Case Study

Just-in-Time V-Packing

Challenge

A forging mill was leaking $10,000 worth of oil each month and needed new V-Packing that could be sized, produced and shipped all within a four-day maintenance window.

Solution

System Seals designed an adjustable V-Packing that eliminated the need to pre-measure the ram. It was shipped to the mill before the outage and reduced the lead time by weeks.

Result

The mill avoided a month long outage, saving $2.5 million in productivity and stopped the $10,000 monthly oil loss.

Upgrading legacy forging presses with leak free seals    

 A large forging mill in Worcester, Mass., that supplies parts to the aerospace industry was leaking oil from multiple main rams. It costed the mill $10,000 per month in lost oil. The decade-old V-Pack sets were running dangerously close to total failure.

 The mill planned a four-day shutdown that would cost $300,000 in lost productivity. But a larger problem loomed: maintenance managers had limited information about the actual size of the ram. To verify the dimensions, they needed to disassemble the presses during shutdown. But new V-Packing usually takes four weeks to produce, ship and deliver.

Extending the shutdown for a month would cost more than $2 million dollars in lost productivity. Plant managers considered leaving the old V-Packing in place, despite the cost of lost oil, the risk of catastrophic failure and potential damage to the press. System Seals, however, presented a different approach.

System Seals designed a new concept V-Packing with the ability to cover a wide range of variable sizes during installation. It was part of System Seals’ Elite line, which blends rigid polyurethane seals with traditional V-Packing materials. The combination of soft and hard seals provides a leak-free solution that typically last twice as long as cloth-and-rubber seals.

But it was the size adjustability that enabled the mill to replace the packing within the four-day outage window and resume operations with a significantly improved, leak-free solution. The approach saved the company about $2.5 million and eliminated the threat of damaging the rams.

Tim Batten

TEL 216-408-4972
EML timbatten@systemseals.com
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