Posts by: Tom Shelton

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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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 Misalignment 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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