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Word got around slowly about the advantages of HERMETIC Pumps when the company arrived in the United States but the rest of the world had already become loyal followers of sealless technology, evidenced by a major order HERMETIC filled in 2017 for more than 200 pumps with canned motor drive for a company in the Middle East.
Described as a “mega scale project” the order included pumps of all widths, fitted with API 610 (American Petroleum Industry standard) hydraulics and equipped with a maintenance free canned motor and HERMETIC ZART® technology following API 685 (Sealless Equivalent Standard to API 610).
This order helped to further the position of HERMETIC-Pumpen GmbH as a world-leader in the global market of sealless pumps, with its U.S. arm named HERMETIC-Pumps Inc. USA. HERMETIC’s product line currently revolves around the pumping of valuable, critical and dangerous fluids using pumps built according to the hermetic principle and to the latest technical standards. Its range includes canned motor pumps, magnetic drive pumps, vacuum pumps with standard pump designs and a variety of special designs and tailor-made alternatives for specific customer needs.
Nearly two decades now in the states and U.S. CEO Peter Koegl says the company’s stance has grown in the North American market from being virtually ignored to receiving enthusiastic invites from prospective customers and other interested parties – such is the respect earned by HERMETIC’s technical expertise.
To date the company has supplied more than 260,000 HERMETIC pumps world-wide for the most severe toxic or hazardous applications, which require zero leakage tolerance. HERMETIC pumps can operate in environments with fluid temperatures that span from –160 °C up to +480 °C (-256 F to 896 degrees F) system pressures up to 120 MPa (17404.5 psi) and powers between 1 kW up to 690 kW, (1.34 hp to 925 hp) and -200 F to +800 F, with a 18000 PSIG pressure rating of up to 1000 hp.
And that, explains Koegl, is as about technically superior as one can get in the world of sealless pump technology.
Look Ma, No Seal
In the area of canned motor pumps, HERMETIC, celebrating 150 years in business, manufactures canned motor and magnetic drive pumps for over 60 years., as well as vacuum and positive displacement pumps. Ninety-five percent of the market uses mechanical seals to seal the process part. HERMETIC’s sealless technology doesn’t require mechanical seals. Traditionally, explains Koegl, the wet end the pump connects to outside via shaft has a separate opening that needs to be sealed – this is called a mechanical seal pump as per API 610 or ANSI standard.
“Sealless technology doesn’t have that design,” Koegl says. “It is one big containment (pump and motor casing); there’s no mechanical seal which is exposed to friction and atmospheric conditions. Seals will fail eventually. Our pumps don’t have seals and will fail less. This is the “specialty” in all sealless pumps. The so called MTBF is about four times longer for the Hermetic pumps.”
The design, he says, was invented in the 1950s when HERMETIC bought the license. “We’re considered the market leader,” he says. “We’re always a step ahead.” He further adds that the company’s competition “does not show to have the experience or engineering detail to offer what HERMETIC offers.”
The company’s products are currently made in Germany but HERMETIC does plan in the future to bring production to the U.S. Currently, HERMETIC maintains a location in Houston on four acres with 15,000 square feet of office and warehouse space and $1.5 million invested in engineering, providing quotes, and product service including troubleshooting, training and start up assistance and provides maintenance and repair with it partner APMW in Geismar – virtually everything except production and assembly. A joint venture in China added 25 percent of sales strictly for the Asian market.
“Our after-sales service provides additional activities such as retrofits and modification,” he says.
HERMETIC-Pumpen GmbH has more than 440 employees based in Gundelfingen, near Freiburg, Germany. It operates its own sales and service organization throughout Germany, and Europe including Africa and the Middle East, North America and China, South East Asia and Hermetic Singapore, providing its customers global coverage through long established partnerships.
HERMETIC offers products for markets that include chemical, industrial (also known as refrigeration), oil & gas, and power generation. Pumps are leakage free, with no emissions, Koegl stresses, and are “100 percent safe for the environment, safe for people and plants. The pumps are easy to install and maintain and not to underestimate very quiet where living quarters get closer and closer to the industry.”
For the chemical industry, the company produces a wide range of products, as well as intermediate products for different industrial branches, such as:
- inorganic basic chemicals
- fine and special chemicals.
The chemical industry has made great strides in improving safety, health and the overall environment, and HERMETIC’s have been in sync with this progression, helping companies in the industry to maintain their competitiveness globally through products that offer the technical and engineered features vital to growth.
The chemical industry has benefited immensely from HERMETIC’s lines of canned motor pumps. Designed for extreme conditions, these pumps fit the bill whenever liquids and gases have to be pumped at extreme temperatures and under potentially hazardous conditions and especially when conventional technologies reach their limits.
Products in this market segment include:
HERMETIC canned motor pump foot mounted pumps with cooler: The secondary hermetically-sealed containment shell of the canned motor pumps offers completely reliable protection against undesired leakage from the pumps. Also, the canned motor design (which has been well-established for decades) completely avoids the need for shaft seals, conventional bearings and couplings. The result is a high level of operational reliability, hardly any wear and, consequently, a high MTBR (“Mean Time Between Repairs”) value.
Process pumps for high temperature and high pressure applications. Preferred in applications of hermetic pumps, these canned motor pumps are preferred in the chemical and petrochemical industry.
For the refrigeration industry, HERMETIC pumps help keep operations humming in the applications of:
- Cold storage
- Refrigerator ship
- Railed vehicles
- Toboggan run & bobsleigh
- Server-room cooling.
Most of these pumps are in stock and can ship within a couple of days.
In solar thermal applications, HERMETIC offers products that meet demands of the new generations of solar thermal power plants, which are able to produce energy from 50 to 250 megawatts.
Hermetically sealed pumps ensure a safe and controlled conveying of refrigerants. Besides absolute tightness HERMETIC refrigeration pumps feature ZART® Technology (Zero Axial and Radial Thrust) that contains a variety of pluses – the technology prevents damages, offers the lowest emissions, secondary containment, plus the lowest total costs of ownership, lowest unexpected shutdown costs and lowest maintenance expenses.
Satisfying the needs of all these markets, HERMETIC’s annual sales volume is growing rapidly every year, reflecting production of thousands of pumps annually for a global market. “We have 3 percent market coverage in the U.S. and 21-25 percent globally,” says Koegl. “Every fourth pump in the world market is sealless. In the U.S. every 25th pump is sealless – that’s a good growth rate to expect in the US.”
The company currently has 12 employees and five distributors throughout the U.S., and three distribution companies in South America.
He stresses that when HERMETIC moved to the U.S. in April 2000 “it was hard to get appointments.” Now, “the entire industry is asking for canned motor driven” pumps. The technology is safe, reliable, predictable. This is the most environmentally friendly pump technology you can find.”