Current Topics

Calculating VFD Motor Speed

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By on March 13, 2018

When using the Fixturlaser Smart Machine Checker (SMC) or any of VibrAlign’s Condition Monitoring Tools, there are typically only two variables you need to know for an accurate diagnosis of your machine.  You need the horsepower of the motor and the correct rotating speed.  This information will usually be stamped on the motor data plate.  […]

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The Soft Foot Primer (Part 3) How to REALLY Minimize Soft Foot Every Time

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By on March 4, 2018

It is both possible, and desirable, to minimize the negative effects of soft foot.  While it may be difficult to completely get rid of soft foot, it can typically be reduced to a few mils, if the following techniques are used. PREPARATION AND CLEANLINESS CLEAN! If you remove the motor, wipe the feet clean, before […]

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The Soft Foot Primer (Part 2) Vibration and Alignment Problems Related to Soft Foot

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By on February 26, 2018

Most industrial maintenance mechanics who are involved with precision shaft alignment are familiar with the phenomenon of soft foot.  From an alignment standpoint, soft foot causes: Changes in alignment values, between when the hold down bolts are loose, and when they are tight. Non-repeatability in alignment measurements, especially if the bolts are not tightened in […]

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The Soft Foot Primer (Part 1) Are You Measuring Soft Foot, or Just Its Effect?

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By on February 19, 2018

Most laser alignment tools include a soft foot function. However, in truth these tools haven’t measured ACTUAL soft foot, instead they have measured the EFFECT of soft foot at the shaft or coupling as that is where the laser heads or sensors are mounted.  While the EFFECT of soft foot is important, correcting the ACTUAL […]

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Soft Foot! Or Are You Just Pulling My Leg?

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By on February 12, 2018

It’s no joke that many machines operate with high levels of vibration due to soft foot.  These same machines often have a decreased life span due to this condition. Soft foot is a condition that should be eliminated during the precision shaft alignment process, if you’re performing proper alignments at all.  This condition can manifest […]

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Stupid Questions

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By on February 8, 2018

While on the road conducting precision shaft alignment training I run across a wide range of skill level. It is not uncommon to have a lot of questions. I like it when there are questions, that is usually an indication that the trainees are engaged. It is also not uncommon that a question starts with, […]

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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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The Role of Fasteners in the Alignment Process

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By on January 24, 2018

Fasteners are a critical component of the precision shaft alignment process, yet the importance of fasteners is many times overlooked.  If bolting is not selected, assembled, and torqued correctly, it can make the precision shaft alignment process less accurate, more difficult to achieve, and potentially harmful to the machines. While there are always unusual circumstances, […]

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The New Age of Machinery Diagnostics

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By on January 16, 2018

With the introduction of the OneProd Hawk in April of 2015, VibrAlign shed light on the idea that the future of Machinery Diagnostics was about to get easier; That you can achieve a second level diagnosis on any machine without help from a professional vibration analyst. It just took a tool that empowers mechanics to […]

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Plan Your Work for Quick Alignments

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By on January 4, 2018

We have been teaching maintenance personnel to use the Verti-Zontal Process to perform precision shaft alignments quickly for years. The key to quick alignments is to follow the Verti-Zontal plan which includes the pre-alignment steps Obviously when alignment checks are done, the pre-alignment steps aren’t performed on the “front end” of the alignment however they […]

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Why You Should Perform Shaft Alignment as Part of Your PM

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By on December 27, 2017

James Pekarek, one of our trainers, wrote a blog entitled “Performing Alignment Checks as Part of Your Preventive Maintenance”. https://vibralign.com/shaft-alignment/performing-alignment-checks-part-preventive-maintenance/ It is a great article, and good advice.  I recently shared this blog post, and the advice, with a customer of ours.  Here’s why. I taught a training class at a large water plant in […]

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I Just Changed My Motor Bearings and They’re Bad Again!

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By on December 20, 2017

When performing vibration analysis, it is observed that machines with VFD drives have a more frequent occurrence for changing motor bearings.  If you’ve been diligent in the installation and maintenance of these machines, ensuring the alignment and balance are within specification and the bearings are properly lubricated, but still have frequent bearing failures, it may […]

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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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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 Misalignment Costing You?

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By on November 16, 2017

I recently received a support call from a nearby client, the issue was that the precision shaft alignment of a right-angle gear reducer to a line shaft was taking up to 12 hours (using another brand alignment tool) with little to no success. There are about a dozen of these units in this facility. This […]

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