A Success story
Working in the sealing industry, we have always considered it to be different from other industries. It has many specifics, that define your company in every way. It effects your product portfolio, your approach to customer, your workflow, your organization structure, and many more aspects.
However, this is a success story, that relates to a challenge many small companies in all industries face – How to compete with the BIG companies. The problems everyone experiences are the same, you don’t have the same resources, you don’t have an established brand name, you can’t offer large scale manufacturing with lowered costs of production, etc. Working in the sealing industry, we are constantly struggling with the BIG companies such as Eagle Burgmann, John Crane, Chesterton and Flowserve.
From our experience the key, to rival the BIG companies – Knowledge.
Our success story happened in the Oil and Gas industry. A local refinery had problems with sealing on a pump, with very demanding conditions. This was a big chance for a small company like ours. We dealt with it thoughtfully. Our engineers designed a seal specific for this application. Looking back, this was our biggest advantage, as a small company, we were agile and smart, quick to react and to apply our knowledge. We worked closely with our customer. Our product was a custom solution, and we invested a lot in developing and testing it. However, the BIG companies weren’t as meticulous, so they offered a standard product which they had in their product portfolio.
Second most important advantage – be closer.
This kind of clients should be top priority for your sales men, find key companies, where you can make a difference with your product. The important thing is to establish a relationship with your customer. You need to fully understand the problem, and solve it. Be closer than the competitor, learn the technology process your customer has, and adapt.
For us, after the testing, our solution was chosen as the best seal to suit the conditions of the pump. We came on top, competing against the industry leaders.
As presented by the maintenance officer at the plant, the conditions were:
Position: Visbreaking charge pumpDevice: Dawid Brown’s pump type 3x4x9B – MSD 8 st.
- Speed (min-1): 2960
- Fluid: Atm. Residue
- Temperature: 93 (140) oC
- S.G. at P.T.: 0.88 (0.85)
- Suction pressure (barg): 1,37
- Discharge pressure (barg): 38,54
The seal used on the pump at the time was a Single Cartridge seal, suggested to them, by one of the BIG (mentioned above). The seal was unsuitable for the application. The results, as presented by the maintenance officer were:
- on average 7 failures per pump per year
- 90% of the failures was caused by the seal
Our solution was a double cartridge seal, in tandem arrangement, with barrier fluid and API Plan 53A. With monolithic seal faces (Tungsten carbide/self-sintered Silicon carbide) this seal was suitable for harsh conditions present in this application. The seal was double balanced, and featured an optimized barrier fluid flow to efficiently regulate thermals.
After the installment of our seal, the results were:
- Since the new solution was installed (August 2015) the pump is running without failure.
- This improved the environmental aspect of the plant
- Reliability of the system significantly improved
- Significantly lowered maintenance costs