Seales on Seals

Lengthening The MTBR; SEPCO Best Practices

MTBR (Mean Time Between Repair/Replacement) for mechanical seals refers to the average duration between maintenance or repairs needed for these components. Lengthening the MTBR of mechanical seals involves implementing proactive measures to enhance their performance, prevent premature failures, and reduce the need for frequent repairs. Here are some strategies to help you extend the MTBR for mechanical seals:

  1. Choose High-Quality Seals: Invest in high-quality mechanical seals from SEPCO. Our high-quality seals are designed to withstand the rigors of industrial environments and offer durability and performance.
  2. Proper Seal Selection: SEPCO will help you choose seals suitable for the specific application and fluid being handled. Different applications may require seals with specific materials, designs, and capabilities.
  3. Correct Installation: Improper installation can lead to premature seal failures. Ensure that seals are installed according to the SEPCO guidelines and recommendations to prevent leaks and premature wear.
  4. Regular Inspection: Implement a routine inspection schedule to identify potential issues early. Regular visual checks can help catch minor problems before they escalate.
  5. Monitor Operating Conditions: Keep track of operating parameters such as temperature, pressure, and speed. Operating within the recommended range can extend seal life.
  6. Lubrication and Cooling: Proper lubrication and cooling are essential for preventing friction and overheating. Use the recommended lubricants and ensure proper cooling systems are in place.
  7. Balance Pump Operation: Properly balanced pumps reduce vibration and strain on seals. Imbalanced pumps can accelerate wear and tear on seals.
  8. Preventive Maintenance: Implement a preventative maintenance program that includes scheduled checks, cleaning, lubrication, and replacement of worn parts.
  9. Seal Support Systems: Use appropriate seal support systems such as flush plans, quenching systems, and barrier fluids. These systems help maintain proper conditions around the seal faces.
  10. Fluid Compatibility: Ensure that the mechanical seals are compatible with the fluids they will be in contact with. Incompatible fluids can cause damage to seals and lead to premature failures.
  11. Training and Expertise: Ensure that personnel handling seals are trained in proper installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting techniques.
  12. Documentation and Records: Maintain detailed records of seal installation, maintenance, repairs, and replacements. This helps track performance over time and identify patterns.
  13. Address Minor Issues Promptly: If you notice any signs of leaks, wear, or reduced performance, address them promptly. Ignoring minor issues can lead to significant failures.
  14. Consult with Specialists: If you’re facing recurring seal failures, consider consulting with mechanical seal specialists or engineers to identify underlying issues and implement effective solutions.

Implementing these strategies can effectively extend the Mean Time Between Repair/Replacement for mechanical seals, reduce downtime, and improve overall equipment reliability.

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About the Author
Thomas (Tommy) Seales is the Mechanical Seal Division Product Manager for Sealing
Equipment Products Company (SEPCO). He is primarily responsible for managing the
engineering department and overseeing new product development. His responsibilities also
include providing any and all domestic and international technical support for the distributor
and outside salesforce for SEPCO. Seales has worked at SEPCO for more than 42 years and has
been the product manager of the mechanical seal division for 35 years. He is an honorary
lifetime member of the United Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals. Seales
may be reached at