Ipsen was recently awarded U.S. Patent No. 20,100,196,836 A1 for the development of a new shaft seal. Chief Engineer Craig Moller, Chief Operating Officer Jake Hamid and Dr. W. Hendrik Grobler, the named inventors on the patent, began formulating this design seven years ago for use with Ipsen’s TITAN® vacuum furnace.
With this invention, Ipsen was able to locate the motor outside of the vacuum chamber, thus allowing it to be in a cooler and more stable environment. This relocation of the motor poses numerous advantages, including extended motor life and a longer interval between motor rebuilds. Since the installation of this shaft seal on the first TITAN unit in 2009, the furnaces have experienced thousands of hours of trouble-free operation.
In addition, now that the motor is outside in ambient air, users no longer have to use a step-down transformer for argon cooling gas as required by NFPA 86. Maintenance has also been simplified with users able to easily grease the motor’s bearings, monitor the vibration of the motor and perform routine maintenance checks.