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Innovation

Innovation

The heavy duty dynamic coupling test rig allows us to develop new coupling products that will meet demand for increasingly advanced power transmission solutions.

With a history steeped in a long tradition of innovation, John Crane is globally renowned for its ongoing commitment to research and development. The company’s pioneering spirit was first sparked back in 1910 when John Crane himself, inspired by a scrap of foil from a tobacco packet, invented a novel new design for packing. The advancements continued with the design of the world’s first automotive mechanical seal in 1939, followed closely by the Type 1 end-face elastomer bellows shaft seal just a few years later. Then in 1968, the first gas seal spiral groove patent launched the company’s reputation as a world leader in sealing technology — a distinction that endures today.

Mechanical Seals and Systems

From improving product modularity to meeting changing emissions standards, we’re constantly developing new solutions and improving on our best designs to offer our customers superior dependability. Today, our durable, versatile Type 28 non-contacting gas seals boast more than 750 million combined hours of operation, and our Type 2800 Series mechanical seals offer superior containment of fugitive emissions.

The problem-solving nature of innovation often manifests as improvements to existing solutions. This is particularly evident in our redesign of the traditional API 682 water cooler, the vertical design of which made venting difficult. By re-engineering the water cooler to include a horizontal cooling coil instead, John Crane was able to increase the reliable operation of water-cooled heat exchanger units. 

Power Transmission Couplings

In 1949, John Crane received the first patent for a membrane coupling designed for oil and gas applications, a major advancement that improved coupling service life from five years to 30 years. The UK Navy adopted it for use on its ships 10 years later, and since then it has been fitted to more than 30 navies worldwide. Similarly, when the T Series coupling was introduced into the oil and gas market in 1970, its features were used as a benchmark for API 610 — the industry’s new standard for safety and reliability.

A global team of research and development engineers focuses on the latest gas seal designs, materials, legislative and application challenges.

Hydrodynamic Bearings

We first began developing technology that would limit power losses while allowing for larger, faster compressors, turbines and gearboxes with our multi-lobe fixed geometry journal bearings in 1954. Then, in 1998, we unveiled bearing and John Crane OCI® lubrication systems, which improve not only load and speed capability but also safety. 

Filtration Systems

Well-designed filter units play an important role in maximizing reliability and safety, which is why John Crane developed its series of specially designed fluid and gas filtration products. In 1990, we introduced non-welded, bolted filter constructions that resulted in significant space and cost savings and enabled easy maintenance. Other innovative features include integral double-block and bleed transfer valves, triple-stage filtration that addresses particle and liquid contamination within a single filter, and double O-ring sealing on gas filters. 

High Duty mechanical seal test rig allows development of products up to pressures of 8736 psi(g)/600 bar(g) and speeds of up to 10,000 rpm.

Packing

Improved packing was one of John Crane's first inventions, so it's no surprise that our mechanical packing product line continues to evolve along with the industries that rely on it. When the need arose for a non-lead-based product that can withstand high temperatures, high speeds and high pressure, we developed our Style 400HP. In 2001, when one of our mixer manufacturer customers was searching for a product that could solve extreme sealing conditions, we conceptualized and designed our Live-Loaded Mechanical Packing (LMPC). And in response to the demand for extended seal and packing life, we engineered CPR bushing, which helps prevent process media from entering and degrading the stuffing box or seal chamber.

Water Management Services

John Crane's team is committed to advancing techniques and processes within the oil industry and is actively involved in several joint industry projects (JIPs). These projects are funded by oil and service companies who use the knowledge and facilities at our disposal to research future technologies that will provide better controls over reservoir development, oil production and water treatment.

In addition, the John Crane team regularly present technical papers for conferences, as well as sitting on the organizing committee for The Reservoir Microbiology Forum (RMF), part of the Energy Institute. The aim is on highlighting best-practices and our latest research on these subjects.

Innovating for the Future

To maintain our position at the forefront of technology innovation, we continuously test our new designs in real-world environments simulated by our worldwide state-of-the-art test rigs. Moving forward, we will continue to pioneer new ways to lower our customers’ total cost of ownership with products that improve efficiency and condition monitoring. This is reflected in our commitment to increase our R&D spend by 15 percent each year. Our most recent innovations include a recently patented filter element design that protects equipment from harmful contaminants, expanded split seal designs, slurry seals and uncooled boiler-feed seals, as well as our condition monitoring services.