Sealed for success

Sealed for success

From the facility floor through the research lab to the field, Nancy Getz has seen a lot of the world in nearly three decades of working with sealing solutions. Her goal is to ensure that Trelleborg is a partner that delivers the best solutions to its customers.

Nancy Getz is famous in the world of sealing solutions. After 29 years in the business, she has a vast network that stretches from her home base in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Denmark, India, China and everywhere in between. 

“People know my name because I’ve been here a long time, and if you are a female who is technical in a male-dominated field, they remember you,” says Getz, Product Line Director for Global Operations Engineered Plastics at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions in the u.s. “Being recognized makes it easier to influence and work together to achieve what needs to get done.”

Being technical and an achiever has certainly helped Getz in her career, which started in 1989 at the manufacturing facility of W.S. Shamban, a company that was eventually acquired by Trelleborg. One thing led to another, and soon Getz was studying polymer chemistry and thermal analysis and working in the R&D lab.

  “Polymer chemistry is interesting when you couple it with seals,” Getz says. “Seals in the scheme of things are usually the lowest-priced component within an application, but they have such a critical function; part of that is the ability of the polymer to perform under extreme conditions.”

After 16 years in the research lab, Getz headed cautiously into the field, meeting customers and learning about their businesses. “The more we can meet with the customer face-to-face, the better it is,” she says. “So much can be lost in translation. When you can see what is going on from the customer perspective, we can provide a more complete solution from sealing, product installation and advanced delivery solutions. We want to be a partner, not just a supplier.”

Emboldened by her applications and sales experience, Getz eventually moved on to management and earned a degree in organizational leadership and an mba. “Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and do the work to get there,” she says. “Trelleborg offers opportunities to do many different things, take on projects outside your area of responsibility or go on an exchange in another country.”

elastomer energized slipper sealsA significant factor in Trelleborg’s value creation is the expertise and diversity of its employees, Getz adds. “They recognize the importance of having a diverse
workforce and the significant impact it has on improving business performance,” she says. “It is exciting to see more women coming into Trelleborg.”

Getz has been a Product Line Director since October 2016. Her job is largely focused on the growth of seals and coming up with products and strategies that best serve the local and global customer markets.

“One of our main functions is to have a well-developed product portfolio to assure we are offering the right products to serve the needs of the market today and in the future,” Getz says. “We make sure the facilities are prepared to support manufacturing of new product lines and that we are producing in the right locations.”

The product line directors work collaboratively to quickly set up and replicate product lines across facilities, regardless of location. They understand the needs of
global customers for consistency in materials, products, processes and services worldwide,” Getz says.

Everywhere in the world Trelleborg Sealing Solutions uses the same material formulations and processes and facility guidelines that apply to on-time delivery goals, prototype turnaround time, customer service and more, to assure high quality and consistent service. Through Trelleborg’s sharing of best practices and excellence programs, everyone continues to raise the bar further.

Getz deals primarily with elastomer energized slipper seals, comprising about 20 core product families that come under Trelleborg’s Turcon®, Zurcon® and Turcite®
brands of polytetrafluoroethylene (ptfe) based and polyurethane seals, and nonmetallic bearings.

Turcon seals are resistant to virtually all media, including a broad range of lubricants. They have outstanding wear and friction characteristics that provide customers with extended seal life and high-quality performance in flight actuators, steering controls, molding machines, hydraulic cylinders and other applications.

“We launched two new Turcon seals at the beginning of the year,” Getz says. “The Turcon Roto Glyd Ring V was developed with a built-in valve function to reduce
torque and friction while increasing lubrication under the seal, and to stop rotation between the Turcon and elastomer components.”

The other new seal is the Turcon Roto Glyd Ring dxl. “This is a rotary seal that fills a market gap where there is a need for high speeds in combination with higher pressures,” Getz says. “The seal is targeted toward the oil and gas industry, but it is suitable for other industrial segments too.” Some applications include hydraulic swivels, down-hole tools, top drives, manipulators, hydraulic pumps and motors.

While ptfe-based seals are widespread in the industry, Getz is convinced that Trelleborg’s seals are a notch above others. “Trelleborg is unique when it comes to the selection of raw materials, processes and extensive research and development to ensure a long product life,” she says. “We may not be the biggest seal manufacturer in terms of volume, but we can offer a system solution to optimize performance, not just a single component solution.”

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