IIoT Big Topic at EASA 2019 Convention

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has become a buzzword among industry professionals, so it’s no surprise that it was a key topic at the 2019 Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) Convention in Las Vegas.

According to Pumps & Systems magazine, more than 3,000 industry members were in attendance for this year’s convention, and many companies from the motor industry conducted business from their booths on the show floor. As a solutions provider for the fluid sealing industry, SEPCO stood out.

SEPCO hosting a live packing demonstration at EASA 2019.

In the article by Pumps & Systems Managing Editor Drew Champlin, SEPCO’s regional business manager Chris Tindell, CMRP, discussed how the motor industry traditionally has not been aware that are alternatives to horizontal labyrinth technology. This is where SEPCO can help.

“We have expeller seals that are used in motor applications […],” Tindell told Pumps and Systems. “We’ve done a lot of work with motor shops and had customers pointing us toward the motor shops, realizing there’s not only benefits to pump and steam turbines, but also to the electric motors.”

Additionally, EASA’s Gene Vogel, pump and vibration specialist, hosted a presentation on the IIoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.

“We don’t know what [the next step] is, but it’s coming, and we better be ready for it,” Vogel told Champlin. “I think people have accepted the internet — not because of anything in our industry, but because of its ubiquitous impact on society at large. You can’t escape it and be alive in this world.”

Vogel also discussed how long industry members should be prepared to wait before AI and machine learning mature to the point that it is possible to predict machine conditioning without a technician needing to inspect it.

“My comment was that I thought it would take a decade,” Vogel said in the article. “It’s here to stay. People are not averse to it. They think it’s going to go much faster than I think it’s going to go. People assume technology can solve all problems. It can’t. We can with technology. Technology is a tool to solve the problem […]”

Listen to Vogel’s discussion of IIoT in this podcast from Pumps & Systems.

The 2020 EASA convention will take place June 14-16 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. For more information on the role IIoT played at EASA 2019, check out the full article.


MaximoWorld 2019: Packed with Education & Fun

Keynotes, RAP Talks, presentations, hospitality events, cocktail hours in the expo, and MaxStock make this a must attend event.

MaximoWorld 2019 funIf you’ve never attended MaximoWorld, you may think the headline suggesting that the show is packed with fun is an exaggeration. It isn’t. From fun food and drinks to karaoke with a LIVE band, this show is a blast. Beyond the fun, you leave with your brain full of knowledge as well. To see all the fun from our perspective, visit our Facebook page and view our photo album.

SEPCO Presentation

On Day 3, Sealing Equipment Products Company (SEPCO) presented on how to track mechanical seals in Maximo and why you should. In this talk, Chris Tindell, CMRP, discussed the value of tracking mechanical seals to keep a record of when they were installed, if they were rebuilt, and the length of their lives. To do this, mechanical seals are not treated like a consumable part. They are entered into the Maximo Item Master as a rotating asset and tracked that way.
The benefits are numerous and include:

  • Managing the spare parts (gland, stator, rotor, secondary seals, and loading mechanism or spring) of each mechanical seal
  • Keeping up with how and why a seal failed by studying the wear patterns
  • Understanding where the system defects come from by entering the reason(s) for seal failure

MaximoWorld by the Numbers

The official press release from Reliability Web stated that more than 1,100 people attended the conference. These attendees hailed from 25 countries, and spent three days absorbed in all things Maximo and reliability.

In addition, exhibitors from around the world added to the educational nature with live demonstrations and experts on hand to discuss Maximo as well as the Industrial Internet of Things  and data integration. Many of these experts also presented during the numerous educational presentations across the three-day event.

Standout Keynotes & Speakers

As usual, Terrence O’Hanlon did not disappoint in his Reliability and Asset Performance (RAP) Talk or any of his presentations throughout the general sessions.MaximoWorld 2019 fun Introduced by a representative from Prometheus Group, the ever-inspirational Ben Pring opened the final day with his keynote, “The Coming Battle of Professions.” His point was that, as professionals react to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) with excitement and fear, they ultimately feel that their livelihoods are threatened. A primary example is taxi drivers’ jobs after the rise of Uber and Lyft. Always great for quotable material, two statements that stood out were:

  • “AI is the great story of our time.”
  • “The robots aren’t coming … they’re here.”

The Fun

On Day 1, the fun activity was poolside at the Cohesive hospitality event. With a live band and delicious food and beverages, our team excitedly joined in the activities with our friends from Fluke Accelix. We all enjoyed their generosity and friendliness.
MaximoWorld 2019 funMaxStock, held on Night 2, is an event during MaximoWorld that has its own T-shirt, and attendees look forward to it all year. Brave attendee after brave attendee took the stage with the live band to perform. Every year, I am surprised by the talented people we have in the reliability world!

Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year in Orlando, August 4 – 6, 2020!

How to Install Compression Packing

This infographic gives you the five steps to extend packing life and reduce downtime.

As one of the most frequently used sealing technologies, compression packing is present in any facility or plant with pumps and valves. Improperly installed or seated packing causes worn shafts or sleeves, excess heat, and abnormal leakage. Teams must ensure they know how to install compression packing and follow the best practice steps carefully. This begins with ensuring that the correct fiber type is selected.

Fiber Selection

Selecting the wrong packing fiber may cause premature wear and packing failure. Many variables go into this selection. These include understanding the different fiber. Packing fibers to consider are:

How to install compression packing: Pump and valve

  • Flax
  • Acrylic fiber
  • Carbon
  • Aramid
  • PTFE
  • Graphite
  • Combinations of more than one fiber

Braid Types

Different braid types are also available and include:

  • Multi-Lok
  • Square braid
  • Braid over core
  • Braid over braid
  • Twisted

Also, packing can be used on any rotating equipment, such as pumps; valves; doors; and other equipment.

New Infographic: How to Install Compression Packing

A recently posted infographic, “5 Steps for Reliable Packing Performance,” details the steps to take for properly seated and installed packing.  Packing infographic

By adhering to the five best practices described in this infographic, plant teams can all but eliminate excessive leakage caused by improper packing installation, and they will reduce equipment downtime. These best practices include:

  • Make the right fiber choice.
  • Install the packing correctly (employ a tool that ensures ideal seating).
  • Follow proper maintenance recommendations.
  • If your operating parameters change, rethink your packing fiber and maintenance routine.
  • Replace the packing when it is exhausted.

Prolong Packing and Asset Life

Following these guidelines on how to install compression packing will help you prolong your packing life and the life of your rotating asset. Remember, if any of the parameters below change, you need to reconsider your packing fibers and lubrication:

  • Flow volume
  • Hours of operation
  • Operating temperature and pressure
  • Material being pumped (particularly the pH)

EXP Bearing Isolator featured in Plant Services magazine

Innovative EXP Bearing Isolator was recently included on the Plant Services website as a featured product for 2019. EXP Bearning Isolator

The hybrid design of the EXP Bearing Isolator merges labyrinth technology with a new expeller technology. This makes it ideal for lubricant reliability. The vertical, expeller technology empowers end users to achieve high levels of sealing performance.

According to the Plant Services product listing, “the EXP maximizes bearing and lubricant life by expelling contaminants, eliminating lubrication leakage and protecting against water contamination.”

No Worn Shafts

Additionally, as a true noncontact bearing isolator, the EXP mitigates worn shafts and sleeves for ensured reliability. Also, it uses a dual expeller to create centrifugal force and drive away contamination. Statically, the EXP dual vertical oriented chambers form the most effective labyrinth on the market.


The EXP Bearing Isolator is available in different configurations, including versions for the following applications:

  • Steam turbines: EXP-TB is designed for steam turbines. The design coalesces and expels steam before it reaches the bearing housing.
  • Gearboxes: EXP-GB is designed for applications where a positive seal is required because of flooded conditions. With this asset, a positive seal is created within the isolator with no parts to wear on the shaft. Common applications are input shafts on gearboxes. Lubrication protection is ensured.
  • Flange-mounted applications: EXP-FL includes all the benefits of a standard EXP with the adaptation for flange mounted applications where pressing the stator is not recommended or possible.
  • Pillow block housings: EXP-PB includes all the benefits of a standard EXP with an adaptation to mount within the existing LER/LOR ring grooves of split pillow blocks.

Basic Mechanical Seal Questions Answered

Q: What is a mechanical seal?

A: An end-face mechanical seal is a device used on a rotating shaft to seal fluids. It consists of two flat faces that are installed perpendicular to the shaft. One of the faces is mounted stationary to the seal chamber or housing. The other face rotates with the shaft to provide the primary seal. Axial mechanical force and fluid pressure maintain the contact between the wearable seal face materials.

Q: What is a cartridge seal?

A: A cartridge-mounted, end-face mechanical seal (cartridge seal) is a completely self-contained unit that consists of the sealing components, a gland, sleeve, and hardware that allows the unit to be pre-assembled and preset. This feature eases installation and maintenance on rotating equipment on which axial adjustments are required.

A cartridge mechanical seal is a completely self-contained unit.
A cartridge seal

Q: What is a component seal?

A: Component, end-face mechanical seals (a component seal) consist of a separate rotating member and stationary seat that mount in a gland or housing. Since they are not preset, installation and maintenance are generally more difficult requiring experienced technicians to properly install and adjust them.

Q: What is an air seal?

A: Air seals are non-contacting, pneumatic devices engineered for sealing rotating shafts. They protect against product loss, emissions, and contamination by using small amounts of air or inert gas that is throttled to create positive pressure and an effective seal.

An air seal

Q: In what applications are each mechanical seal type best-suited?

A: Rotating equipment used in processing gases, liquids, and slurries are the primary applications where end-face mechanical seals can be cost effectively considered and applied. Some types of rotating equipment that are not equipped with a seal chamber or stuffing box for installing a gland require that a component seal be used.

Cartridge-mounted, end-face seals were primarily introduced for installation on American National Standards Institute centrifugal pumps on which axial shaft adjustments can be made. The simplicity and ease of installation and maintenance they offer makes cartridge-mounted single and dual units a primary consideration for all types of rotating equipment that are equipped with a stuffing box or seal chamber in which a gland can be installed.

Air seals are primarily installed on rotating equipment used for moving or mixing powders and bulk solids.

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