Teamwork, Planning, and Knowledge

On October 22, three experts joined forces during the Leading Reliability event to share their knowledge with a group of industry attendees aboard the USS Yorktown.

training, stuffing box reliability
The sun rises over the USS Yorktown.

These experts were:

  • David Brewer, regional manager, Sealing Equipment Product Company (SEPCO)
  • Adam Stredel, mechanical engineer, LUDECA, Inc.
  • Shon Isenhour, founding partner, Eruditio
Presenters of Leading Reliability October Event
Left to right: David Brewer, Adam Stredel, and Shon Isenhour

Morning Sessions


Leading Reliability began with David Brewer. He presented Stuffing Box Reliability, which covered compression packing and using bushings to stabilize shafts. A common sealing technology, compression packing blocks fluid from entering the drive end of the pump, ensuring that the pumped material exits the pump as it should.

stuffing box reliability
Brewer discusses stuffing box reliability.

Selection, proper installation, and maintenance and flushing build the foundation for extended packing life and proper equipment operation. In addition, Brewer defined shaft deflection and how thermoplastic bushings can stabilize the shaft.

Discussion of how packing works
An attendee and Brewer discuss how packing works.


Next, Adam Stredel presented Increase Bearing Life Through Proper Storage and Installation, a discussion on bearing protection. His tips on proper storage, bearing warming with induction, installation, alignment, and how to minimize soft foot offered a primer for all attendees.

Discussion of bearing protection beginning with storage
Stredel begins his presentation on bearing protection.

Chief among Stredel’s recommendations during Leading Reliability: Cleanliness is critical for reliability. Dirt, rust, and paint under the equipment’s feet will cause misalignment. Also, not practicing cleanliness increases the opportunities for contamination.

Storage, installation, and alignment affect bearing life
Stredel discusses how improper installation affects bearing life.

To ensure proper alignment, you can click this link for an alignment wall chart, which will be sent to you in the mail from LUDECA.

job plans, teamwork, and planning


To wrap up the Leading Reliability morning sessions, Shon Isenhour lead an interactive presentation that detailed the critical steps for developing great job plans. According to him, job plans can reduce execution time in half. They also decrease costs by three to seven times when compared to emergency repairs. Planned work also reduces injuries and increases safety.

job plan components: Project, job, tasks, steps, and instructions
Job plan components: Project, job, tasks, steps, and instructions

However, completing proper and efficient work requires teamwork and planning, which is where a job plan comes in. The hierarchy of a job plan includes:

Also, Isenhour stressed that the plan needs to include cautions (to protect equipment) and warnings (to protect personnel). Then attendees developed a job plan for a sample project.

Afternoon Workshops

After lunch, Leading Reliability attendees split up for hands-on workshops. They participated in stuffing box packing with installation tools, flatness measurements with laser systems plus alignment and soft foot checks on training simulators, and how attendees can apply what they learned to their facility.

Afternoon session: packing installation, alignment and soft foot, applying what we learned
Workshops, top to bottom: SEPCO packing installation, LUDECA soft foot identification, and Eruditio knowledge application

Future Events

Next time, plan to join in. Eruditio hosts Leading Reliability events several times each year with different expert cohosts. Check out some highlights from the June event. For a review learning tips from the day-long session, view this LinkedIn thread.

About the Author
Lori Ditoro joined SEPCO in November 2018 as content marketing manager. Before that, she was content marketing strategist for Fluke Accelix; editorial director of the Process Flow Network, publishers of Water Technology, Processing, and Flow Control; editor of Pumps & Systems; and editor of Upstream Pumping. In her roles, Ditoro has learned about the process and manufacturing industries and the equipment and technology that keep plants and other facilities operating. She also developed a passion for telling the operators' and technicians' stories. She may be reached at