Posts by: Stan Riddle

Is It Mils, or Thousandths, or What?

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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 […]

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What is the Fixturlaser NXA Runout Probe?

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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!  […]

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Fix the Easy Things First!

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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 […]

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Vibration Sensor Mounting Tips

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By on September 13, 2017

A vibration sensor (or accelerometer) measures vibration-simple, right?  But how and where you mount the sensor is CRITICAL to getting good information.  Here are some good tips to keep in mind. 1. Mount the sensor as close to the bearing location as you can safely do it. These sensors can measure vibration anywhere on the […]

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Pump Vibration – Even Cavitation Isn’t Always Cavitation!

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By on August 2, 2017

Most people who work on, or around pumps are familiar with the term “cavitation”.  It is often used as a catch all phrase for any flow-related vibration on pumps, and is often reported by vibration analysts when: Pump noise level is high, Pump vibration is erratic, with lots of “noise” in the spectrum. But there […]

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Critical Machines? It Depends on Who You Ask

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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 […]

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The Cure for Alignment Frustration!

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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 […]

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TROUBLESHOOTING MOTOR UNBALANCE

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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 […]

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Roughing In Before Precision Shaft Alignment

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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 […]

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Setting Up a Motor-Gearbox for Vibration Measurement

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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 […]

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Precision Shaft Alignment of Machines With Small Diameter Shafts

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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 […]

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When Should You Replace the Coupling Insert?

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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 […]

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Hammer Time-and When it’s NOT!

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By on March 8, 2017

    At VibrAlign, we are in the precision maintenance business.  Our tools, our training, and our people, are all about precision maintenance.  While teaching the field alignment portion of our shaft alignment training, at a customer site, we went out to align a particularly troublesome pump.  They didn’t think they were getting the life […]

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The One Tool Missing in Most Aligner’s Toolboxes

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By on January 18, 2017

I am going to pass along to you a gift – one that I believe could potentially cut your alignment times-maybe by more than half!  One that could lessen loosening and tightening bolts, reduce frustration, and increase your “alignment” confidence substantially!  Would you like such a gift? Well, here it is – measure your shim […]

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Alignment Considerations of Machines with Stiff Elastomeric Couplings

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By on December 28, 2016

These types of couplings are quite common in industry, and there are various companies producing similar types of couplings.  They are capable of transmitting large amounts of torque in a reasonably small space.  They also do not require lubrication, and are quite easy to install, in most circumstances.  These attributes make them quite desirable in […]

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