Current Topics

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Jacking Bolts

By on July 11, 2011

Jacking bolts provide a smoother, easier way of moving machinery than using pry bars and hammers. Their use will almost always speed up the shaft alignment process, prevent excessive minor moves back and forth, and generally make the task of shaft alignment much more pleasant. So why aren’t they used more often?

Read More

Cooling Tower Adventures

By on July 6, 2011

The OJT portion of a recent XA alignment training class led us to a two-cell cooling tower that had a run of bad luck–motor bearing failures, internal supports broken, visibly shook when it ran, etc.

Read More

Which Way is Up?

By on June 29, 2011

An interesting situation arises when the base of the equipment you are aligning is purposely out of level. Which way is up? This picture shows a setup we used during a recent training class to illustrate the technique (no photos could be taken in the field). Most normal methods of alignment calculate angles assuming the […]

Read More

30-Minute Alignments

By on June 20, 2011

One of our trainers recently taught an XA Pro class at a large chemical company in Western Kentucky. Normally, our training classes consist of one day of classroom training, and ½ day of field alignments done by the students. During the field alignment part of the class, the students aligned four overhung pumps, rated between […]

Read More

How Many Shims?

By on June 13, 2011

In a recent email to VibrAlign, Mike wrote: “In using your shims what is the most shims you can place under each foot? I have always been taught to use no more than 5 shims under each foot. Is this true?“ Mike, good question! VibrAlign’s official stance is no more than 4, if possible. However, […]

Read More