Posts by: James Pekarek

Rolled Steel Frame Electric Motors

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By on August 9, 2017

In the precision shaft alignment business, we encounter all types of electric motors.  One type we come across are “Rolled Steel Frame” (RSF) motors.  These motors have a frame housing and feet that are made from mild, rolled steel.  They range from very small up to about 25hp.  They are common in many industries; however, […]

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Clean Your Rotating Machinery

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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 […]

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So You Got Your New HAWK! Let’s Set it Up.

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By on February 15, 2017

So you received your new OneProd HAWK Supervisor or HAWK Supervisor with Balancing.  There are some steps to follow to insure your instrument is configured correctly. Nest Set-up:  You will need to make sure you are using only Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 (or higher) for the first connection and you will need to download MS […]

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Are Flexible Couplings Designed to be Misaligned?

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By on January 12, 2017

A common misbelief that occasionally comes up in our precision shaft alignment training classes is that, elastomer insert flexible couplings are designed to allow misalignment between rotating machinery shafts.  This is not the case.  Although this type of coupling may be more forgiving to the effects of misalignment, they are definitely not intended to be […]

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Cutting Corners Can Affect Safety and MTBF

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By on December 21, 2016

As a Millwright, Service Technician or any type of field or in-house Mechanic, we understand there is one main goal that we have in common, which is to keep the equipment running.  This includes repairing and minimizing downtime in the event of an unpredicted failure or breakdown.  Although it’s important to make repairs and perform […]

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Fudging Your Shims? Go The Same Direction.

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By on September 22, 2016

When performing a precision laser shaft alignment, it is best to add or remove shims exactly as the display unit indicates.  There are circumstances when this may not be possible due to your assortment of shims, or when you want to “fudge” your shims slightly to keep the total number of shims low. (Clink for […]

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What’s the Point of Precision Shaft Alignment When We Use Flexible Couplings?

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By on July 21, 2016

This is a common misconception in some industries surrounding flexible couplings. Some maintenance and production individuals believe that flexible couplings are designed to allow for a few degrees of misalignment.  This is not quite the case.  While flexible couplings do tolerate some amount of misalignment, this is not their intended purpose.  The greater the misalignment, […]

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Environmental Impact on Precision Shaft Alignment

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By on July 6, 2016

We work with clients in many types of harsh climates, from cold with rain, sleet, snow & ice to hot humid and hot & dry and everything in between. Whatever the climate, the need for equipment maintenance intensifies with the severity of the climate.  Harsh climate conditions will create situations where precision shaft alignment of […]

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Benefits of Machine Maintenance and Cleanliness

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By on April 6, 2016

As technical trainers, we travel all over the country visiting factories, mills, power plants and refineries.  Just to mention a few.  We see and work on equipment of every type and size. From small 10 HP electric motors and pumps moving cooling water, to house sized engines turning generators that power our cities. Out of […]

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Wind Turbine Alignment in High Winds

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By on February 18, 2016

Precision alignment of the generator to the gearbox in a wind turbine (the high speed shaft) is critical to proper operation. 60 percent of wind turbine downtime is related to drive train failure: gearbox, generator, main shaft, and their associated bearings. We also know from industry studies that misalignment of rotating machinery is responsible for […]

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BASE, PART 2

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By on November 4, 2015

One of the biggest problems facing maintenance personnel in the shaft alignment business is the quality of the equipment base. Poor mounting base or platform construction will almost always result in machine movement. If the moveable machine (or the stationary) is not mounted to a solid platform capable of withstanding the weight of the equipment […]

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Performing Alignment Checks as Part of Your Preventive Maintenance.

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By on August 26, 2015

A systematic preventive maintenance plan is crucial to the operation and reliability of rotating equipment in factories and power plants. In addition any building or company that has HVAC equipment, water and sewer systems or hydraulic systems requires people with good mechanical skills to keep the rotating machinery running. Most preventive maintenance programs include pump […]

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Where is the Center of the Coupling?

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By on May 26, 2015

During a precision laser shaft alignment, we measure the setup dimensions and input these into the Fixturlaser Laser System Display Unit. The requisite dimensions are Stationary Sensor to Movable Sensor, coupling center to M Sensor, M Sensor to movable inboard foot, and foot to foot on the moveable machine. One dimension that shaft aligners occasionally […]

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Don’t Overlook the Hold Down Bolt Washers

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By on January 22, 2015

Anyone involved in precision shaft alignment knows that unintentional movement is the biggest contributor to non-repeatable alignment results. Movement can come from several sources: Soft foot, loose bolts, flexible bases, excessive bearing clearances, improperly mounted or loose sensor mounting hardware, etc. One of the more elusive and least considered sources of movement is cupped washers […]

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Is Your Coupling Relaxed?

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By on September 23, 2014

During the OJT portion of a Fixturlaser NXA Pro training class, at a power plant, the students asked me to allow them to perform the precision laser shaft alignment of a 75 HP electric motor to pump without interrupting them or offering any advice. I obliged and let them go on their way. The first […]

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