As of Q1 2018, These are the manufacturers of WFE systems currently on the market and used in our industry. This list will be updated periodically. Please feel free to contribute any of your experiences with these machines. The list descends in cost from 1- 4 and each links to a manufacturer webpage.
The VTA is number one on the list because of a few things. First being quality and design. It is also the most expensive at 150k on up. The unit is manufactured in Germany and has excellent US customer support. The units are installed by a US installer who is well known in the cannabis community, which was an excellent choice for VTA. He also conducts the training, and is probably the most knowledgeable WFE operator I know. Unlike any other of the companies I’ll list - VTA actually has working factual data based off cannabis oleoresin itself. Currently VTA is sold in the US under the Root Sciences brand. The VTA has a fully jacketed oleoresin path and the most advanced WF cold trap on the market. (As far as cold traps go, BRinstruments takes that award IMHO). For distillate and waste: The system uses either standard, under vacuum flasks; or jacketed spouts. This system relies heavily on the most advanced of liquid pumps to move the warm oleoresin, which is probably why it is open-ended. These particular pumps at waste and distillate end - are called discharge pumps. VTA offers their systems in glass which is created in-house; and stainless. They also offer the capability to connect multiple machines for daisy-chain style, mutistage processing.
Pope and Helderpad offer competitively priced stills; Pope from 2" - 6". Chemtech offers a 6" still body on their two KDT and KDL series models (as of 12/17). Their stills are made here in the US. Both companies offer glass or stainless versions, as well as multistage. The advantage to these systems vary. The Pope offers entry level WFE packages and have been in the cannabis market longer. They offer more scalability if you want to start small (35k), and are flexible with builds. While the 2" Pope is still the little guy on the block; I’ve had them outputting 1kg a day of D9 with ease. Helderpad has a fully jacketed oleoresin path, competitive price point (starting at 65k) for the evaporative surface being offered, and they offer on site training.
Asahi is a Japanese glass plant; which produces very high end, fully jacketed glass WFE stills- distributed by AGI. I have not used; but always marvel at it’s design. If anyone has any input on these it would be most welcomed:) EDIT: See below for upcoming info on the AGI WFE models…Thanks Future4200!