SUBJECT: How to implement the information
you learn from self study and attendance at seminars
There's nothing more frustrating than to have a wealth of good
information and nobody interested in listening to it. How often have
you tried to explain to your boss the solution to the "big problem"
and he just does not seem to care?
It's easy to classify him as being in a stupid category, but maybe
he has his reasons. Perhaps:
- You're not as credible as you think you are. Remember you earn
credibility, no one can give it to you.
- Maybe you look like his brother in law, and he hates his
brother in law.
- Maybe you haven't tried lately. He might be a lot more
receptive if you try again.
Most people refuse to react to a suggestion unless there's
something in it for them. Try one or more of the following ideas.
They might just work.
- Former President Reagan once said that you could accomplish
anything if you didn't have to take the credit. Why don't you try
making the boss think it was his idea?
- Many plants have a suggestion committee. A suggestion follows
a different routing than just telling the boss about your idea. In
some plants salaried people are eligible for suggestion awards if
the suggestion is not job related. If not, you can always give the
suggestion to an hourly worker. I'm sure they'd appreciate
- Form a team with your opposite number in the engineering or
maintenance department. There's nothing more powerful than the
good engineer, good maintenance man combination. The engineer can
stick his neck out and take a chance on a new idea if he's
confident that the maintenance man will back him up and make it
- Call a meeting to express your ideas. It's hard for your boss
to act irrationally in the presence of logical and/or educated
people. The ideal time to call a meeting is right after you've
returned from a technical seminar and the learned material is
fresh in your mind.
- Prepare a return on investment (ROI) presentation to show the
savings possible if your ideas were to be implemented. The easiest
people to make the presentation to are accounting people or
engineers. Their training and education forces them to respond
logically to a sensible presentation. Your presentation should
show at least a 25% return on investment during the first year. An
ideal presentation would show your people how to "boot strap" the
savings by showing a 100% return the first year.
If your presentation were to show the savings involved in
converting packing to a mechanical seal it might include:
- The difference in the cost of electricity to run packing or a
mechanical seal in a pump. Packing consumes six times the amount
of electricity compared to a good balanced mechanical seal. You
can usually show a 100% pay back in less than eighteen months and
often the pay back is in less than twelve. Use a split seal to
perform the test. Then you will know that the results are accurate
because only the sealing method was altered, nothing else.
- It's easy to calculate the cost of product leakage. Your
production department can give you this cost.
- The cost of shafts and sleeves that were destroyed by the
packing can represent big savings. If you use split seals you can
leave the damaged sleeve or shaft in the pump and take advantage
of the savings immediately.
- Waste treatment is not only a large expense, but is rapidly
becoming a serious environmental problem.
- Flushing water is not only expensive but becoming scarce as
- Product dilution is seldom desirable.
- Some savings are hard to quantify, but they are obvious:
- The corrosion and mess made by the product leaking on the
- The amount of electric motors and bearings that were lost
because a water hose was run all over the place ... to clean up
the mess from the product leakage.
- The cost of repainting and repairing that was incurred as a
result of the mess.
- Standardization of seal materials can reduce inventory costs
and prevent the common problem of stocking the same seal under six
different part numbers, just because the elastomer, or carbon
- Slotted glands can prevent the inventorying of multiple glands
for the same shaft size.
Split seals represent some of the most visible savings. These
seals are available from all of the major seal manufacturers and
offer additional advantages over conventional solid seals.
- No need to realign the pump after the seal change.
- No need to remove the insulation from many pumps.
- In many cases the seal can be changed with out having to
re-sterilize the system.
- You can change the seal without incurring the cost of
overhauling the pump. Seal replacement takes place while the pump
is still on the base plate.
Sometimes your management people will react to fear. There are
several real fears they should react to:
- Pollution and fugitive emission
problems. Seals are the only solution.
- The United States Occupational, Safety
and Health Act (OSHA). Any time something leaks it presents
a potential health hazard. Maybe the product is toxic or maybe
somebody will slip on it and break his neck. Regardless of the
reason, fluid on the floor or ground is always a problem. All
civilized countries have a law similar to this one.
- Down time. In some plants it can
represent many dollars per hour. Split seals are a natural.
- Your competitor may have already
started. If he has a new process or is running more efficiently,
your company could lose business.
- Contract maintenance may want
your job. There is a trend towards multicraft which means less
knowledgeable workers. More efficiency on your part may keep
contract maintenance away from your department a little longer, or
keep you employed to work with the contract maintenance
- In the United States, Canada and Japan, the new
European community means an increase
in import pressure. Plant efficiency will keep domestic products
more competitive when you export to the "New Europe".
Get your boss to the same seminar that influenced your thinking.
He'll learn the terminology and maybe be a lot more receptive to your
ideas. And finally, talk logically. A logical thought process is the
best substitute for years of experience. Truth is always independent
of the speaker.
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with over 600 Seal & Pump Subjects
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