Posts by: Tom Shelton

Correcting for base bound or bolt bound conditions.

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By on June 12, 2017

A question often asked during our training classes is how to deal with base bound and/or bolt bound conditions when performing a precision shaft alignment on rotating machinery. Base bound is the vertical condition that occurs when the moveable machine needs to be lowered but is “bound” by the base due to an insufficient number […]

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Is there such a thing as “Too Good” of a Precision Shaft Alignment?

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By on April 6, 2017

This question comes up frequently in our Shaft Alignment Best Practices training classes. The result screens below both show two different aligned machines meeting 3600 tolerances.   The question is; is one better than the other? There has been a lot of discussion about this very topic. The theories are abundant and points of view […]

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Positive/Negative

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By on February 7, 2017

When we align equipment, we are aligning the rotational centerlines of the shafts. We have a stationary machine and a moveable machine. In most cases the stationary machine’s center of rotation is the target and reference for all measurements and corrections of the movable machine. When reading laser or dial indicator values, the terms of […]

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Why and How to Measure in Clock Method

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By on December 7, 2016

Proper use of any tool is essential to success in achieving your desired goal. Many tools have optional configurations to adapt that tool to your needs. Fixturlaser Precision Alignment Systems are no different. The alignment tools produced by Acoem/Fixturlaser are second to none in ease of use. The Acoem AB design engineers do all they […]

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Sensor Mounting

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By on October 11, 2016

Every tool in your toolbox has a specific function and certain parameters of use to achieve a desired outcome. When you pull out a claw hammer, your intent is to drive or pull a nail. Pull out a ball peen hammer, it is still a hammer, however the use and outcome is different. You may […]

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Low Cost Thermal Diagnoses of Misalignment and Machinery Health

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By on June 29, 2016

With the availability and decreasing prices of technology to help diagnose rotating machinery health, machine failure should be a diminishing concern. Thermal imaging cameras can be expensive, however these cameras have very detailed diagnostic abilities and high resolution. Reduced cost Thermal Imaging has recently become available through various sources. I recently purchased an infrared camera […]

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X, Y, & Z Axis. Does the Z Axis Affect Shaft Alignment?

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By on April 14, 2016

Does the z axis affect alignment? In short, no it does not. There are aspects of the z axis that could affect the running of a machine, but rotational shaft alignment is not of them. What is the z axis? The X and Y axes are references to horizontal and vertical planes respectively.  With regard […]

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Overcome the Frustration of Being Bolt-Bound or Base-Bound

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By on March 18, 2016

Many blogs have been written about what it means to be either base-bound or bolt-bound and how to correct the situation. I want to write again about it because I encounter this frustration scenario in almost every training class. I am surprised by how many millwright/mechanics (including myself) can get so wrapped up in the […]

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Troubleshooting Tips

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By on January 5, 2016

In his blog post “Repeatability vs. Desired Outcome – parts 1&2”, Stan Riddle, one of my fellow technical trainers for VibrAlign, explains why alignment results may vary from the expected outcome. He explains in some detail a number of causes and how they are affecting your alignment process. Many of these causes could be eliminated […]

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Common Precision Shaft Alignment Questions Asked In Our Training Classes

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By on December 10, 2015

While training mechanics all around the US, I have noticed that many of the questions asked in class are the same regardless of the industry. Fixturlaser tools are very intuitive and easy to use, so this puts the mystery on the alignment process. So here are some answers to some common alignment process related questions […]

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Proper Coupling Application, Installation and Maintenance

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By on September 16, 2015

Precision maintenance personnel ensure that rotating machinery is aligned well beyond excellent shaft alignment tolerances, but overlook other crucial elements that affect the operation of the machines. One of these elements is the coupling. The coupling is where the “handshake” between the driver and driven machine takes place. The coupling assures consistent power transfer and […]

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Shimming when there are more than four feet on the moveable element.

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By on August 4, 2015

  When more than four feet are on the movable machine, it is necessary to shim under the additional feet. How do we determine what amount of shim is required to properly support these feet? This is debatable. Some would say that it is necessary to calculate the needed shims. Others might say “Why bother? […]

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Useful Field Apps for Today’s Maintenance Personnel

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By on June 17, 2015

The world of machinery maintenance continues to grow with reliability and technology at the forefront of the majority of today’s maintenance programs. The mechanics toolbox must change to support these changes. Computer based manuals and programs were the first step into “the future” of machine maintenance. Now smart phones and tablets have more memory available […]

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Clean, Clean, Clean! To Eliminate Soft Foot!

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By on May 7, 2015

There are many things that can affect the precision shaft alignment process, which needs to be checked and eliminated during the Pre-Alignment Steps, such as pipe strain, disintegrating bases, bearing or coupling wear, etc…. One of the main issues concerning shaft alignment of rotating equipment is the challenge of soft foot and its detrimental effect […]

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Soft Foot And The Dirt That Causes It

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By on January 15, 2015

While on the road for VibrAlign ReAligning America, we trainers encounter similar issues at every facility where we conduct our Shaft Alignment Best Practices Training. During our training classes we ask the students what are some of the “pains” that they have regarding the precision shaft alignments that they have attempted in the past. The […]

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