The year is 1987 and in Greater Manchester, England, a small manufacturing shop has just opened its doors for the first time. With deft skills and a passion for seal refurbishment, they begin a journey of giving mechanical seals a second life.
35 years later, Tekhniseal have established themselves as an exceptional player in the local industrial seal industry. Providing swift solutions across a multitude of mechanical seal needs, they specialise in refurbishing, redesigning, and manufacturing. Alongside this, Tekhniseal also supply new mechanical seals and cartridges from stock.
Introduction to Seals
Almost everyone is dependent daily on the work done by mechanical seals, even if they have no idea what they are! Any machine in industry or vehicle, including cars and aircraft, require seals to contain lubricants, like oil and grease, to stop moving parts from overheating, seizing up, and failing.
Mechanical seals prevent the leakage of lubricants from often fast-moving parts in machines under high load and friction, and are vital to the safe, reliable operation of these machines. They are also used in plant, engines and machinery across a vast array of essential industries including transport, food & beverage, dairy, chemical, wastewater, and refrigeration.
Helen Haslam, Managing Director of Tekhniseal, said, “The most interesting place our mechanical seals are currently used is in the production of food like chocolate, and other confectionery.”
Her company plays a principal role in keeping the machines in these industries churning. Whether mildly eroded or catastrophically damaged, Tekhniseal enjoy the challenge of restoring the seals for these machines back to prime condition.
The process of restoration and refurbishment can be a complex process. From ultrasonic cleaning and pressure testing, to lapping and seal assembly, it takes a lot of equipment and materials to get the job done.
Emblematic of their expertise in mechanical seals, Tekhniseal’s stock room is a treasure trove of parts. From wave springs to O-rings, and thousands of other items, their materials are sold to customers as parts or used in refurbishment projects. Consequently, there are a lot of items circulating in and out all the time.
Keeping track of it all can be tricky, especially as Tekhniseal advances towards their goal of becoming a ‘one-stop seal shop.’ While the stock control and management side of things can feel like a burden, it’s pernicious if left abandoned. In order to draw their time and focus back to their core expertise, Tekhniseal turned to TidyStock to take care of their inventory management.
“I needed a stock system to run with Xero, as I wanted to be able to track and view transactions in real-time” says Haslam.
With Tidy’s seamless Xero integration, Tekhniseal can automatically send information between the two platforms as transactions occur.
Her decision behind choosing TidyStock, Haslam explained she found its interface easier to use and more effective than alternatives. This was important for Tekhniseal because they needed a software solution that was powerful enough to put time back into their hands without being so complex it disrupted day-to-day operations.
A Tidy Stockroom
Rather than causing disruption, the software has settled easily into Tekhniseal’s everyday routine. Since 2019, using TidyStock has become a mainstay in everyone’s work, from seal technicians to support staff.
“We all use it to check stock and see what seals are proving the most popular, what we need to restock, and what seals we don’t currently stock but would be an area of opportunity for us.”
TidyStock’s low level warning feature further aids this by summarising stock levels based on active transactions and set reorder levels. It does the repetitive math too, providing recommendations of how much of each item should be reordered ahead of time. With longer lead times in today’s unpredictable supply chains, this takes the headache out of the what, when, and how much, side of inventory management.
Putting It All Together
With the refurbishment projects they undertake, and their in-house manufacturing of new seals, Tekhniseal produce a lot of finished goods from raw materials. This involves bringing together a medley of materials from suppliers to build a ‘top-level’ item that is sold to customers.
Tracking the consumables and cost of this might be a daunting process for some businesses, but not for Tekhniseal. They simply set up an ‘assembly’ in TidyStock. This is a bill of materials, or a ‘recipe’ of items required to build a finished product. Once it has been put together, the assembled product can be sold as a sales item.
This means that rather than billing for each individual component used in the production or refurbishment of a seal, Tekhniseal can just charge customers for the final product.
They can also send purchase orders for a complete assembly at the click of a button. TidyStock then takes care of breaking the assembly down into component items and creates separate orders to send to different suppliers.
On how they envision the future, Tekhniseal sees their refurbishment service becoming increasingly utilised as more companies begin to consider the environmental impact of their decisions.
“By repairing a damaged or leaking seal, a new seal will not have to be purchased, and the old seal would not have to be discarded, preventing overall wastage” explains Haslam.
Choosing refurbishment is beneficial to multiple dimensions of a company’s bottom line. Not only is it more environmentally sustainable, but it is also cost effective. By searching for alternate solutions to the cycle of discarding and repurchasing, businesses can undergo significant cost savings. In turn, expenses decrease, widening profit margins, and enabling businesses to reallocate resources towards areas that provide further economic benefit.
An Industry Shift
Tekhniseal’s adoption of Tidy’s cloud software demonstrates an industry-wide shift towards technology that manufacturing companies have traditionally been hesitant to embrace.
The benefits of technology go beyond just relieving humans of monotonous or mechanical tasks. They also provide highly valuable data insights that can help “seal-the-deal” on important business decisions.
With TidyStock in their toolkit, Tekhniseal are well-equipped to become the ultimate one-stop seal shop.