Posts by: Tom Shelton

The Fixturlaser Level

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By on May 20, 2020

The Fixturlaser Level is a two-axis level sensor that can be used wherever precision level measurements are required. It can be used to level machine bases or beds, bearings and journals, or for measuring “twist” on linear guide ways. The accuracy is very precise with resolution down to 0.01 mm/m (.1mil/1”) with a range of […]

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Thinking Outside the Alignment Box on Flexible Bases

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By on April 21, 2020

    Here is another example of the complexity of completing a precision shaft alignment on a flexible base. Some industries use pump skids that are moved to different areas of a plant for various reasons. Whether they exist to save money, allow for quick removal or process changes, the flexibility of these types of […]

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Identify Gaps in Knowledge with the Smart Machine Checker!

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By on December 16, 2019

At a recent Fixturlaser Smart Machine Checker (SMC) training class, one particular pump came up during the discussions. This pump has been “a problem child” for years. It had been rebuilt recently by one of the class attendees. The mechanic had rebuilt the pump “just as it had come apart” and was certain the impeller […]

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Alignment Check vs. Alignment

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By on March 7, 2019

One question that arises regularly in training is about doing alignment checks. Is it okay to just check the alignment? Of course, it is. As a matter of fact, many industries have dedicated crews to specifically do alignment checks. The major difference is no equipment is moved, just measured. We lockout, remove guards, install the […]

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Precision Shaft Alignment Preparation Ideas

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By on December 20, 2018

Preparation is the key to efficiency. Having an appropriate selection of tools and necessary supplies on hand will make a precision shaft alignment fast, accurate and easy. One way to do this is to have a dedicated alignment cart or job/work box. Some facilities are not conducive to the little casters on some carts, so […]

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How Do You Align Machinery on a Flexible Base?

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By on November 20, 2018

This is as much a title for a blog as it is a question. One our Technical Trainers once stated that to align rotating machinery, they must first be alignable. What is meant in part by this is that when we have a collinear tolerance of 0.5mil /1” angularity and 2.0 mils offset, the machines […]

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Know Your Alignment Tolerance

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By on October 15, 2018

VibrAlign and Fixturlaser have done what we can to make the precision shaft alignment process quicker and easier for the end user of our tools. To assist maintenance personnel during an alignment a tolerance table “pops up” on the display unit screen (of our tools) when entering dimensions for the machines being aligned. The tolerances […]

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Installation Errors Part 4 – Hold Down & Jacking Bolts

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By on September 20, 2018

Correct fastener torque is important for proper assembly of rotating machinery components to machine bases. Proper torque insures that the fastener will perform as designed. This will in turn help your machine to perform as designed. Hold down bolts and jacking bolts are typically manipulated while performing a precision shaft alignment. These are often the […]

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Installation Errors Part 3 – Proper Torqueing of Hold Down Bolts

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By on June 27, 2018

One of the most under-rated procedures of the precision shaft alignment process is the TIGHTENING SEQUENCE of the hold down bolts on the movable machine. Also, tightening the bolts to proper torque specifications is many times considered unnecessary and is just not typically done. Tightening sequence and proper bolt torque are critical to the performance […]

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Installation Errors Part 2 – Shims and Shim Handling

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By on May 3, 2018

The difference between luck and success is this; Luck is when you achieve a desired result despite mistakes made along the way. Success is when you follow a known process to achieve the expected result. When attempting a precision shaft alignment, precise practices must be followed. One thing for certain in precision alignment is the […]

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Installation Errors Part 1- Coupling Care and Balance

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By on March 28, 2018

Observing a training class of new mechanics can sometimes be a stressful proposition for a former field Millwright. Especially when said millwright has control issues.  As part of our Precision Shaft Alignment Training, the trainees move from the classroom setting into the field to practice what they have learned. Transferring the knowledge gained in a […]

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X, Y, Z Axis. What do they stand for?

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By on February 1, 2018

Everything must have perspective, a point of view, to be communicated. To communicate the three spatial dimensions, we use the X,Y, Z coordinates. These denote height, width and depth. In referring to machinery we use the same X,Y, Z denotations, but we give them different values or meanings. To make it even more interesting, there […]

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Do’s and Dont’s of Proper Shim and Tool Storage

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By on December 14, 2017

SHIM STORAGE & USAGE: Shims are an integral part of obtaining precision shaft alignment in an efficient manner. Only new, clean shims should be used. The cost of new shims is minimal when compared to the cost of extra downtime caused by an inefficient precision alignment process. Proper choice, use and storage of shims is […]

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OEM Specifications

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By on September 7, 2017

Whether instructing a training class for precision shaft alignment or geometric measurements, the topic of machine specifications frequently comes up. Specifications such as shaft alignment tolerances, bolt torque values, frame or base flatness requirements and the frequency of verification of these specifications are typical of what is asked. There are general industry specifications such as […]

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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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