Posts by: Stan Riddle

Balancing How To #2 – Selecting a Proper Trial Weight

| | | | |

By on February 22, 2019

In our last Balancing How To, we discussed how to set up and get your original measurements on the rotor to be balanced.  This How To discusses selecting a proper trial weight. A trial weight is used to make a change in the original vibration amount and direction.  Changing either the AMOUNT of vibration (amplitude), […]

Read More

Balancing How To #1 – Setting Up for Balancing

| | | |

By on January 30, 2019

The recent blog on troubleshooting balancing ( https://vibralign.com/other-topics/smc-touch-tip-using-the-smc-when-unbalance-is-diagnosed/ ) brought up some additional questions from our readers, so let’s tackle them in order. The first one is setting up to perform a balance job. NECESSARY EQUIPMENT FOR BALANCING If you have gone through the checklist and confirmed unbalance, you will need: A machine to perform […]

Read More

SMC Touch Tip-Using the SMC When Unbalance is Diagnosed

| | |

By on January 7, 2019

The Fixturlaser Smart Machine Checker (SMC) is a great balancing tool (for me personally, it’s the best balancer I’ve ever used).  Unbalance is one of the most common machinery problems on rotating equipment, especially fans. If you get a diagnosis of unbalance, be aware of these tips: Be mindful that a rotating mass, once balanced, […]

Read More

Too Much Grease (a “liquid” unbalance!)

| | | | |

By on September 13, 2018

We recently published a blog about using the Fixturlaser SMC as a lubrication tool. https://vibralign.com/other-topics/using-the-smart-machine-checker-as-a-lubrication-tool/ Ironically, just a couple of weeks later I received some photos from a new SMC customer.  He got a report from his SMC stating that a chilled water pump was experiencing motor unbalance.  He took the motor apart to inspect […]

Read More

Using the Smart Machine Checker as a Lubrication Tool

| | | | |

By on July 10, 2018

The Fixturlaser Smart Machine Checker (SMC) is a great mechanic’s tool, for evaluating the overall health of rotating machinery.  But did you know it’s also a lubrication tool for greasing bearings?  Let me explain. One of the vibration measurements in the SMC is called Bearing Defect Factor.  The Bearing Defect Factor is a measurement of […]

Read More

Generating an Alignment Report with the Fixturlaser NXA

| | |

By on May 23, 2018

When a machine is checked, and found to be out of alignment, the “as found” alignment data can be saved.  Soft foot checks and corrections can also be saved. Continue with the alignment, and when in tolerance save the “as left” alignment. Exit to the Main Menu of the NXA, then press the File Cabinet […]

Read More

You Can’t Perform Precision Alignment on Un-precise “Stuff”!

| | | | | | |

By on May 11, 2018

Alan Garbers with Johnson Controls International contacted me regarding an alignment problem, and asked for my advice.  Here is a condensed version of his email. A client rents portable chillers, and related equipment. They built a 125HP portable pump skid with a Bell & Gossett pump on a VFD. I was there to commission the […]

Read More

The Soft Foot Primer (Part 3) How to REALLY Minimize Soft Foot Every Time

| | | | |

By on March 4, 2018

It is both possible, and desirable, to minimize the negative effects of soft foot.  While it may be difficult to completely get rid of soft foot, it can typically be reduced to a few mils, if the following techniques are used. PREPARATION AND CLEANLINESS CLEAN! If you remove the motor, wipe the feet clean, before […]

Read More

The Soft Foot Primer (Part 2) Vibration and Alignment Problems Related to Soft Foot

| | | | |

By on February 26, 2018

Most industrial maintenance mechanics who are involved with precision shaft alignment are familiar with the phenomenon of soft foot.  From an alignment standpoint, soft foot causes: Changes in alignment values, between when the hold down bolts are loose, and when they are tight. Non-repeatability in alignment measurements, especially if the bolts are not tightened in […]

Read More

The Soft Foot Primer (Part 1) Are You Measuring Soft Foot, or Just Its Effect?

| | | |

By on February 19, 2018

Most laser alignment tools include a soft foot function. However, in truth these tools haven’t measured ACTUAL soft foot, instead they have measured the EFFECT of soft foot at the shaft or coupling as that is where the laser heads or sensors are mounted.  While the EFFECT of soft foot is important, correcting the ACTUAL […]

Read More

The Role of Fasteners in the Alignment Process

| | | | |

By on January 24, 2018

Fasteners are a critical component of the precision shaft alignment process, yet the importance of fasteners is many times overlooked.  If bolting is not selected, assembled, and torqued correctly, it can make the precision shaft alignment process less accurate, more difficult to achieve, and potentially harmful to the machines. While there are always unusual circumstances, […]

Read More

Why You Should Perform Shaft Alignment as Part of Your PM

| | |

By on December 27, 2017

James Pekarek, one of our trainers, wrote a blog entitled “Performing Alignment Checks as Part of Your Preventive Maintenance”. https://vibralign.com/shaft-alignment/performing-alignment-checks-part-preventive-maintenance/ It is a great article, and good advice.  I recently shared this blog post, and the advice, with a customer of ours.  Here’s why. I taught a training class at a large water plant in […]

Read More

Is It Mils, or Thousandths, or What?

| | | |

By on December 1, 2017

On occasion, we are asked, “What are these numbers on the screen?”  All our alignment tools (and most others) can be configured in Imperial or Metric.  Most US users use Imperial (inches, feet, and so on). When we say, “Your laser displays in mils”, we’re asked, “What’s a mil?” Definition – [mil] noun. 1. a […]

Read More

What is the Fixturlaser NXA Runout Probe?

| | | | | | |

By on November 7, 2017

VibrAlign has introduced the Fixturlaser Runout Probe, an accessory device for the Fixturlaser NXA Professional.  I (as a jaded, grizzled old millwright-but a good “company man”) was outwardly excited.  But inside, I thought, what’s the big deal?  It’s an electronic dial indicator. That’s what I thought – until I took it for a test drive!  […]

Read More

Fix the Easy Things First!

| | | | | | |

By on October 26, 2017

One of the hallmarks of a good maintenance technician is the ability to troubleshoot – not just using vibration tools, or volt meters, or laptops with Ethernet plug-ins, but the ability to troubleshoot machinery in their minds.  In other words, the ability to visualize what the problem might be. “Fix the easy things first” is […]

Read More