Mechanical seal design and manufacturing company SPE has launched several innovative sealing products for industrial equipment applications. The nuclear, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, mining and wastewater industries in over 40 countries use SPE’s products. The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Yi-Chieh Huang, is a significant driver behind this success.
Huang holds an MIT Sloan MBA degree and has over 14 years of experience in the machinery manufacturing and sealing technology equipment fields. Huang combines mechanical engineering expertise and business acumen to champion sealing systems’ product development and technology commercialisation of sealing systems for energy industry applications.
Furthermore, Huang has been admitted by several prominent international professional organisations such as the American Petroleum Institute, American Fluid Sealing Association, Taiwan Nuclear Grade Industry Association, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and API-682 standards committee in industrial specification development.
Developing technologies to meet end user needs
During her career, Huang has invented over 30 patented technologies covering over 20 advanced seal designs with comprehensive technology commercialisation. Huang developed high-performance seal products offering excellent reliability and significantly longer mechanical seal mean time between failure (MBTF) for equipment. Huang championed efforts resulting in more than US$3.5 million annual cost savings by improving equipment MTBF.
Further, Huang’s team implemented sealing technology upgrades for a chemical plant in China. The facility reduced maintenance costs by $3.6 million within three years, allowing the end user to achieve 40K+ tons of chemical compound production annually.
Huang’s R&D team designed the APD-series products for API682 applications for hazardous, flammable and toxic processes requiring a grander scale of a mechanical seal’s reliability for improving pump operating life with lower emissions and reduced end user lifecycle sealing costs. They work in various critical operating conditions with a wide temperature range of -40oF to 500oF and pressures up to 570 psi.
For lower rotating equipment electrical consumption, Huang developed CARFB, the first complete cartridge seal design with multi-segment tandem rings. CAR-FB seals are for industrial blower applications operating in temperatures up to 720oF to avoid dry running, prevent toxic gas leakage, and reduce power consumption by over ten per cent. Moreover, Huang’s team lowered nitrogen consumption by upgrading a next-generation non-contacting seal with a unique spiral pattern.
For wastewater treatment, Huang’s team launched the CL99SS series seals with over 35 per cent part interchangeability for five to 35 per cent of suspended particle-containing slurries, including sulfur dioxide leakage reduction and plant spare parts inventory by about 50 per cent when over 70 per cent of the pumps have the CL seal line of products installed.
The CL series products handle short periods of dry running and eliminate the need for a complicated piping system, reducing water consumption. Also, CL series seals can align shaft misalignment for up to +/-0.5mm and extend MTBF by at least 50 per cent.
Responding to new government policies
In response to new government ecological policies, Huang’s team reduced equipment Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions below 500 ppm on average and less than 50 ppm in specific sealing technology. Typically, dual seal buffer pressure is at least 40 psi higher than the process, requiring an external resource and increasing energy consumption.
Huang’s LD series invention requires under 30 psi because of its automatic balancing structure with high sealing performance. This technology greatly improves the sealing heat exchange rate. It has a 15 per cent higher recirculation efficiency than the average dual cartridge seal, increasing the pump’s operating reliability by at least 20 per cent, saving about 25 per cent maintenance time.
In summary, Huang contributed many extraordinary dynamic fluid sealing sector innovations, making industrial environments better. “I am enthusiastic about providing a technical solution for various market segments according to market demands. We demonstrated SPE’s technical strength by innovating and leading industrial sealing trends and thereby improving industrial environments. Our clients’ needs always inspire us to create meaningful innovation,” Huang said.
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