Current Topics

Aligning Machines Mounted on Chocks

By on October 27, 2011

“Our large machines use adjustable chocks, instead of shims for correcting the vertical alignment; can we use the VibrAlign Verti-Zontal compound move with our Fixturlaser XA when correcting the misalignment?” Absolutely! Adjustable chocks are typically found on large machines such as the engine-compressor sets used in the gas compression industry.  The chocks are used in […]

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Thermal Growth Compensation – Growth Versus Targets

By on October 25, 2011

The object of precision shaft alignment is to position machines so that the rotational centers meet a specified tolerance at operating conditions. Machines can and will move due to temperature changes or process forces so this means that some machines need to be “misaligned” in their off line or cold condition so that they will […]

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Getting Started with Cooling Towers

By on October 17, 2011

Most every week during one of our alignment training classes, we’ll get a question about aligning cooling towers. Most facilities we visit have them and a lot of folks aren’t too sure how to approach the job. We’ll tackle the first step in this episode and explain a bit about roughing in the motor to […]

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Train-ing

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 […]

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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 […]

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How to Convert Dial Indicator Specs

By on September 24, 2011

How do you convert dial indicator specifications to laser alignment specifications? We often ask customers “what is your alignment specification or tolerance that you are trying to achieve?” What we hear most of the time is “zero” or “two thou” or “five thou”…. What we know first is they are using dial indicator values as […]

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WEBINAR Sept 22: Aligning America, One Shaft At A Time

By on September 15, 2011

Join us for a Webinar on Thursday, September 22nd, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT. Presented by Patrick Lawrence, PE, CMRP and Trainer, VibrAlign, Inc. VibrAlign wants to realign America! One pump, one compressor, one wind turbine at a time… One mechanic, one millwright, one engineer at a time… One machine, one plant, one corporation […]

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Do Vertical Pumps Need Alignment?

By on September 15, 2011

Yes? No? Maybe? Yes! You may have heard this in the past…”We can’t align our vertical pumps since there is no adjustment due the ‘machined fit’ between the electric motor and pump housing. Plus it has a rigid coupling!” You may want to rethink this one. The OJT portion of a recent training class involved […]

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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 […]

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Was Soft Foot the Problem?

By on August 26, 2011

We all know what soft foot is, correct? Soft foot is when we are sitting at dinner and the table rocks. Our solution: put a matchbook, folded piece of cardboard or sugar pack under the leg that needs to be raised even with the other three. Now let’s eat dinner without our drink spilling. In […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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Words to Make You Stop & Think

By on August 3, 2011

What the…?? What did it say again…?? But I just did that… How in the world…?? There’s no way… Sacre bleu! We hear phrases like these in class and in the field. Chances are if you’ve been aligning equipment for a while, you have a feel for how the job should progress. When something goes wrong, […]

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Shaft Alignment Education

By on July 26, 2011

We at VibrAlign love educating folks on the benefits of shaft alignment. Twice last month, Lev Nelik (aka Dr. Pump) of Pumping Machinery invited Mike Keohane of VibrAlign to speak on the virtues of shaft alignment and how it improves pump reliability. Dr. Nelik is a world renowned expert on all things pumps. He is published […]

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Cupped Washers

By on July 18, 2011

The OJT portion of a recent training class was the alignment of a 3600 RPM electric motor driving a Bell & Gossett Fire Service Water Pump. As the hold down bolts were tightened (in a cross torque pattern) the horizontal offset would change to approximately 5 mils at 50% torque then 8 mils at 100%. After […]

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