Gasket Maintenance: Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Gaskets

Keeping your gaskets in tip-top condition is essential to prevent leaks and maintain a smooth operation. 

Today, Pure Transfer will guide you through all of the best tips to prolong the lifespan of your gaskets and help you save on costly repairs and downtime.

From frequent inspections to correct installation practices, join us as we walk through ways to keep your machinery working efficiently and reliably. 

Say goodbye to ghastly leaks and hello to pure transfer systems (see what we did there).

1. Regular Inspections

To ensure that no damage is left unnoticed for too long, perform routine inspections of your gaskets. Look out for obvious signs of wear, including cuts, cracks, or deformations of your equipment. 

Check the integrity of your gasket by gently pressing against the material. Brittleness can indicate material fatigue, requiring a replacement. 

Loss of compression can cause leaks, so use a gauge to ensure the gasket is maintaining adequate compression.

2. Proper Installation

Improper installation can lead to an array of diverse issues, affecting safety and performance. 

When installing your gasket, ensure the surface is clean of any debris, old gasket material, or oil beforehand. 

Prevent misalignment or over-tightening of the torques by following the specifications of the manufacturer’s guidelines. Follow the recommended torque sequence (usually a criss-cross pattern) and use a calibrated torque wrench for even pressure when tightening any bolts.

3. Cleaning and Handling

Gaskets must be cleaned and handled efficiently to maintain their performance and integrity. 

To keep your gaskets looking as fresh as a daisy, gently scrub them with mild soap and water. Avoid hash chemicals, as they can cause the material to degrade.

Store any spare gaskets in a cool, dry place, and avoid cross-contamination or degradation by separating different types of gaskets.

4. Material Selection

Choosing the right gasket for your specific application is paramount to avoiding complications and ensuring effectiveness. 

Ensure the gasket you install is resistant to the surrounding materials, as incompatible materials can degrade, leading to leaks.

Choose a material that can withstand the temperature of your application and the pressure levels in the system. Materials with higher tensile strength are better suited to high-pressure environments, such as graphite. 

5. Lubrication

Efficient lubrication is vital to enhancing the longevity and performance of your gasket. This reduces friction between the gasket and mating surfaces, preventing damage during installation.

Select a lubricant that is compatible with your gasket material and the surrounding environment. 

When applying the lubricant, ensure it’s applied evenly and thinly to prevent contamination or slipping. This will also prevent adhesion, making it easier for future replacements.

6. Replacement Schedule

Unfortunately, gaskets don’t last forever, as much as we want them to. 

To prevent unexpected failures, follow the replacement guidelines as proposed by the manufacturer. Harsh environments may require more frequent replacements due to a higher risk of damage.

Keep an inspection log and note down any consistent wear patterns to anticipate when gaskets are likely to fail.

Maintain an adequate supply of replacement gaskets to avoid delays during maintenance. Keep track of inventory levels and reorder before they run low.

Invest in Gaskets you can Rely on With Pure Transfer

At Pure Transfer, we’re committed to making your life easier and our gaskets tougher. 

That is why we provide a range of high-quality gaskets designed for various types of applications and industries. Browse our high-purity range today for your installation.

Find out why our customers have stuck with us for so long, and you never know; you might become stuck with us too.

A Guide to Choosing the Right Tubing Material for Your Industrial Application

Within the industrial field, selecting the right tubing material isn’t just a matter of choice but a thorough decision based on necessity and safety. 

Whether you’re creating a high-pressure pneumatic system or designing a state-of-the-art processing plant, the tubing material plays a key part in its function. 

But don’t worry! Pure Transfer is here to guide you through the process. So hold your horses (or hoses) as we walk through the advantages and applications of each material.

Understanding Your Application Needs

Understanding your tubing needs comes down to three main components: environmental conditions, physical requirements, and compliance and standards. 

We’ve broken down each part further:

1. Environmental Conditions

  • Examine the environment’s temperature range. Materials like PTFE are suitable for high temperatures, whereas PVC is more suited for lower temperatures. 
  • For outdoor applications, choose materials resistant to UV light and ozone, such as EPDM.
  • Choose non-metallic materials or highly corrosion-resistant metals for wet or humid conditions.
  • Corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel 316, are necessary for tubing exposed to chemicals. 

2. Physical Requirements

  • High-pressure applications will require metals like stainless steel or reinforced plastic composites. 
  • Investigate whether the tubing will be subject to movement (dynamic) or if it’ll remain in place (static).
  • Choose silicone or rubber for applications which require flexible tubing. 

3. Compliance and Standards

  • The food and beverage industry requires FDA-approved tubing materials, such as plastic and certain grades of stainless steel.
  • In the UK, all materials must comply with BS EN 13480 (Metallic industrial piping) and BS EN ISO 9001 (Quality management systems) standards.

Opt for materials which come with NSF/ANSI 61 certifications for drinking water systems.

The Different Types of Tubing Materials

1. Stainless Steel Tubing

This offers great corrosion resistance, strength, and the ability to withstand high temperatures. Stainless steel is less likely to leach compounds into carrying fluids, ideal for sensitive applications.

  • Applications: Ideal for oil and gas extraction, pharmaceutical manufacturing, food processing and medical devices. 
  • Grades:
    • 304 Stainless Steel is beneficial for mild chemicals and corrosion environments.
    • 316 Stainless Steel offers better corrosion resistance and is preferable in marine environments or environments containing chloride.

2. Copper Tubing

Copper tubing provides excellent thermal conductivity. It is naturally bacteriostatic and highly ductile, making installation easy. Copper’s corrosion resistance provides great durability.

  • Applications: Used for heating systems, air conditioners, and refrigeration units. This is also used in plumbing and medical gas delivery systems due to its resistance to bacterial growth.
  • Types:
    • Type K offers the thickest walls, perfect for high-pressure installations.
    • Type L is thinner and used for indoor plumbing and hot/cold water supply.
    • Type M has the thinnest walls and is used for low to moderate pressure applications.

3. Aluminium Tubing

Aluminium tubing offers excellent conductivity and great corrosion resistance. It’s also easier to bend and shape, ideal for dynamic installation, and it’s cost-effective.

  • Applications: Automotive and aerospace industries, hydraulic systems, and framing construction.
  • Advantages: This is ideal for environments where weight is a critical factor without compromising on strength.

4. Plastic and Composite Tubing

Plastic and composite tubing offers a wide range of benefits, from chemical resistance to longeivity. There are various options to choose from including:

  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride):
    • PVC tubing is versatile, chemical resistant, flexible and a great electrical insulator.
    • Applications: Ideal for residential plumbing, medical tubing, and protective sheaths for electrical cables.
  • PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene):
    • PTFE provides exceptional chemical resistance with a low friction coefficient, enabling it to handle a wide temperature range.
    • Applications: Used for high-purity or corrosive environments, such as laboratories and industrial chemical processing.
  • Nylon:
    • Nylon is strong, abrasion-resistant, and resistant to many chemicals. It has a higher pressure rating than many other types of plastic tubing.
    • Applications: Used for fuel lines, chemical transfer lines, and pneumatic systems.

5. Rubber Tubing

Rubber is highly flexible and resilient. This offers resistance to chemicals, heat, and various weather conditions.

  • Applications: Used for automotive fuel lines, cooling systems, and air and water hoses.
  • Types:
    • Silicone Rubber offers good flexibility for a wide variety of temperatures and is used in medical and food applications due to its biocompatibility.
    • EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is excellently resistant to ozone, UV exposure, and harsh chemicals in outdoor environments.

Invest in Quality with Pure Transfer

At Pure Transfer, we know our stuff, and we aim to help you know your stuff too with our informative blogs. 

We hope that this blog has equipped you to make an informed decision on the type of tubing material for your industrial application. 

With a wide variety of silicone hoses to choose from, browse our selection today to find the best fit for your job. 

The Gasket Gazette: Winter 2022

ALL ABOUT US

WHO WE ARE

Pure Transfer is a leading supplier of high purity components to the pharma and biotech arena. We’re expert problem solvers, renowned for our unique ability to keep manufacturing running smoothly. Put simply, when it comes to high purity hoses and gaskets, we know our s#!t

OUR CULTURE

The team, here at Pure Transfer, can be summed up in three words: Awesome, Passionate, People. We pride ourselves on always going above and beyond to solve our customers’ problems. That’s simply the way Pure Transfer does it.

OUR MISSION

To rid the world of over-compressed gaskets & to improve the working life of high purity hoses.

WINTER WONDERLAND

I do love a nice fire.

There really is no way of saying that without sounding like an arsonist. What I mean is, at this time of year, there are really very few things better than sitting in front of a roaring fire.

Do you agree?

I don’t know which is my favourite season of the year, but I’m pretty sure that winter must be in the top 4. Joking aside, winter always makes me think about hibernation. You step outside and it feels as if so much of nature has gone to sleep. If I’m honest with you, there are times when I wouldn’t mind joining it. A kip of a few months does sound luxurious to me. Of course, when you run a business like Pure Transfer the idea of going to ground for a season just isn’t practical.

Why?

Because high purity line issues can happen at any time of year and we, here at puretransfer.com, pride ourselves on always being there to help our customers whether they’re snowed in or the pavements are melting outside their factory door. So fear not, we’ll always be there for you, should you need us. The only difference is, at this time of year, we’re waiting for your call next to a roaring fire. Sadly, it’s not a real one, health and safety won’t allow, so we’ve put a loop of flickering flames on our HQ TVs. The strange thing is, the room does seem to get warmer when it’s on – how weird is that?

Make sure you wrap up warm and have a great winter everyone.

Paul Murphy

Pure Vision

Paul Murphy is the type of man that you won’t forget meeting.


He brings something unique to even the briefest of interactions. It’s probably best summarised as ‘energy’. Paul, known as ‘Murph’, is what would happen if the Duracell Bunny took human form and set up shop in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. He gives off the impression of being ‘present’, it’s a quality you don’t often get these days.

As we interact, over a series of video call conversations, the Pure Transfer founder can’t disguise his enthusiasm for the business he created. “I want them to get the whole ethos of what we stand for,” says Murph of his customers. “We’re about more than just supplying the highest quality products. Our goal is to solve our customers’ problems. In fact, until they’re solved, they become our problems too.”

PURE VISION


It’s clear that a passionate belief in what Pure Transfer (a leading supplier of high purity components to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries) should deliver for its customers runs through Murph like Blackpool through a stick of rock. “We only supply high quality. That’s a given. If it doesn’t work amazingly well, then we don’t stock it. Our customers expect products with a proven level of efficacy – we always deliver that. Oh, and ‘No’ doesn’t feature in our vocabulary. We solve problems – within our field that is. It’s no good asking me to fix your car. Although, even then, I’m pretty sure I’d get it running!”

Murph flashes a cheeky grin, before his focused expression returns. “Seriously, we remove every barrier that gets in the way of good old-fashioned service. We build relationships, people rely on our expertise. They appreciate that our focus is on the end result, not blindly shipping merchandise. No matter how high quality a product is, if it’s the wrong part then it’s next to useless.”

“We’re the emergency service for manufacturers whose production lines may have given up the ghost…”

Paul Murphy


Our conversation must take a hiatus as Murph is called away to talk with a customer. After several hours, bleeping signals the Pure Transfer founder’s reappearance on my laptop screen. Was he having a ‘full on’ day?

“You might say that,” he says, sipping tea from a Pure Transfer mug. “We never forget that our customers often come to us at a point where they’re having a bad day. In some cases, a very bad day. We’re the emergency service for manufacturers whose production lines may have given up the ghost because of a badly installed, faulty or failing high purity component. So, however stressful it is for us, it’s 1000 times more so for them.” It would seem communication is central to this enterprise. “A lot of my job is trying to extract the right information out of our clients, so I can really help. Not always easy when they’re up against it. It’s worth the extra time and effort to ensure we’re supplying what they need, not just what they think they need. There is, very often, quite a difference between the two. Once we understand what is needed, we move heaven and earth to supply it.”


“At the end of the day, though,” says Murph, “customer service alone is not the answer. Even if we were the loveliest people in the world, if we supplied products that, frankly, don’t make the grade, people wouldn’t come back.” He begins to rummage around in the boxes that surround his desk. Finally, Murph produces a round circle of plastic, about the side of a coaster. “It might not look like much, but this is what we’re all about. This isn’t just any old gasket, oh no. This is THE high purity gasket and it’s precision made bits of kit, like this, that keep high purity lines running safely. Yes, there are other versions of this gasket, but we don’t stock them. Why? Because this is the best one. Our customers rely on us providing the best. They don’t have to do extra homework. If we recommend it then they know it’s what they need and will do the job perfectly.” With that, Murph gently replaces the gasket in its box, with a noticeable degree of reverence. “A great bit of kit, that,” he says, more to himself than to me.

As we chat, it becomes clear that a strong focus on family is what drives Murph. “They’re a HUGE part of the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I want to be successful, to set great examples, to be a good person.”

It’s notable that, every time we interact, the idea of embracing the moment and enjoying life is a dominant theme. “For me, happiness is a passion. A zest for life, a zest for your family, an engagement with your current & future dreams. They’re all so important, and, frankly, achievable. There’s no magic spell, it’s just a commitment to positivity and working damn hard at it. You should work as hard at your family life as you do in the office… harder in fact. Being happy is a choice we must each make.”

There’s no magic spell, it’s just a commitment to positivity and working damn hard at it

Paul Murphy


The final time Paul Murphy and I video chat together, the future becomes the topic of our conversation. It’s not surprising to hear family ambitions at the forefront of his mind: “My personal goal is to see the world, give my children a broad set of experiences and to equip them with the best tools they will need to have a successful and fulfilling life.”

As our conversation moves back to the business, Murph takes on a more focused aspect. “I see it changing a lot and, to be honest, not much at all. What do I mean? Well, it’s all about maintaining the heart of what makes the business work, you know? So, in terms of the quality of our products and customer service, I see it as being exactly the same. In scale, however, I’m pretty sure we’ll be providing excellence to a truly global audience. That’s the vision for Pure Transfer.”

And the career goal for Paul Murphy himself? “I want to help other people, like me, in the business world. What I’d like to do is spread my philosophy, that being passionate at work can facilitate a relaxed homelife, with as many people as will listen. Life’s too short not to enjoy every minute. I think some people have forgotten that.” I can’t help agreeing, many people have forgotten how to enjoy themselves.

Yet, as the video call ends – with the Pure Transfer founder called away to an online quiz night with the family – it’s clear to me that Murph isn’t one of them.

Writer Chris McGuire met Paul Murphy, founder of Pure Transfer.

The Story of My Life


The story begins…


There was never a plan, as such. But even if there had been, the life I’ve lived for the last
thirty-something years wouldn’t have been what I had in mind when I left school back in
1990.
I would say I ‘fell into’ high purity manufacturing, but, let’s be honest, very few kids leave
school with this sector in their sights. The type of manufacturing I have devoted my life
to doesn’t really sit along becoming a footballer or a police officer in the consciousness
of a sixteen-year-old. So, more than anything, I consider myself lucky, very lucky, to have
found a specialism in an area that I find both challenging and satisfying every single day.
There’s a directness, an honesty, in what we do at Pure Transfer that I think comes as a
result of the path I’ve followed. It’s only now, as I look back at my own life, that I can see
the passion, attention to detail and integrity that lie at the heart of Pure Transfer, are
clearly the result of the (not particularly glamorous) road I’ve taken to get here.


School’s out.


I was sixteen, back in 1990, when I left school and started my apprenticeship as a pipefitter
/ welder. I now realise that I had to grow up very quickly in that environment. There
was no room for messing around. I went from kicking a ball around a school yard, to an
adult work environment where things needed to be done and done properly. Not only
that, people didn’t beat around the bush, interactions were direct. You were never left in
any doubt about whether you had done well, or not, because you’d be told and punches
would not be pulled. I compare my experience to sixteen and seventeen-year-olds I know
going through higher education today and can’t help but see the difference. The reality of
being a grown up, in an adult world, is going to hit you at some point. But I wonder if that
realisation hits you much later, in your mid twenties, after many degrees, does it make
you a different person to someone, like me, who, at twenty five, had been living in the real
world, with all its pressures, for almost a decade?


An education.


As a pipefitter and TIG welder my story continued. I would travel around the country
installing a selection of very shiny pipes (not a technical term) in pharmaceutical
facilities. For me, this period was more life changing than any university degree could be.
It was my true education. So, what did this decade or so teach me? Two things spring to
mind:
• The importance of doing a job well.
• The importance of clear communication.
Both of these lessons would guide what happened when I set up Pure Transfer in 2001.


Keep it simple.


People know that I’m someone with an overwhelming desire to avoid unnecessary
complications. The K.I.S.S. motto (Keep It Simple Stupid) runs through Pure Transfer like
Blackpool through a stick of rock.
Why?
At Pure Transfer, we’re all about providing our customers with solutions to their problems,
the best components and excellent customer service. Frankly, I don’t see any place for
unnecessary complications within that relationship. We’re undoubtedly experts in our field,
but that expertise is worn lightly. We’re not going to dazzle our customers with offputting
jargon, what we do is communicate solutions in a way everyone can understand and
keep the needs of our, often quite stressed, customers as our foremost concern. What we
do isn’t simple, far from it, but the way we interact with those who need our help is. That’s
important.


A plot twist.


It may surprise you to hear that I sold Pure Transfer back in 2009. Looking back, it still
surprises me. A series of events came together meaning that our customers would still be
well served and I would be able to focus on new horizons. The thing is, sometimes it takes
losing something to give you a real sense of its importance. The passion for the industry
that had grown within me over almost twenty years didn’t subside. If anything, it grew.


The sequel.


Nobody who knows me well would have been surprised when I restarted Pure Transfer in 2015.

It was an amazing feeling to get the band back together again. I was ecstatic to get
behind the wheel of the company I loved, although it was daunting as all I had was the
company name and logo.
Since I’ve got ‘back in the game’, the business has gone from strength to strength.
Everything we do is rooted in my years of experience in the pharma and biotech world.
I understand the great privilege of working in this dynamic, constantly evolving area
and, as a result, Pure Transfer steps up to every challenge that comes our way. We don’t
understand the word ‘No’. We find solutions to problems not excuses. Our customers’
issues become our issues until we solve them. That’s just the way we do things here.
I’m proud to be an ASME BPE committee member and I’m thrilled to work alongside great
companies in our sector. The boy who left school without a plan has somehow ended up
where he wanted to be, even though he didn’t know his ideal destination when he started
out.


New stories begin…


Today, one of the great privileges in my life is having the ability to help give direction
to others as they start their own stories. I try to instil in them the value of the pursuit of
excellence. Doing your best will always mean that, no matter what happens, you can look
back without regrets.
Personally, I’m excited to see what the next chapter in the story of my life brings.
Whatever it is, I’m sure it won’t be boring.


Paul Murphy

The Gasket People

Gaskets, Gaskets, Gaskets

They say that, in most big cities, you’re never any more than 6ft away from a rat.

That’s probably an exaggeration. From my visits to big cities, I’d argue that never being more than 6ft away from a coffee shop is far more likely.

It’s a bit like that with gaskets. Gaskets are everywhere. I wouldn’t say you’re never more than 6ft away from a gasket, but I’d bet that you’ve used several products today that couldn’t be manufactured without the aid of these underappreciated bits of kit.

The thing is, most people never give gaskets a second thought. Don’t worry, never thinking about gaskets is completely normal. There are very few of us gasket geeks who spend our time focused on what these rubbery rings should or shouldn’t do.

At Pure Transfer, we’re ‘The Gasket People’, famed for our level of high purity gasket knowhow, so I thought it was about time I shared a little more about these wonderful bits of kit with you.


SO, WHAT IS A GASKET?


Whenever I say ‘Gasket’ I really mean something based on a ‘Tri-clamp®’ or ‘Tri-clover®’ gasket, originally created by Alfa Laval Inc., many moons ago. The generic versions of these gaskets are now the industry standard within high purity process lines.

Despite the fact that, to the untrained observer, these rubber ‘O’s look a bit like flat donuts (I wouldn’t suggest you ever tried to eat one) they perform a hugely important job – more on that later. As such, they conform to the highest industry standards such as those laid out by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the FDA and USP Class VI.


OK, WHERE ARE GASKETS USED?


Our gaskets are part of the process lines that create medicines, vaccines, biological materials, some foods, drinks and many more. It’s a serious business. I’m talking about working in environments where every aspect of the design, construction and operation of a process system is minutely considered to ensure nothing can pollute the final product.

The result of a contamination could be catastrophic for the human or animal end users, so anything less than perfection is completely unacceptable.

SO, WHAT DOES A GASKET DO?


It’s a good question. The gaskets we use help join two ‘mating’ surfaces (I’ll leave you to make up your own jokes). Put simply, gaskets create a sealed and hygienic union between a pair of ferrules (think pipes) in order to ensure there’s a continuously flush surface inside the high purity process line. It’s vital that the gasket is fitted properly to ensure the interior of the join is free from ‘dead space’ where material can become caught. A build-up of unwanted material could quickly lead to the contamination of whatever product is being produced by the high purity line. This would be bad.


WHEN IT COMES TO GASKETS, ONLY THE BEST WILL DO


That’s why, at Pure Transfer, we’re committed to excellence. We believe in using our know-how to ensure we supply customers with quality products that will last. Yes, it’s possible to fill a process line with very cheap gaskets, but not without a very real risk of contaminating £10,000s of product. That’s not how we work.

When clients come to us, they understand that the gaskets we provide won’t be at bargain basement prices. What we supply are reliable products perfectly matched to the exacting requirements of their process assemblies.

Our gaskets are the best because of the way they are designed, tested and manufactured. Our service is the best because we understand what the gaskets we supply can, and can’t, do. Like latter-day Cilla Blacks, I think of us as matchmakers, we match the right gasket to the right usage to create a connection that lasts.


WHICH GASKET DOES WHAT?


You know that bit in Cinderella? You do. The bit where Cinders loses her glass slipper and the prince must go all around the kingdom trying her lost slipper on random feet to find the perfect match? Gaskets can be a bit like that.

There’s so much to consider when picking the gasket you need for any situation. At a basic level, it’s all about the material the gasket is made of. How easy is it to clean? How does it react to steam? How flexible is it? Is it resistant to solvents? The list goes on… and on.


WE HELP OUR CUSTOMERS TO GET THE RIGHT GASKET


Choosing the right gasket for the job isn’t easy. That’s why our customers value what we do. At Pure Transfer, we’ve spent untold hours building up our gasket know-how. We know all about temperature ranges, chemical resistance, creep and degradation, that’s why we’re the perfect people to talk to if you need a little assistance (or a lot) in choosing the correct gasket for your needs.

There’s so much to consider when picking the gasket you need for any situation. At a basic level, it’s all about the material the gasket is made of. How easy is it to clean? How does it react to steam? How flexible is it? Is it resistant to solvents? The list goes on… and on.



GETTING ANIMATED


As ‘The Gasket People’ we’re keen to share the wondrous things these impressive bits of kit do with the world. Watch this space for some amazing new gasket animations we’ve created with the award winning production company Pushed. You’re going to love them!


THE KNOW


I’d hope that, by now, you feel like you know a bit more about the world of gaskets. Remember, if you’d like more information, Pure Transfer: The Gasket People are always here to help.

Paul Murphy

The Best Things in Life are Free

One of the great things about cycling is it gives me the chance to get a bit of perspective.


Normally, in day to day life, we’re all so busy dealing with the next issue that comes down the conveyor belt, that we don’t get the chance to step back and see the wider picture. Don’t get me wrong, being permanently busy can be a good or a bad thing, it really depends on what you’re working towards. If you’re constantly firefighting, working yourself into the ground on a task that, at the end of the day, isn’t important to you, then being super busy isn’t something to boast about. We only get one turn at life, so filling it with tasks that don’t equate to accomplishing your goals seems pointless. That’s why there’s a constant need to readjust, tweak the navigation and make sure you’re going in the right direction.

Which takes me back to my bike. Often, when I’m out in the countryside, I can literally see for miles. It’s refreshing to stop and take in a panorama, with all its ups and downs. Being able to focus on everything that’s going on around me and the various paths that are available to choose is hugely important. It’s all about perspective. From time to time, we all need to free our minds of the mental clutter that comes with day to day life and think about the big picture. New Year’s Day is, in my view, the perfect time to do this. Each one of us gets to stand on that hill (bike & Lycra are optional) and see the vista of a whole year stretching out ahead of us.


What will those 12 months hold?


There’s no getting away from the truth that many aspects of 2022 won’t be positive. We must accept them as part of the ebb and flow of life. There will, however, be many elements of this brand new year that we can steer in a direction to suit us. This means we’ll need to make some decisions about which way to go, which paths to go down, before we get caught up in the nitty gritty of the journey itself. Whenever I get the chance to stop and reassess, the same words come back to me, time and again. I’m embarrassed to say they’re the lyrics of that incredibly cheesy, earworm track by Luther Vandross & Janet Jackson – ‘The best things in life are free’. For me, this seemingly throwaway lyric carries a lot of good sense.


So, each New Year, as I prepare to throw myself into another 12 months of life, I try to remember what’s truly important in life. It’s not status. It’s not money. It’s not what other people think of you. It’s not beating the competition. All of those things are smoke and mirrors designed to distract from the best things in life: family, friends, good health and a feeling of peace.

In my role, I’m constantly considering the following:
• How do I improve what I do?
• How do I finesse my organisation?
• How do I get the maximum from my workforce?
• How do I give the best possible service?
• How do I expand what we do while maintaining the high standards I have set?

With all this going around in my mind, it’s so useful to stop and remember that everyone in my orbit, as I attempt to achieve my goals for the next year, is another person who, like me, is driven by the desire for happiness.

So, as 2022 begins, I’m setting myself a new goal. Every week, I will look up from the day today hustle and bustle of my work life and ask myself:
• Am I going in the right direction?
• Am I concentrating on the most important things in life, my family, friends and all?
• Are my actions, as a leader, empowering others to foreground the best things in life as their priorities too?
• If not, what can I do to change that?
• What steps can I take to ensure that a work life balance is achieved by everyone who reports to me?

Let’s be honest. Doing this isn’t going to be easy. Far from it. The truth is, I’m going to frequently fail in my quest to maintain my perspective. On occasion, I’m going to prioritise the wrong things. Frequently I’m not going to be able to see the wood for the trees. Every now and then I’m going to head towards a dead end. But that’s OK.

Why?


Here’s the secret. January 1st is just another day. It’s easier to start over on New Year’s Day because everyone else is doing it. But, if things aren’t going the way they should, you can get another clean slate on February 7th, July 29th or whatever day suits you!

It’s in your power.

Paul Murphy

PTL-U

PTL-U: A Different Way To Learn

The vision.

Let me be honest with you. Some people I told my plans to, looked at me like I’m crazy. Really. The truth is, the way I see it, anyone who tries to do things a little differently will always find themselves at the receiving end of either criticism or ridicule. Yet, what I’m going to do is neither negative nor ridiculous, far from it. My plan is to start the Pure Transfer Limited University. It’s as simple as that.

Not a campus.

No, I’m not planning to create an ornate campus with quadrangles and lecture theatres. What I want to do is provide an online forum in which tangible expertise from my sector can be passed on in a useful and inclusive way. If you stop to think about it, it’s not a particularly fanciful dream. I simply want to get people learning in a way that works for them.

Thinking beyond the classroom.


I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t a great lover of school. I don’t feel that the way we learned there particularly ‘clicked’ with me. At the time I supposed that this lack of connection was probably my ‘fault’, but, looking back, I’ve changed my mind. You see, everyone learns in different ways. Some lap up the traditional classroom-based model, others, like me, don’t. I’m far more of a practical person, I like to get stuck in and find solutions. I’m not one to have my nose in a book all day.

Different, but equal.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything bad about having a traditional ‘academic’ inclination. I’m really not. What I am saying is that it shouldn’t be seen as a ‘better’ path than the vocational one I took. They are different and equally valuable.

So, I didn’t go to University myself, it just wasn’t an option for me. What I did do was enter the workplace and learn a hell of a lot on the job. Too often this practical knowledge is underplayed, but it’s vital in industries such as mine. The question has to be, is there a way of passing on this learning other than picking it up by spending 30 years in a job? Can you study a field like mine, that of high purity manufacturing, and get a head start? I believe you can.


I also believe that this type of education should be delivered in a way that really connects with learners. It should be engaging and practical – two things you couldn’t say about the vast majority of my time at school.


A different way to learn.


That’s why we’re going to launch the PTL-U as an online resource, something Pure Transfer’s staff (and others across the industry) can access and engage with, within a timeframe that works for them. Ours won’t be stuffy courses that require students to read endless dry textbooks. Instead, they’ll access creatively imagined lessons and resources that engage with those who didn’t think academia was for them.


What’s the plan?


We’ll be creating a collection of resources that students will be able to use at their own pace. These resources will include:

  • Presentations.

    Old fashioned lectures really aren’t for us. PTL-U will provide online presentations delivered in plain English, that are both engaging to watch and have a ‘No More Than 10 Slides’ guarantee.

  • Supplementary video content.

    PTL-U will also create banks of specific and useful videos, showing the practical side behind the theory. Once again, this content will be short and sweet, telling students what they need to know in a method that really connects.

  • Personalised profiles.

    Each student will be able to track their progress through the PTL-U content, as will their real world mentors, who can provide additional support if necessary. These are real courses with expert oversight that lead to respected qualifications.

  • Philosophy.

    The entire PTL-U syllabus will be based around the famous K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Simple Stupid). There’s no prizes here for posturing or using long words, it’s all about gaining real world knowledge and supporting the next generation of high purity experts. Academic pretensions are left at the door.

  • The vision.

    So what do we, here at Pure Transfer, hope to achieve through the PTL-U? Our plan is to encourage learning amongst those who may never have been encouraged before.

“Learn as if you were to live forever”.

Mahatma Gandhi

It’s certainly an approach that I take to life – every day is a ‘school day’. Gandhi’s quote is a call to action for all of us, even those who didn’t feel like we fit in with the academic world. There are many different ways to learn, and the PTL-U will be an example of that. Because, at the end of day, none of us are going to live forever, and the knowledge gained in hands-on industrial sectors like mine, needs to be preserved just as much as an understanding of Shakespeare’s sonnets or particle physics.

Broadening horizons.


There are few things that make me more proud than seeing a person achieve something they hadn’t previously thought possible. In the years to come, I look forward to seeing students, many of whom hadn’t thought academia was for them, graduating from the PTL-U, having benefited from a different type of learning. In my mind, it won’t be long before the PTL-U has created a whole new generation of high purity gurus who will continue to share their knowledge with others to support this vital part of our economy.


The dream.


I do have a dream for PTL-U. My dream is, in not too many years, I’ll be listening to a presentation by a former PTL-U student, who has broken new ground and is now able to teach me something new about high purity manufacturing. That will make me very happy, assuming their presentation is 10 slides or less.

PTL: Gaskets and Socks

Gaskets & Socks

I like a good analogy.

I don’t know if what follows is a ‘good’ or not, I’ll leave that for the reader to decide. What I do know is while most people aren’t familiar with gaskets, everyone knows about socks. So, let’s all think socks for a moment. What do they do?


• They keep our feet warm.
• They help keep us clean.
• They stop abrasion from damaging our feet.
• They help us to display our unique personalities.

Believe it or not, socks are a big part of our lives. From sports socks to business socks, we have socks for every occasion. I was on a flight recently where I received a pair of “happy socks” – wearing them certainly put a smile on my face. Wearing the right socks at the correct moment is important. You’ll never see professional sports people wearing the incorrect socks for their activity. It simply isn’t done. Take a look at the world of professional cycling, correct sock length is now a legal requirement! Yet in my work, that of high purity process systems, I’m constantly seeing machinery dressed in the wrong socks.

Of course, by ‘the wrong socks’ I mean that I frequently see the wrong gasket being used within a system. Apologies in advance to those who are tiring of the ‘sock’ metaphor, but let’s continue with it for a moment. Gaskets, like socks, are required to go through many cleaning cycles within their lifespan – while retaining their functionality. The problem is, during this cleaning, gaskets can be damaged or lost so that it’s tempting to replace the problem gasket with another that looks roughly the same (as we do with socks).

Before you know it, a process system is filled with incorrectly fitted gaskets that nobody remembers purchasing, which are completely inappropriate for the job they’re doing. In short, your high purity machinery has become the equivalent of a drawer full of mismatched and holey socks. This is, definitely, not good. For those who don’t know, a failed gasket is a real problem. Why?

A gasket’s main purpose is, through pressure, to create a seal between two surfaces, often piping. If that seal is faulty, the product within the pipes can become contaminated. The financial implications of a faulty gasket, both in terms of manufacturing downtime and product loss, are huge. Thankfully, in 99.9999% of cases, the same can’t be said of badly chosen or maintained socks.


So, here’s one last hurrah for my sock analogy. Choosing gaskets should be approached with a similar sense of purpose as picking the right pair of socks… go with me on this one. A wise person might ask:

• What task do I want them for?
• How often will they be used?
• How frequently will I need to clean them?
• How will I know when they are no longer useful?
• When is it recommended that I completely replace them?

Thanks for sticking with me on this (strained) sock and gasket metaphor journey. What I hope you’ll take from this is the importance of attention to detail. At Pure Transfer we pride ourselves on focusing on the details, it’s why our customers come back to us time and again. They know that our gasket knowledge is second to none.

And our socks? They’re pretty impressive too.