Archive: December, 2012

What if you had to leave a machine slightly misaligned? What would you choose, angle or offset?

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By on December 19, 2012

As alignment professionals we all want to do the right thing and perform the best shaft alignment possible; however there may be a time when you have to choose and knowingly leave a machine slightly misaligned for the short-term until other corrections can be made to the equipment to get it to an “alignable” condition. […]

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Aligning Uncoupled Machines

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By on December 11, 2012

Normally, it is faster and more accurate to perform shaft alignment while the machines are coupled together.  This offers several benefits such as:  Keeping the relative angular positions of the shafts the same allows the technician to align the true shaft rotational centerlines. Coupling Gap is less likely to change while adjusting the moveable machine, […]

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What the Verti-Zontal Compound Move Means To Me

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By on December 4, 2012

VibrAlign’s Verti-Zontal Compound Move is a shaft alignment process to allow the aligner to make both vertical and horizontal alignment corrections with a single measurement, or spin of the shafts. It’s touted as making shaft alignments faster and more accurate. But here’s what it means to me – it makes shaft alignment EASIER! If I […]

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Defining Angularity in Shaft Alignment

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By on November 27, 2012

There are only two types of measurements for shaft misalignment – offset, which may be called parallel or rim, and angularity, which is sometimes called slope, or face. Offset (parallel or rim) is easy to understand. One shaft is simply higher, lower, or to the left or right of the other one. But angularity can […]

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Solving Base-Bound and Bolt-Bound Shaft Alignment Problems

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By on November 12, 2012

If you align machinery for a living then more than likely you have encountered machines that are base-bound or bolt-bound. Base-bound is when the movable machine has to be lowered and there are either too few or no shims under the movable machine feet to accomplish the vertical alignment. Bolt-bound is when the movable machine […]

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Dial Indicator Concepts

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By on November 5, 2012

Hi, I’m Patrick from Vibralign. Today I’m going to talk about 3 dial indicator concepts: 1. Total Indicator Reading, or TIR, 2. The Validity Rule, and 3. True Position Sensing. Total Indicator Reading I’ll zero my dial indicator at 12, and then roll it 180 degrees to 6:00. It reads 30 mils, which represents the […]

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Does Using a Torque Wrench Make Shaft Alignments More Accurate?

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By on November 4, 2012

Some companies have a policy of torquing motor hold down bolts to set prescribed value. While this may be a regulation in some industries, or required on specific types of machines, it really has little to do with the quality, accuracy or repeatability of shaft alignment–if the alignment is done properly. Most millwrights may disagree. This is […]

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Small Details Make A Big Difference in Shaft Alignment

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By on October 29, 2012

Today’s maintenance personnel are tasked to do more in less time so production can resume as soon as possible. As such, aligners of rotating machinery may believe they are saving time by eliminating some steps of the shaft alignment process when in reality the opposite is true. An alignment check was performed on a process […]

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Practice Does Make Perfect in Shaft Alignment

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By on October 22, 2012

* Picture courtesy of V-Tek Associates, http://www.vtekassociates.com/ Practice and repetition are key components to becoming good at anything. Precision shaft alignment is no different. It is a rare day when an important alignment project develops, all pre-alignment conditions are perfect and the machinist is given all the time in the world to do the alignment. The […]

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Defining Level vs. Flat

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By on October 15, 2012

In mechanical trades, most of us have been taught that most installed machines must be installed level and the bases must be flat. But contrary to what many of us think, level and flat are two completely different terms. Level simply means that the machine is parallel to earth, or horizontal. Flat means that the […]

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Organizing Your Shaft Alignment Job

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By on October 7, 2012

One of the great things about being out and about with other shaft alignment professionals is seeing how they get work done. Two recent shaft alignment training classes had some great examples of how to stay organized. During an alignment on a gas compressor a few weeks ago, these guys had to manage shims at […]

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A Vertical Shaft Alignment Process

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By on October 1, 2012

The inclinometers in a laser alignment system work against gravity in the horizontal plane for a typical horizontal shaft alignment. When performing a vertical shaft alignment, the process will be different. Here is the process for aligning a vertically-mounted C-faced motor as shown on a vertical alignment demonstrator: Mount the sensors across the coupling. Special […]

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30+ Years of Alignment – A Look Back

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By on September 28, 2012

Back around 1982, when I made my first forays from machinist into mechanical maintenance, I remember hearing about coupling alignment while working at a now-defunct rope factory in North Carolina. I considered myself a decent machinist, although I had little experience beyond technical school. I remember a welder showing me how to align shafts. “Straight […]

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Shaft Alignment Thermal Growth Targets–When You Don’t Know

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By on September 23, 2012

In shaft alignment, machines that run hot often have thermal growth targets. Thermal targeting simply means that the shafts may be misaligned while at room temperature, but as they heat up to operating temperature, they will “grow” into alignment. But where does the thermal growth target come from? Many times, the machine manufacturer will specify […]

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Machine Train Shaft Alignment-To Move or Not to Move

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By on September 17, 2012

It is always the question with machine train shaft alignments: what needs to be moved? The best way to approach a multiple machine set shaft alignment project is to know where everything is and where everything needs to be. This particular auxiliary generator set has 10 pieces of rotating equipment to align. An induction motor […]

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