John Crane named finalist for PACE Award

Manufacturer and innovator of mechanical seal for automotive water pumps recognized for contributions to industry...

MORTON GROVE, IL, April 12, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- John Crane, the world's leading supplier of engineered sealing systems and associated products, was named a finalist in the Automotive News PACE Award for innovation at a ceremony last night in Detroit.

Jointly presented by Capgemini, Transportation Center Inc. (TRC Inc.) and Automotive News, the Automotive News PACE Awards program recognizes significant industry contributions by automotive suppliers.

Selected by a distinguished panel of leaders from industry, finance, research and academia, suppliers that contribute products, materials, or services directly to the manufacture of cars or trucks were eligible to apply. In addition to a written application, judges made a visit to the offices of all finalist companies. The judges sought concrete evidence that proposed innovations -- whether process or product -- have changed the industry through practical benefits and competitive advantage in commerce. Submissions included details about the innovation, how it originated and under what circumstances, where and how it was developed, the first commercial adoption of the innovation, problems solved by the innovation, and the relevant importance of this new technology, process or product.

John Crane was honored as a finalist for the development of the Global Compact Seal (GCS) -- a mechanical seal for automotive water pumps that is unique in both its design and materials. The patented GCS is a new concept with advanced materials and improved reliability, though the concept augments existing John Crane water pump seal product offerings. The compact design of the GCS addresses critical issues of size and standardization. While U.S. automotive water pump seals are generally 15 to 17 mm in overall axial length, the GCS seal is 13 mm overall, making it about 15 to 25 percent shorter. The smaller package will allow for smaller and lighter pump designs as well as same-size pumps with smaller seal packages; and allow the seal to fit without pump modification into existing designs that had space allotted for longer seals. More than 70 percent of the water pump seal applications today can be fulfilled with this one mechanical seal.

"While today's seal designs for automotive water pumps are typically application-specific, the GCS features a universal design that fits multiple existing pumps as well as ones in development," said Bill Carmichael, Global Automotive Sales Director for John Crane. "It is entirely independent of vehicle make or model, which provides manufacturers with the added benefit of standardization."

The GCS is the first mechanical seal for automotive water pumps with hard seal faces that is capable of operating under the extremes of high temperature and low pressure. These extremes would typically cause hard face seals difficulty due to overheating. John Crane turned this problem into an opportunity by using seal faces of advanced composite patent-applied silicon carbide that is specifically developed for the GCS. This feature enables the GCS to perform significantly better than current commercial water pump seals at sustaining adverse upset-running (dry or abrasive conditions).

John Crane developed the seal in response to feedback from major automotive customers with the goal of creating a mechanical seal for automotive water pumps unlike any other -- a seal standardized to fit a multitude of applications and sturdy enough to sustain highly adverse operating conditions. The GCS is expected to have a significantly longer service life than any other mechanical seal commercially available for water pump applications.

First-year production volumes of the GCS are expected to exceed two million. Seals are to be produced at a highly automated facility in San Fernando, Mexico, dedicated exclusively to GCS manufacturing.

"We are honored to be recognized as a finalist for the PACE award by Automotive News," said Bob Wasson, president of John Crane Americas. "Receiving this award reinforces our commitment to innovation and technology development for our mechanical seal products to serve the automotive industry."

John Crane (www.johncrane.com) is the acknowledged technology leader and the world's largest manufacturer of mechanical seals and associated products. With a workforce of over 6,000 people in 50 countries, John Crane provides an unrivalled global presence combined with personalized local service and support. John Crane offers a comprehensive range of engineered mechanical seals and sealing support systems, mechanical packing, power transmission couplings and centralized lubrication systems under the brand names John Crane, Sealol, Safematic, Flexibox, Metastream, Powerstream, and Lemco. These products are sold widely into rotating equipment applications in Petroleum, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Pulp & Paper, Power Generation, Food & Beverage, Mining & Minerals, Transportation, Industrial, Water & Waste, Refrigeration, Automotive, and Appliance markets.

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