Developing Seals “Hand in Hand” with Trelleborg

Drinktec 2017: From prototype design to finished solution; Trelleborg Sealing Solutions provides advice and support to its customers throughout the development of sealing systems and engineered molded parts.

‘Hand-in-Hand Engineering’ is how the sealing specialists at Trelleborg refer to the approach where customers receive advice and support from prototype design to custom solution. Trelleborg will explain how complex sealing systems and custom moldings are produced in five stages. Regardless of whether they are a new development or a rapid prototype to be used as a replacement part, with Hand-in-Hand Engineering, Trelleborg Sealing Solutions offers a one-stop shop for technical support, maturity-level validation and project management throughout the whole development process.

Hand-in-Hand-Prozess

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is a leading global supplier of seals and moldings, which can be integrated into machinery, equipment and vehicles. From standard solutions such as the renowned O-Ring to complex moldings and system solutions, Trelleborg develops and manufactures seals using proprietary materials. ‘Hand-in-Hand Engineering’, is the process where Trelleborg stands alongside its customers as a partner – from design process through testing to series-production, always as the customer needs it. The five steps in the process – specification, verification, optimization, validation and manufacture – are modular in concept and as a result Trelleborg can become involved in every phase of product development.

Individual design using the right materials

Hand-in-Hand Engineering’ has a part to play in all fields and areas of operation, for example with its custom sealing solutions for the food and beverage processing industry. Specification and requirement profiles come at the beginning of a project: the starting point may be a specification or even just a 3D scan of the installation space available. Design and materials are specified as part of the subsequent verification process. Trelleborg has more than 10,000 varieties of sealing materials, which can be adapted for specific uses. For instance, these include elastomers that are specifically suited to applications in the food industry or solutions compatible with environmentally friendly hydraulic lubricants used in sensitive sealing systems for ships, drilling platforms and offshore wind-farms.

Test phase with simulation and prototype

Before a prototype for a seal or a molding is produced, Trelleborg examine the functions and the stresses using a number of FEA (Finite Element Analysis) simulations. In the next stage, the solution will be optimized in a process that involves numerous tests on prototypes. Thanks to repetitive processes, the solution can be adjusted with a view to its ultimate use. Validation is used to determine the final design and to develop production test tools. The fifth and final stage in ‘Hand-in-Hand Engineering’ is series production, using tools developed by Trelleborg.

Level of maturity consistently in view

Central to Hand-in-Hand Engineering is consistent information flow for everyone involved in a project. Transparency leads to maturity-level validation throughout the whole product development. At any time, project maturity can be assessed using defined parameters. In this way deviations from the required quality levels can be detected at an early stage, in order to avoid defects or errors. Thus customers receive reliable information about when a product attains market maturity, and about the costs of manufacture, at an early stage in development. With ‘Hand-in-Hand Engineering’, customers not only achieve ever quicker product cycles, but also the degree of innovation that the market requires.

A uniform procedure for all industry segments

‘Hand-in-Hand Engineering’ is used in various industries to manage complex tasks for critical applications reliably. Trelleborg will usually provide advice and support to its customers as a development partner from the start, but thanks to the modular structure of the development process, it can get involved in any phase of development. Over the course of weeks or months, custom sealing systems and moldings are produced jointly with the customer.

“As far as the subject of sealing is concerned, many people just think of the classic black O-Ring and standard rubber seals. However, we can immerse ourselves more deeply in our customers’ production development and help with design via Hand-in-Hand Engineering,” says Prof. Dr. Konrad Saur, Director Global R&D for Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. “We can develop a custom and individual seal specifically for critical and complex functional parts –even within a matter of hours in an emergency.”