Vol. 16 No. 1
Amine resistance saves a 57,000 in The Netherlands The truth about bearing isolators Lyondell France’s Fos-sur-Mer plant raises pump/seal MTBR to next level
Flowserve LifeCycle Advantage cuts pump, seal and outage costs for DSM Nutritional Products
Feeding the bottom line
Feeding the bottom line Flowserve LifeCycle Advantage cuts pump, seal and outage costs for DSM Nutritional Products uring the past 10 years and, more dramatically, the past four, the Belvidere, N.J. plant of DSM Nutritional Products, Inc. systematically reduced its costs of pump and mixer maintenance by reducing seal inventory 70%, cutting seal failures as much as 33%, monitoring equipment condition, and solving problems with seal applications and operations. DSM Nutritional Products is the world’s largest supplier of vitamins, carotenoids (pigments and antioxidants) and other biochemicals and fine chemicals used in products for human and animal nutrition and health and personal care. One of 11 large production sites in seven countries, the Belvidere plant specializes in production of Vitamin C and arachidonic acid (ARA), a product in increasing demand for enriching infant formula. The facility began to get serious about seal reliability in 2000. Before that, “There was no technical expertise driving seal upgrades or solving maintenance problems,” says Reliability Manager Dale Winterhoff, who joined the plant in 2001. “We had a huge inventory of seals to pick from. The BOM for a pump would list five or six different seal configurations. The burden for selecting the correct seal was left up to the maintenance technician, and sometimes it was a guessing game.”
Optimize inventory At Belvidere, seal misapplications contributed to high failure rates. “In some applications we had 20 failures per year,” Winterhoff says. “It was an upward spiral that needed to be stopped.” The plant worked with Flowserve to standardize on a set of seals that could handle the vast majority of applications. Standardization 2
reduced the number of carbon/silicon carbide (soft/hard face) material combinations from 24 to one by using Kalrez elastomers and C276 wetted parts. “Specifying Kalrez/Hastelloy versus Viton/316 stainless steel is about an $80 adder on a $600 seal. But the savings we realize by reducing our inventory carrying costs and extending seal life far exceed the adder,” says Winterhoff. “When you have a plant with approximately 960 ANSI pumps, the real savings comes from extending MTBR. Our maintenance goals focus on long-term reliability, not just the short-term, low-cost option. Factor in labor savings and lost production and the vision becomes clear. We went from 250 seal failures per year in 2000-2001 to 135 in 2004.”
Expansion to MRO Since 2000, the Belvidere/Flowserve relationship has blossomed into what Flowserve calls a LifeCycle Advantage equipment managment Face to Face
STEP BY STEP program. This program offers seal and pump users the opportunity to tap into Flowserve's familiarity with their industry's best equipment management practices in a formal program to minimize downtime, streamline inventory, reduce costs and extend equipment life. The program centers on a rigorous, structured approach to gathering, sharing and acting upon plant operations and maintenance information. Flowserve and plant personnel use technologies and methods, including the Flowstar.net equipment management software and condition data point monitoring (CDPM), to report events, manage knowledge, analyze and solve problems, and track and improve mutually agreed-upon key performance indicators (KPIs). CDPM draws on temperature, trigger point, vibration and lube oil analysis to spot problems before equipment breaks down. “Our Flowserve vibration specialist, Matt Reynolds, monitors more than 250 pieces of equipment for vibration,” says Flowserve Sales Engineer Jim Conley. “We’ve identified maintenance concerns and prevented a lot of production losses before the failure occurs. This allows the maintenance team to respond proactively rather than reactively. Early identification is important because some of the processes DSM operates will solidify during equipment failures. An unexpected failure can have significant consequences on the scope and cost of a repair.”
Problems solved on-site Flowserve is also on the site every week to assist with maintenance and operations. “They review why a seal failed, then enter the data into Flowstar.net so reports can be generated,” says Winterhoff. “They make a point to talk with the maintenance technician and discuss what happened.” Maintenance personnel know about pump histories and operating conditions, and work with Flowserve and DSM management to determine causes and solve problems. “For example, we found we were having a lot of trouble with non-OEM parts — shafts and sleeves Face to Face
1) 2) 3) 4)
Seal standardization reduces inventory Inventory management cuts transaction costs Failure analysis improves reliability Increased MTBR lowers labor, downtime, scrap and rework 5) Specialized training improves expertise
that were out of tolerance,” says Winterhoff. “This would never have been discovered without the feedback from the craftsman. Open communication and establishing relationships do matter.” Quarterly management meetings are held to refine the vision and review performance. “At a quarterly meeting, we'll review spending and savings, and take action on bad actors that have been identified with our Internet-based equipment monitoring software, Flowstar.net,” says Conley. “For example, we've looked at seal failures and upgraded the designs as needed, and cut fugitive emissions by recommending dual seals.” The meetings are also an opportunity to plan improvements and discuss different seal and stuffing box possibilities. For example, Flowserve designed a cartridge seal for a Funda catalyst reactor that reduced installation time from 25 to two hours. “We've also dealt with operations problems,” Conley says. “If we identify that a seal failed because of an inadequate seal flush — plugging, isolation, etc. — we’ll advise Dale to review the procedure, talk to the operator, do training, post signs in the field, etc., to prevent the problem.” But problems don't wait for the quarterly meeting. Every seal that comes out gets analyzed and put into Flowstar.net. “If there's a power outage that takes out a bunch of seals, well, that's something we can't do much about,” Conley says. “But if the operator ran the seal dry, identify the problem during seal inspection so we can get out there, let him know and make sure he understands what he needs to do. Winterhoff agrees, saying, “The weekly discussion is the one that really counts in the dayto-day operations, in part because it's timely and www.flowserve.com
THREE-YEAR RESULTS • Reduced seal spend more than 21% • Reduced carrying inventory 70% • Reduced tax spend on seal inventory 31% • Identified, through CDPM, cost avoidance savings of 26%. • Increased pump seal MTBR from 37 to 50 months • Increased mixer seal MTBR from 67 to 103 months
reinforces the focus on MTBR improvement, and in part because the maintenance technician remembers what they saw. Those interactions can't wait for a quarterly meeting.”
Rout out bad actors LifeCycle Advantage focuses on high cost drivers and bad actors: the pumps that are taking the most resources or have the highest number of failures. The team solves not only seal application problems but also operation and maintenance concerns. For example, a pump located in a room with an unrepairable steam leak was failing every two to three weeks. “The steam would get into the bearings, the bearings would fail and take out the seal,” says Winterhoff. “We instituted a weekly lube to keep the bearings alive, and since then it's run for 18 months without a problem.” Some fixes are low-cost or almost no-cost. “Another pump was very poorly selected, and its operating point is almost at shut-off,” Winterhoff says. Because it is mounted on stilts and has a high L/D ratio, it experienced high baseline vibrations. The shaft had excessive runout and the seal failed about once a month. “Working with Operations, the simple fix was to install a recirculation line back to the tank, about 20 feet of one-inch piping. With the increased flow, the vibrations were drastically reduced and the seal has been in service now for three years without incident.” Some fixes are more complicated. “We have some products that, if you leave it in the pump exposed to oxygen, it will harden up and then rip the seals apart during startup,” Winterhoff says. “We couldn't flush the pumps correctly, so 4
we added flush connections and modified the lay-up procedure.” The seals now have run more than a year without a failure and are off the bad actor list.
Control life-cycle cost Too many plants fall for the low-initial-cost way of thinking. “You really need to look at the whole cost of installing and maintaining a pump,” says Winterhoff. “The average cost to repair a typical overhung API process pump is approximately $2,200. Spending another $2,000 in capital at initial equipment selection and doubling your MTBR will provide a significant ROI over a 20-year life.” Attention to life-cycle costs led the Belvidere plant to expand the alliance in August, 2004 to include pumps and valves. This was done in part to gain Flowserve's help with specifying and purchasing equipment for a new ARA production facility. As part of the expansion plan, Conley says, “We developed a site standard for pump selection and installation based on previous site experience and bad actors. We provided the right pump for the service and DSM realized $100,000 savings because of our relationship.”
Training locks it in Along with helping to solve technical and operations problems, Belvidere’s relationship with Flowserve raises awareness of the importance of doing things by the book. Flowserve provides the necessary education and training for operators and mechanics, both on-site and at its Learning Resource Center in Dallas, Texas. “It’s key to give them the knowledge and empower the guys in the field to take ownership. All of our maintenance technicians are very conscientious and have pride in their work. Our responsibility is to give them the tools they need to be effective” says Winterhoff. “Training forms relationships, builds worker confidence and efficiency, and reduces cost. It is a cycle that feeds on itself and spreads. It is a long-term vision but a worthwhile investment.” r Face to Face
Lyondell's Fos-sur-Mer plant more than doubles pump/seal MTBR
TEAMWORK GOES INTERNATIONAL n the Mediterranean coast, the Fos-sur-Mer plant of Lyondell Chemie France (LCF) produces propylene oxide, tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA), propylene glycol and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The plant occupies about 133 acres and began operations in 1988. The company’s Operational Excellence management system, which drives continuous improvement in safety and health, environment, quality, reliability, cost and efficiency, people, and community, meets or exceeds the management practices found in Responsible Care. In keeping with its Operational Excellence principles, the Fos-sur-Mer plant had reduced annual seal/pump failures from 211 in 1996 to 153 in 2001, but saw a need for help to achieve further gains. “We felt we were at the point where significant design improvements had been carried out and basic training was done,” says Lyondell Reliability Engineer Philippe Lefrançois, “but we still had ‘bad actors’ with mean time between repair [MTBR] less
Success is the sum of its parts “Results such as we have obtained do not come from one example, but are a sum of many small improvements,” says Philippe Lefrançois, Reliability Engineer at Lyondell Chemie France’s Fos-surMer plant. “One of the first problems we dealt with was a glycerine/KOH pump where high product viscosity caused tearing on the seal faces.” They replaced the existing tandem seal with a GX-200 pressurized dual (double) bellow seal. “The pressurization solved the tearing problem, the bellows stopped blocking of the seat, and the tandem design prevents coking,” says Lefrançois. Performed early in 2002, the new design is one of the first modifications under the plant’s LifeCycle Advantage program with Flowserve. It’s still running.
Face to Face
than 12 or 24 months.” To solve those problems, the company sought outside expertise to help with detailed reviews of seal/pump design and application, spares consolidation, and operation and workshop procedures. In 2001, the plant signed an agreement with Flowserve. Procedures were set up for reporting deviations, spare parts availability and delivery, updates of drawings, etc. “The contract spells out the roles and responsibilities of LCF, the contract millwright company SMRI [a subsidiary of Ponticelli frères] and Flowserve personnel,” says Lefrançois. The Flowserve team includes On-Site Application Engineer Jean-Pierre Prevot, Repair Technician Andrea Irrera, and Sales Engineer Johannès Bertrand. Monthly meetings cover existing problems and solutions, and progress on the contract is reviewed quarterly. To date, efforts under the agreement have resulted in: • Failures per year reduced from 153 in 2001 to 86 in 2004. • Average MTBR increased from 29 to 74 months. • Seal design modifications by Flowserve amortized through standardization and MTBR improvement (LCF is in charge of modifications to seal environments). • Fewer pump repairs, reducing millwright and pipefitter activities. • Transfer of spare parts inventory to Flow-serve, reducing carrying costs for LCF and allowing standardization by Flowserve. • 100% on-time delivery performance. Along with substantial cost savings and reliability improvements, LCF’s Fos-sur-Mer plant was recognized and congratulated at the company's 2005 global Reliability Forum in Houston. “We’ve spent this first three years of collaboration with only one focus: to deliver the best possible service and do our best to increase the MTBR of the Lyondell site,” says Bertrand. “We have simply made a good team work.” r www.flowserve.com
Bearing isolators Choosing the right one for your application By Randy Hasselfeld, Chief Rotating Equipment Engineer, Jacobs Engineering, Cypress, Calif.
ewer than 30% of pumps bearings actually “wear out.” Most fail because contaminants enter the housing. As little as 0.10% moisture in the housing shortens bearing life by as much as 90%. The first pseudo “bearing isolators” were no more than leather lip seals or simple labyrinths, both ineffective at excluding contaminants and retaining lubricants. The advent of true engineered bearing isolators was a welcome change for rotating equipment engineers because these devices have proved to be much more effective. The first true bearing isolator that we became aware of is the Inpro seal, which has become the most universally used bearing housing seal of all time. Several others, such as the Flowserve Bearing-Gard, followed, and now there are variations on the theme, including the “magnetic” variety, such as Flowserve’s BGM. The standard bearing isolator is a permanentlyinstalled device that operates on the principle of a close-tolerance labyrinth seal. Any contaminants that enter the protector are channeled to a drain port.
CRITICAL POINTS The guidelines presented here should cover 85% to 90% of industrial applications. Remember the following rules for your application: • Straight labyrinths or lip seals aren’t recommended under any circumstances. • A standard engineered bearing isolator is a special close-tolerance labyrinth with channels and ports to expel contaminants. It has an infinite life. • A magnetic bearing isolator or protector is a contacting seal device that has a finite life, usually less than that of the bearings, but it won’t let anything in or out of the bearing housing until the seal fails.
Magnetic bearing isolators maintain intimate contact between a rotor and a stator. These protectors or isolators offer a positive seal. The downside is that their projected life is about 18,000 hours, much less than the L10 bearing life of 25,000 hours. The best overall solution for most rotating equipment is the traditional isolator. However with the increasing popularity of oil mist lubrication, a technology that essentially eliminates bearing failure, you must take care to pick the best bearing isolator for the system. The varieties of oil mist lube systems include: • Purge oil mist (wet sump): This system uses oil mist to purge the bearing housing. Maintaining the oil level ensures the bearings receive lubricant from oil flingers or slinger rings. • Pure oil mist (dry sump): This system uses oil mist that coalesces on the bearing and lubricates it. The bearing housing is dry. Two types of pure oil mist systems exist. The first is an open system in which the oil mist passes through the bearings once and is drained away. The second type is a closed system that recycles the oil mist.
Bearing isolator recommendations If you’re using standard sump oil lubrication, use the standard bearing isolator. It has essentially an infinite life. Consider an upgraded bearing isolator in extremely dirty, contaminated areas, such as a petroleum coker. Purge oil mist systems can use the standard bearing isolator. Venting avoids over-pressurization that blows oil out of the reservoir. If a magnetic bearing isolator is used in this situation, include small vent holes in the bearing end caps. If you’re using a pure oil mist (open system), your bearing isolator choice depends on the location of the oil mist inlets. Oil mist entering the middle of the bearing housing (Figure 1) suggests Face to Face
Savings to date 57,000 Euros
Mist manifold with reclassifiers
A Flowserve seal cartridge on a bottom-entry mixer improves profitability at Delamine BV Delfzijl, The Netherlands
Modified end cap or labyrinth shaft seal
Drain tube to oil collection container Oil sight bottle
Mist manifold with reclassifiers
Magnetic face seal both ends
Drain tube to oil collection container Oil sight bottle
Figure 2. using the standard bearing isolator. A magnetic bearing isolator would need small holes in the bearing housing cover plates. Oil mist entering the ends (Figure 2) makes the magnetic bearing isolator a necessity because a standard bearing isolator vents the mist to atmosphere with little oil contacting the bearings. A pure oil mist (closed system) attempts to recover the oil. Use a bearing isolator specifically design for oil mist lubrication like the Inpro/Seal OM-32 or a magnetic bearing isolator and a small vent hole in the bearing end caps. With a magnetic bearing isolator some oil will be lost, but the amount can be minimized. r Face to Face
thylene amines are manufactured in a continuous process by reacting ammonia with ethylene dichloride under high pressure. After reducing the reactor pressure, sodium hydroxide is added to crystallize the salt. The seals in one of Delamine’s bottom-entry mixers (80 mm, 52 rpm) used in this process were unreliable. Production stopped every three months to replace the seal with a spare OEM cartridge that was held in stock. Kalrez O-rings, which weren’t suitable for the amine mix (95ºC to 210ºC, 2 barg pressure), were the root cause for the failures. Each seal cartridge cost 15,000 euros, and installation and management costs added 7,500 euros per repair. Total annual maintenance was estimated to be 90,000 euros. In February 2003, Frits de Boer, maintenance engineer at the Delamine Delfzijl plant, requested Flowserve’s assistance with the problem. In response, Flowserve engineered a seal cartridge capable of handling the amine mix. One day spent with Werner Ohnsorge at the Flowserve facility in Dortmund confirmed the suitability of the proven Flowserve 586 bottom-entry, dual pressurized seal cartridge design with the bearing included. The unique PTFE spring-energized seal rings withstood the amine mix. After Delamine received a firm warranty on a defined test period, the plant purchased two seals, one held as a spare. Cees Suykerbuyk, Flowserve’s service engineer, installed the unit, and it has been operating unattended for the past 18 months. Thus far, total savings are estimated to be 57,000 euros and still rising. It proves that the Flowserve seal has exceeded Delamine’s expectations. r
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