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Making Fine Wines Requires Installing Fine Seals

Making Fine Wines Requires Installing Fine Seals

In a single year, between 2010 and 2011, wine consumption in the United States saw a 4.5 percent increase. In 2011, total U.S. wine consumption stood at 849 million gallons. By 2016, it was 949 million gallons. Clearly, demand is up and shows no signs of heading in the other direction. Greater demand requires upgrades in wine production, and that need affects–among other kinds of equipment–pumps and seals.  

Finding the right rotary seal for a delicate process

Wine making is an exacting practice. Anything that might damage the taste or appearance of the wine has to be avoided. So, especially in large-volume production, seal leakage must be avoided to eliminate the chance of contamination. Thus seals become crucial to the quality and, therefore, the saleability of the final product.

From receiving hoppers to pumice press conveyors and tank conveyors, rotary shaft seals are an integral wine making equipment component. But they’re subject to a challenging environment. Acids, sand and pumice threaten damage to bearings, short service life, unscheduled maintenance costs and problems with sanitation. Waste pacs, stuffing boxes and lip seals don’t offer the kind of durability and reliability that are called for. The job falls to rotary shaft seals, and CinchSeal rotary seals appear to lead the way in durability and reliability as well as ease of use.

Why CinchSeal rotary shaft seals for wine making?

Especially in a tough environment, such as that created by wine making, a lot can go wrong with a rotary shaft seal. And that’s a real problem because seals are so important to the wine making process. Bearing damage is just one example.

The purpose of a seal is to prevent leakage and contamination, but maintaining a tight seal can be difficult. Different issues can arise depending on the type and quality of the seal, but most rotary shaft seals are subject to parts failures that destroy their effectiveness. For example:

  • O-rings that fail because they are not made to handle a harsh environment
  • Small shaft/seal interface surface subject to leakage and contamination
  • Friction between the seal and the shaft, causing damage that can result in leakage and contamination
  • Inability to maintain a seal under high pressure

CinchSeal rotary shaft seals eliminate these problems through innovative design. For instance, CinchSeal seals remove the need for O-rings and add some features that carry distinct benefits:

  • An FDA-approved silicone elastomer molded slightly smaller than the shaft creates an interference fit to prevent leakage
  • Elastomer that, instead of remaining stationary and potentially causing damage to the rotating shaft, spins with the shaft
  • “Rotor cups” that turn with the shaft as the elastomer turns, compressing with optimum load against stationary faces and sealing potential leak paths
  • Air or nitrogen purging that creates higher pressure in the seal than outside the seal to form an air barrier that keeps product out of the sea

CinchSeal: designed to work, made to last

The design innovations already mentioned give CinchSeal rotary seals better performance, reduced maintenance requirements and longer service life. But they’re only part of a story that can help the process of making wine become more efficient and more profitable.

CinchSeal seals also feature:

  • Boot-mounted rotor cups that allow the rotary assembly to float with the shaft and accept the 1/4” misalignment common to bulk handling equipment
  • Design that inherently provides self-cleaning and self-lubrication, so the seals operate dry
  • Split internal parts to make future repairs possible without having to unbolt the housing
  • Repair kits that make the seal like new with only new elastomer and stator plates

Takeaways

For winemakers, the questions that determine which rotary shaft seal offers the best solution come down to these:

  • Is the seal really cost-effective? Will it last? Will it prevent leakage? Is it easy to maintain? Is it reasonably priced?
  • Is it the most up-to-date solution? Does it rely on outdated designs like lip seals and mechanical packing?
  • Has every part of seal been designed for the highest level of performance, durability and reliability?

Since 1994, CinchSeal has been a major manufacturer of rotary shaft seals for screw conveyors, ribbon blenders and all kinds of bulk handling equipment. CinchSeal products serve as replacements and major upgrades that make the need for machine replacement less likely.

More information is available by contacting CinchSeal. Quotes and drawings are guaranteed to be available in 24 hours. Custom engineering usually takes 10 days.

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