Rock Island, IL (PRWEB) December 21, 2005
Each year, in the United States, approximately 19,000,000 lip seals are misapplied and should never have been installed on rotating equipment in the first place. In fact, lip seals may already be functionally obsolete in the process industries, but hardly anyone realizes it. These statements are detailed by David C. Orlowski in his literature that explains the use of rubber lip seals for rotating equipment in the process industries.
Well Known Industry Expert
President and founder of Inpro/Seal Company, Orlowski has spent the last 41+ years inventing ways to enhance and extend the service life of rotating equipment. In 1977, he received patent protection (#4,022,479) for his bearing isolator, invented the term “bearing isolator” and founded Inpro/Seal in the process. With more than 40 related patents, Orlowski is well known for his knowledge of bearings, bearing protection, sealing, processes and tribology, has authored dozens of articles for industry trade journals and is in demand as a guest speaker and lecturer.
Entitled “Are Lip Seals Obsolete?”, the literature was written specifically for end users involved in the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) of pumps and other types of rotating equipment used in industrial/process plants. Written in easy to understand language, it contains valuable information that highlights: History Of Lip Seals, Lip Seals In The Mechanical Universe, Life Cycle Aspects, 100% Failure Rate, Misapplication, Real Costs, The Real World, Alternatives, Permanent Bearing Protection and much more, as well as charts, graphs and illustrations.
Lip Seals And Life Cycles
When lip seals were first introduced over 70 years ago, they were the only kind of sealing device available. Convenient and inexpensive, when it came to sealing industrial rotating equipment, they captured a 99% market share.
Lip seal manufacturers state that at best, they have a median, average life cycle of 1,844 hours or 77 days of operation, though some may survive up to 3,000 hours. In the world of non-industrial equipment such as (auto wheel bearings, mowers, washing machines, tractors), this is acceptable, as it works out to equipment life of more than 3 years of use.
Lip Seal Usage In The Real World
Orlowski goes on to detail that with a 3,000 hour/ 4.1 month life cycle that in the world of continuous, heavy duty industrial machinery such as pumps, motors, gearboxes, etc, this is unacceptable. He explains that, in the real world, with this kind of life cycle, lip seals are not meant for the heavy duty, industrial applications where rotating equipment is designed to run, uninterrupted for five years. Industrial grade bearings are rated for a much longer period of time.
The Real Cost Of Lip Seals
Yet this equipment is doomed to premature failure by lip seals that will fail long before the equipment. Worse, when a lip seal quits sealing, very undesirable things are liable to happen without warning. Chances are, the lip seal has soon grooved the shaft or burned to a crisp at the point of contact. Lubricant is free to exit the bearing enclosure and as the equipment cycles, moisture in the environment is drawn into the enclosure where it condenses and contaminates the lubricant.
Lip seals are not as cheap as they are perceived to be. The cost of installation is as much as for a bearing isolator. A single pump failure after a lip seal burns out will cost as much as dozens of bearing isolators.
The literature also addresses power consumption, stating that lip seals consume, on average, 147 watts of power. To show how significant this is, a plant with 600 operating pumps, can run up annual costs in excess of $117,000 for energy to drive the lip seals. Lip seals may have a low initial price, but it represents only a small percentage of the total life cycle cost.
Contact Seal Alternatives
Other contact seals, such as spring or magnetically loaded face seals, have been used for bearing sealing, but with only limited success due to a 100% failure rate. Even the highly touted double face magnetic seal is projected to last no more than 18,000 hours, but is somehow expected to protect 200,000 hour bearings.
Fortunately There Is A Solution
In the 1970’s, the bearing isolator, a non-contacting labyrinth type seal was invented, giving end the choice of permanent bearing protection that eliminates the need for continual maintenance and repair, because they never wear out and can be used over and over for many years.
Orlowski concludes, “Rotating equipment is designed to operate for at least five years. Rolling element bearings have a design life of 150,000 hours (17 years) or more. With a finite life and a 100% failure rate, it simply does not make sense to lose time and money trying to make a contacting seal work.”
Inpro/Seal Company is the originator and the world’s number one manufacturer of bearing isolators, used to protect motor and pump bearings, machine tool spindles, turbines, fans, gear boxes, paper machine rolls and many other types of rotating equipment. Additional applications include the sealing, handling, processing, packing and storage of dry particulates, powders and bulk solids.
As the recognized global leader in bearing isolator technology, Inpro products are marketed to the aerospace, automotive, petroleum, refining, nuclear, power generation, metalworking, food processing, grain processing, chemical, water, wastewater treatment, metalworking, hydrocarbon processing, HVAC, pulp and paper, mining, mineral, ore processing and general industrial markets.
Interactive Package Available
To obtain a copy of “Are Lip Seals Obsolete?”, contact: Inpro/Seal Company, P.O. Box 3940, Rock Island, Illinois 61204. Phone numbers are: (800) 447-0524 or (309) 787-4971. Fax number is: (309) 787-6114. Website: http://www.inpro-seal.com or http://www.bearingisolators.com
A complete CD interactive package that includes the following is also available by request:
Power Point - Lip Seal Overview
PDF Literature: Lip Seals; Bearing Isolators
Article - What’s Protecting Your Bearings
Excel Module: Return On Investment
Excel Module: Lip Seal Power Consumption
Request for quote
Inpro/Seal®, the Inpro/Seal logo and other Inpro/Seal marks are registered® names owned by Inpro/Seal. Air Mizer™- PS; Air Mizer™- PS; Articulating Air Mizer™- PS; Motor Grounding Seal (MGS) ™: OM 32™; STS™; VBX™; VBXX ™; VBXX-D™; VBX-S™; VBX-H™; VBXX-D™ and other trademarks are the property of Inpro/Seal. For more information about Inpro/Seal and its products, visit the Company's web site at http://www.inpro-seal.com
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