Mechanical and industrial seal supplier AESSEAL’s sales at its Secunda branch have doubled year-on-year, owing to petrochemicals refineries replacing their single mechanical seals with a double mechanical design in order to comply with stringent safety legislation.
The company claims to be the only major mechanical seals supplier providing end-users with a viable alternative to the very costly pump modification or replacement option.
AESSEAL Secunda branch manager Flip van Heerden reasons that excessive expenditure is not necessary, owing to the company’s CAPI mechanical seals range, which comprises both pusher and bellows, which are designed specifically for both new and old equipment.
The company’s improved sales growth is a result of the API 682 third edition – a key equipment standard for safe and reliable operation of mechanical seals and auxiliary piping systems – and refinery overlay specifications, which recommend the fitting of double mechanical seals to all pumps transferring hazardous fluids in five categories.
These categories comprise fluids that are immediately lethal or toxic upon exposure, fluids that cause chronic conditions resulting from long-term exposure, flammable products, reactive products and products of high monetary value.
Van Heerden notes that some South African refineries have already started the process of implementing the replacement process, citing that the use of a double seal improves reliability.
However, he cautions that early edition API 610 pumps do not have large enough mechanical seal housings to accommodate the API 682 category seals as specified in the API 682 third edition, adding that production managers are under the impression that it is necessary to machine out the housing of the pumps or replace them.
“This is not the case because mechanical seals from AESSEAL are based on a recent design and fit the mechanical seal housing of all API 610 pump editions,” Van Heerden points out.
The seals are fully compliant with the specifications of API 682 and use the same qualified seal face technology for API 610 tenth edition pumps and API third edition five pumps, as well as all pump variants spanning more than four decades.
Older pumps in refineries across South Africa can be retrofitted, saving companies millions of rand, Van Heerden concludes.
AESSEAL is the world’s fourth- largest supplier of mechanical seals and operates out of Africa, Europe, the Americas and Asia, producing and manufacturing for a range of industries, including oil, gas, food and pharmaceuticals.
In 2014, the company achieved a 7.4% rise in organic sales seizing a significant market share from its main rivals.