Posts by: Stan Riddle

Stacking the Deck Can Get You in Trouble!

By on November 13, 2011

The photo to the right was taken at a recent training class. The maintenance guys at this facility were excellent aligners. They were adamant about getting their shaft alignments to “better than excellent” levels. They believed in preparing the surfaces of the base and the motor before installation. Their company spent thousands of dollars re-working […]

Read More

Thermal Growth-What’s So Hot About It?

By on November 6, 2011

Engineering and technical people often use technical phrases that sound complicated. Thermal growth is one of those terms. It sounds like it could be an engineering marvel – one that would help us perform complicated alignments of high temperature, high speed machines. So, here’s the “secret” of thermal growth. When metal gets hotter, it gets […]

Read More


By on October 8, 2011

A machine train alignment, one in which there are more than two machine components, and more than one coupling, may seem difficult to most aligners. But with some basic understanding, and the ability to “see the forest as well as the trees,” a machine train alignment can be performed accurately and quickly. We recently helped […]

Read More

Why Should I Align A Flexible Coupling?

By on September 29, 2011

In a recent training class, a mechanic asked, “Why should I worry about aligning a flexible coupling? I thought the reason we used flexible couplings is because they didn’t have to be aligned.” That’s a great question, and one that deserves an honest answer. Let’s pick a commonly used coupling, and look at its alignment […]

Read More

Is it OK to Undercut Bolts?

By on September 6, 2011

This is probably one of the most common questions we are asked during our alignment training classes. And the best answer might be, “Sometimes, if you must, maybe!” Let me preach on it. Undercutting bolts is a method used to align machines that are bolt bound. A bolt bound condition occurs when the movable machine […]

Read More

Can You Spot the Problem?

By on August 16, 2011

A few months ago, while teaching a shaft alignment training class, a customer asked if we could take a look at a machine that the maintenance group was having trouble assembling. After a quick inspection, the photo on the right was taken. Do you notice anything unusual? Leave a comment below if you spot it. […]

Read More

The Alignment Triangle

By on August 12, 2011

No, it is not the place where good alignments get lost – never to be seen again! It is a way of thinking about locating machinery feet so that the shafts are in alignment, even when the feet of the moveable machine may be a few thousandths up, down, left, or right of perfect. Shaft alignment […]

Read More

Jacking Bolts

By on July 11, 2011

Jacking bolts provide a smoother, easier way of moving machinery than using pry bars and hammers. Their use will almost always speed up the shaft alignment process, prevent excessive minor moves back and forth, and generally make the task of shaft alignment much more pleasant. So why aren’t they used more often?

Read More

30-Minute Alignments

By on June 20, 2011

One of our trainers recently taught an XA Pro class at a large chemical company in Western Kentucky. Normally, our training classes consist of one day of classroom training, and ½ day of field alignments done by the students. During the field alignment part of the class, the students aligned four overhung pumps, rated between […]

Read More

Pre-alignment Steps Save $$$

By on April 15, 2010

There are many types of tools with which we can perform an accurate shaft alignment. For most of us, laser alignment is considered the most accurate and effective. But shaft alignment can be done with reverse dial indicator sets, or dial indicators and chain-type brackets, or a straightedge, feeler gauge, and an outside caliper. I’ve […]

Read More