August 11, 2020 | 5 minute read
When it comes to selecting the right cartridge seal for you application, there are many factors to keep in mind. Wrong equipment selection can severely impact both the performance and safety of your operation, while having a negative impact on your bottom line.
By understanding the size, scope, performance parameters and applications of your job, you will have clearer insight into the type of seal you need.
Cartridge seals have the ability to:
- Simplify installation;
- Reduce your inventory;
- Decrease environmental waste;
- Maximize uptime; and
- Reduce labor needs/costs
Read below to understand more about out universal cartridge seal solutions, and if they are a right fit for your application.
Which products do the universal cartridge seal offering consist of and what markets do they serve?
John Crane has a comprehensive range of universal cartridge seals to suit all market verticals and unique application needs. From the single-use T4111 aimed at low duty, aqueous solutions in popular DIN and ANSI sizes to the competitive T4600 (single and double) seals for water/wastewater and light-duty chemicals, the flagship T5600 range, which is unrivaled in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
The modular form of the T5600 makes it very flexible. By changing just a few components, it can be switched from an O-ring pusher seal to an elastomer bellows seal, a non-pusher seal or to a metal bellows seal. It has an extensive range of material options for the most arduous duties and comes in single and dual configurations along with some unique face treatments, such as ultrananocrystalline Diamond treatments and our exclusive Dynamic Lift Up-Stream pumping.
What benefits do John Crane cartridge seals offer the end user?
Cartridge seals offer ease of installation without the need for calculations to determine the setting dimensions required for component seals. This results in less human error during installation. The seals are also assembled in clean areas by qualified technicians and then pressure tested to ensure a fault-free startup of equipment. Standardization over a range of equipment types and applications allows for a significant reduction in inventory.
What problems do cartridge seals solve for maintenance engineers using rotating equipment?
Today’s maintenance engineers face numerous challenges, including:
- The need to maximize uptime;
- Work with a reduced maintenance budget;
- Extend operating periods between turnarounds; and
- Meet increased production goals, all while running a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing operation.
Careful selection, design and application of seals is important to ensure your process starts up the first time and operates every day through the most stringent operating conditions. Keeping equipment running helps ease many of the problems facing the maintenance engineer.
Is there an increase in the use of cartridge seals in the market?
There has been a steady increase in the use of cartridge seals, which is partly driven by a reduction in skilled workforce at many end user locations. The drive for improved reliability of rotating equipment, in addition to an increased focus on the reduction of waste (e.g., water and energy) and emissions to the atmosphere are also fueling the increase in usage.
What factors impact the efficiency and reliability of rotating equipment?
Many factors affect the reliability of rotating equipment. One common issue is using the wrong equipment for the job (e.g., a pump running off its design curve. Others include poor equipment installation such as pipe strain, misalignment, inferior base plate, etc., improper operation (e.g., leaving the pump running against a closed discharge or after the storage tank is empty), the wrong seal selection (design or material) or equipment conditions such as worn bearings.
Understanding the root cause of unreliability leads to the right solution.
Are you able to provide a concrete example of how upgrading to cartridge seals positively impacted plant operations?
John Crane worked closely with a leading pulp and paper mill in the United States to identify ways to reduce mean time between repair costs and water consumption. The existing seals had a 14-month mean time between repair (MTBR), but started leaking after eight months and were changed when the size of the leak became intolerable. The short life of the seals was due to their use in the hardwood and softwood bleaching process. By upgrading the seals to the John Crane T5620 USP dynamic lift seal face technology, MTBR at the facility improved by 71% and saved 63,000 gallons of water per year, per seal.