The challenges Maintenance and Reliability Professionals face in today’s business environment are daunting. Not only are they being asked to do more with fewer people, but hiring well-qualified people is increasingly difficult. Expectations are much higher with respect to plant productivity, health and safety and environmental compliance. To add even more complexity, equipment suppliers are introducing new technologies at an accelerating pace. Invariably, these technologies overlap, leaving multiple choices available for a given application.
Evaluating your options
It is more important than ever that Maintenance and Reliability Professionals maintain strong relationships with world-class suppliers who not only can offer the full range of technologies, but also can make educated recommendations as to the most cost-effective solutions for a given application. For example, let’s look at the mechanical seal technologies that can be applied to pumps handling environmentally sensitive process fluids covered by EPA’s Clean Air Act:
Making informed decisions
Which technology is best? It depends on any number of application variables. Only a global supplier of all available technologies with access to real-world data can make a truly objective recommendation.
At John Crane, we maintain databases detailing hundreds of thousands of specific seal installations around the globe. For the 200,000+ applications where we also contract to deliver reliability improvement services, we have additional insight into RCFA performed by on-site engineers, MTBR trends by customer and by application and adoption rates for various technologies. This accumulated knowledge provides direction for our application recommendations, new product development and technology research. I suspect other global equipment manufacturers have similar capabilities.
Maintenance and Reliability Professionals should take full advantage of the comprehensive knowledge bases available to them through their global suppliers to select the best technologies at the lowest LCC based on real-world experience.