt and dust in the final chamber that it was literally jam packed around the filter.  So here was the moment of truth......time to test the CFM...........drumroll please...........only a 5% drop in power AND even with it packed with dirt and fine dust it had more power than all other bagless vacuums we had tested when they were brand new.

So we took off the bowl to inspect the filter.  Now I know that no end user would ever get the filter this dirty and packed with dirt and fine dust but we wanted to test it in a worst case scenario just so we knew the product would be perfect.  Look at the filter below.  About 80% of the dirt inside "the Vortex Chamber" fell down inside the dirt chamber as soon as the vacuum stopped (which was perfect and according to our design).  About 20% of it was stuck to the filter (again according to design).  Look carefully at the bottom half of the filter.  You will notice our little tornado we created inside the Vortex Chamber kept the bottom half of the filter cleaner than the top half (again according to design).  The filter "valleys" filled with fine dust (as expected) but the filter "ridges" stayed clean as the air movement kept them clean.  This allowed for air to pass through the filter even though this final chamber was packed with fine dirt & dust.  No user would ever get it this dirty but even if they did they would only see a 5% drop in cleaning power not a 50% drop like current bagless tech does.

Problem Solved - We had invented Bagless 2.0 tech and the entire old 1.0 current bagless Tech was now obsolete.  Users can expect to use the Bagless 2.0 tech 10 months or 10 years and still have the same cleaning power.   

So here is our final design of the new Prolux Patent Pending 2.0 tech

You will notice that we made the top clear so the user could view the final filter.  To see it in person it looks very cool to see the tornado like action around the final filter.  You can actually see the fine dust being forced away from the final filter by centrifugal force.  We then designed it so in 60 seconds the user can quickly unsnap the top, clean the filter and put it back on.  If the user forgets to clean it ....no Problem as shown in our test above it is designed to be jam packed with dirt and still have plenty of power to vacuum.  As shown by the picture below it is totally easy to see the status of your filter.

We will be releasing this brand new bagless vacuum technology at the 2016 Home Show in Chicago.  We have designed this backpack vacuum to have WAY more suction power than you have ever used before.  We will have it hooked up to suction testers at our booth L12661 so you can test it against other vacuums and see how much better this tech really is.  In case you missed the Home Show, we will be doing demo videos and posting them onto our YouTube channel so you can see how much better it is.

One of the things we are really excited about is that we will also be releasing a battery powered model.  Typically battery powered vacuums (like robotic vacuums) have little to no suction and are all brushroll.  However since we reinvented bagless tech they are 40% more efficient which means that they have more suction and the batteries last longer.  So our battery powered version will be affordable and powered by a Lithium Ion battery.  It will run for 30 minutes at full cleaning power per charge.  We think that is great as most people don't vacuum their house for more than 30 minutes.  Imagine throwing a light 9 lb. Backpack on your back and cleaning your home in half the time you do now.  No more changing tools when you vacuum hardwood, or tile, or stairs, or under furniture or edges.  So ditch the cord and check out the DC battery powered version.

Also with all of our bagless backpack models we have installed a bypass air release valve which is a safety feature to add years of life to the motor.

All of our bagless backpack models will include the 2 prong connection so you can use an electric power brush with spinning brushroll for deep plush carpet.  If you have a lot of hardwood or tile or are using it commercially it also comes with the 1 1/2 commercial tool kit which allows you to clean hard floor surfaces really fast.

So when will these great products be available for sale?   We are taking pre orders now and they should be in stock at the end of May 2016.

Questions?  Comment with your questions below or send us an email to sales@proluxcleaners.com.  You can learn more about this product by going to http://www.proluxcleaners.com/prolux-2-0-bag-less-backpack-vacuum.html

 

Thanks Dustin

Prolux, President