Innovation in Vacuum Busch Award 2018 Awarded to Lapierre
Innovation in Vacuum Busch Award 2018 presented to maple syrup equipment manufacturer and maple syrup producer
Innovation in Vacuum Busch Award Busch Vacuum Solutions presents its Innovation in Vacuum Busch Award every year. This honor is awarded to individuals or businesses who come up with particularly innovative ways to apply vacuum technology and benefit the human world and the environment as a result. The Innovation in Vacuum Busch Award was first presented back in 2013 to mark Busch's 50th anniversary.
Les Équipements Lapierre Les Équipements Lapierre was set up by Donald Lapierre in 1978. Lapierre produces all of the equipment and accessories required to tap, collect and cook maple sap and produce maple syrup. Lapierre also runs one of the world's largest organic maple syrup farms. Tapping approximately 150,000 maple trees each year, this facility is also used as a research and development centre for Les Équipements Lapierre. Until the 1970s, metal spiles (a kind of tap) were inserted into drilled holes on the maple trees; the sap would then drip out of the tree and collected in buckets. Donald Lapierre also used this traditional method back in the early days of his business. But unsatisfied with the traditional sap collecting methods, he decided to change the whole process.
Vacuum for obtaining maple sap Donald Lapierre's father was already using a very simple vacuum system, though it was not particularly efficient. So, Donald Lapierre improved it by changing to plastic tubing and spiles and inventing his patented extractors (sap releasers). With these inventions, he created a network of pipes and vacuums that extracted sap from the trees instead of it having to collect in a bucket. This had two major advantages. Firstly, the maple sap could be collected much faster without having to change the buckets several times a day. Secondly, the spiles he used in this setup were much smaller than the traditional taps, meaning that the maple trees could regenerate faster. The Maple Research Center at the University of Vermont tested the effects of using vacuum technology on trees and studied the quality of the syrup, revealing that neither the health of the trees nor the quality of the syrup suffers as a result.
Maple syrup bottles from the company Lapierre. Source: Busch Vacuum Solutions.