Material receivers and loaders share a couple of key similarities:

  • Depending on their configurations, both can receive, hold, and discharge hold various materials, which may include resin, regrind, or powders, or blends of materials drawn from multiple sources.
  • Both offer multiple models: “Direct feed” or “JIT” meaning Just in Time models deliver material into machine throats, while “hopper loading” models can feed into and maintain material levels in a larger hopper or vessel (e.g., a drying hopper or material blender).
  • Both rely on an air source (vacuum line or compressed air) to pull in materials from another location.

But here’s the biggest difference:  Receivers must be connected to a larger conveying system that that is driven by a central vacuum pump (or a compressed air system).  Otherwise, they have no way to move material.  Receivers don’t have their own controls, either, so they must be connected to and operated by the central conveying system control.

By contrast, loaders are “self-contained,” that is, they have their own local controls and, in the case of vacuum loaders, their own integral motor/vacuum source as well. (Compressed air loaders also have their own controls, but are usually connected to a larger facility compressed air system.)  So, loaders can move material without relying on centralized pumps or controls.

Beyond their basic difference in application, loaders and receivers share other similarities:  Both are available in a variety of sizes and capacities. And, depending on the models of each, they can be configured and equipped with similar capabilities and features.

Comparing Loaders and Receivers

  Loaders Receivers
Applications Use when central conveying system isn’t available, or where a connection isn’t possible. Connect to a plant-wide conveying system driven by a central vacuum pump or compressed air system.
Controls Equipped with “local” loader-mounted controls, but may also be wired for centralized control. Controlled remotely through linkage to central conveying control.

conveying distances

Limited by power of vacuum motor/compressed air source to relatively short distances, e.g., 20-150 feet. Vary based on power of central vacuum pump/compressed air system.  Long-distance vacuum pumps may enable distances to 1000 feet.



(May be model dependent)

Ratio loading Yes Yes
Demand-level switches Yes Yes
Dust filtration (return air) At the loader Centrally located
Automatic, post-load filter blowback/


Pulse blowback at the loader using compressed air Screens are washed when receiver vacuum valve opens at end of cycle
Closed-cycle air purging between materials Yes Yes


The above just scratches the surface of the many types of loaders and receivers available.  For more detailed information, download our free whitepaper or give us a call.