Current Topics

Critical Machines? It Depends on Who You Ask

| | | |

By on July 20, 2017

I recently taught alignment training at a gas compression site.  These were sharp technicians, and they keep these large gas compressors in excellent shape.  We went out to check alignment between the engine and compressor.  It was great just as I expected, because compressing gas is their only product. So I asked if they had […]

Read More

Pipe Strain Was the Issue

| | | |

By on July 13, 2017

Have you ever struggled with a precision shaft alignment, even though you did everything right? (Preformed the pre-alignment steps, controlled backlash, etc., etc.) So, what was different? Maybe it was pipe strain. An alignment check of a new installation of a 40 HP, 3600 RPM motor/pump  revealed the vertical angular misalignment was 3.2 times the […]

Read More

The Cure for Alignment Frustration!

| | | |

By on June 28, 2017

A customer called me, extremely frustrated, because he could not get a good alignment.  “I’ve spent two hours trying to align this stupid pump!” he said.  He blamed the laser, the “cheap” pump his company had, the bad base, his bad trainer (me), and anything else that came to mind. I did not take it […]

Read More

TROUBLESHOOTING MOTOR UNBALANCE

| | | | |

By on June 20, 2017

Electric motors are almost always well-balanced when they leave the motor manufacturer.  But occasionally, motor unbalance problems are picked up with vibration monitoring tools, such as the OneProd Hawk. Here are some easy troubleshooting methods to determine the cause of unbalance in the motor. An electric motor’s rotor, like any rotating mass, cannot become out […]

Read More

Correcting for base bound or bolt bound conditions.

| | | | |

By on June 12, 2017

A question often asked during our training classes is how to deal with base bound and/or bolt bound conditions when performing a precision shaft alignment on rotating machinery. Base bound is the vertical condition that occurs when the moveable machine needs to be lowered but is “bound” by the base due to an insufficient number […]

Read More

Roughing In Before Precision Shaft Alignment

| | | | |

By on June 1, 2017

Some people believe that precision laser shaft alignment has evolved to the point where pre-alignment steps, such as roughing in the alignment with a straightedge, are no longer needed.  Well, quite frankly, those people are wrong! The reason for roughing in the alignment has little to do with how accurately the lasers/sensors measure.  It has […]

Read More

Setting Up a Motor-Gearbox for Vibration Measurement

| | | | |

By on May 25, 2017

Gearboxes are common in industry.  They are used to increase or decrease speed from the driver, provide increased torque, and change direction of power transmission.   There are two main types of commonly-used gearboxes:   GEARBOX TYPE Parallel or Standard Gearbox-one where the input and output shafts are parallel. Bevel or Right Angle Gearbox-one where […]

Read More

Precision Shaft Alignment with Adjustable Chocks

| | |

By on May 17, 2017

We have written, here on the VibrAlign blog, about adjustable chocks used in place of shims for vertical adjustment and machine support. A recent experience at a customer site prompted this article, to share a simple tip that could save valuable time and effort. The customer was using vertical jack bolts while viewing live alignment […]

Read More

Calculating Output Speed Using Pulley Diameters and Input Speed

| | | |

By on May 10, 2017

Knowing the correct shaft speed of both shafts on a belt-driven machine is important when performing machinery diagnostics. Ideally you would do this by first identifying the input and output speeds using a strobe light, photo tach or laser tach. Once you know the accurate speed of both components, use this formula to determine the […]

Read More

Save Time. Save Money.

| | | |

By on May 4, 2017

Time is a commodity maintenance personnel typically have in short supply. We hear quite often, in our on-site Shaft Alignment Best Practices training classes, “………. doesn’t give us enough time for a proper shaft alignment”. So how can maintenance personnel get more time for shaft alignment? Stop wasting it! I had the pleasure of working […]

Read More

Precision Shaft Alignment of Machines With Small Diameter Shafts

| | | |

By on April 27, 2017

A VibrAlign customer recently called, stating they were having repeatability problems with aligning a small motor to gearbox to pump.  After some phone conversation, I asked if they could send me photos of the machine, and the discrepancy in the measurements.  After seeing them, I knew what the problem was.   Machines with small diameter […]

Read More

It’s The Little Things

By on April 20, 2017

When we trainers conduct training, the first thing we want to know is what is your cause of frustration or “pain” when performing a precision shaft alignment. What we consistently hear is repeatability as the foremost cause of frustration. First the laser says add shims, then take them out, then add and so on. In […]

Read More

Clean Your Rotating Machinery

| |

By on April 13, 2017

Everyone knows that keeping rotating equipment clean and free of debris and dirt will prolong the operational life allowing for maximum efficiency and performance.  Bearings, seals and other components will last longer and perform better plus repairs and alignments will be faster and easier. Motors, pumps and machinery with excessive dirt build-up will fail more often […]

Read More

Is there such a thing as “Too Good” of a Precision Shaft Alignment?

| |

By on April 6, 2017

This question comes up frequently in our Shaft Alignment Best Practices training classes. The result screens below both show two different aligned machines meeting 3600 tolerances.   The question is; is one better than the other? There has been a lot of discussion about this very topic. The theories are abundant and points of view […]

Read More

When Should You Replace the Coupling Insert?

| | | |

By on March 30, 2017

In industry, many couplings utilize an elastomeric insert or element.  This type of coupling has many advantages, among them: Ease of replacement Ability to absorb torsional loading No need for lubrication Tolerant of slight amounts of misalignment Inexpensive It is important to remember that even though these elastomer couplings can be tolerant of misalignment, the […]

Read More