Thomas Böhm is head of standardization–Division Mechanical Seals for EagleBurgmann and an API Task Force member. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone +49 8171 231048. Markus Fries is product manager at EagleBurgmann GmbH & Co. KG, Wolfratshausen. He can be reached at email@example.com, phone +49 8171 231161. EagleBurgmann provides industrial seal technology that is used in industries including oil & gas, refinery, power, chemical, energy, food, paper, water and mining. For more information, visit www.eagleburgmann.com.
The task force also addressed the topic of heat resistance of the instrumentation used in supply systems pragmatically. In the past, frequent debates occurred regarding whether supply systems for high-temperature applications—for example, a 400 C approved pump—have to be equipped with special instrumentation for high temperatures. Now the temperature specification for the instrumentation has been limited to 100 C. If instruments with higher temperature limits are required in the future, the customer has to inform the seal vendor accordingly.
A Clearer Structure
The essential improvements, in addition to the technical supplements and updates, are the clear structures of the latest API regulation. The body of the text was tightened and structured appropriately, whereas technical details and background information were placed in the annexes. Some of the wording in individual chapters was revised to improve understanding.
The improved user friendliness is shown in Annex E, which addresses structured communication and data exchange between suppliers and customers. Descriptions that previously encompassed many pages in API 682 are now bundled into two compact checklists in the 4th Edition. The first list systematically describes what must be considered for inquiries and quotations. It specifies the data that needs to be provided and the additional information and documents with which it must be combined. For example, seal systems that deviate from standardized API solutions must be shown separately. Annex E is completed by a second checklist that shows in which order the documentation is necessary.
Apart from the numerous technical updates and improved user friendliness, one detail is visually the most striking innovation of this edition: all mechanical seals are equipped with red plugs in the supply connections of the seal gland upon delivery. Until the unit is installed, these plastic closures prevent the ingress of dirt in the seal. During operation, the connections are either assigned to pipelines, or the plastic plugs are replaced with enclosed metal plugs. An additional benefit is that the 4th Edition API seals are quickly identified by the red plugs. Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in Upstream Pumping Solutions, July/August 2013.