Machinery Diagnostics

Using the Smart Machine Checker as a Lubrication Tool

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By on July 10, 2018

The Fixturlaser Smart Machine Checker (SMC) is a great mechanic’s tool, for evaluating the overall health of rotating machinery.  But did you know it’s also a lubrication tool for greasing bearings?  Let me explain. One of the vibration measurements in the SMC is called Bearing Defect Factor.  The Bearing Defect Factor is a measurement of […]

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Permanent Mounted Sensors

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By on June 20, 2018

At the wrap up of a recent Hawk/SMC class the discussion was around what rotating assets to collect vibration data on going forward. The conversation quickly turned to a few keys assets that had the ability to impact large percentages of the downstream processes. The area technicians said that even though the machine was very […]

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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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Should Soft Foot Be Corrected in Centrifugal Pumps?

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By on March 20, 2018

  In a previous blog I wrote in Jan of 2016 “Soft Foot Concerns in the Stationary Machine?” soft foot in the pump was causing repeatability issues during a precision shaft alignment. https://vibralign.com/other-topics/soft-foot-concerns-stationary-machine/ Soft foot can also distort the pump casing which can change clearances within the casing. This can shorten the life of the […]

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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 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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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 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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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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What is the Fixturlaser NXA Runout Probe?

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By on November 7, 2017

VibrAlign has introduced the Fixturlaser Runout Probe, an accessory device for the Fixturlaser NXA Professional.  I (as a jaded, grizzled old millwright-but a good “company man”) was outwardly excited.  But inside, I thought, what’s the big deal?  It’s an electronic dial indicator. That’s what I thought – until I took it for a test drive!  […]

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Shock Factor and SFI

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By on November 1, 2017

For years, vibration analysts have depended upon the ISO Vibration Severity Chart for the determination of machinery health.  Typically, this chart provides a level of certainty that would allow the analyst to look at the vibration levels, and if acceptable, move onto the next machine for analysis.   Some defects are determined in the waveform […]

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Fix the Easy Things First!

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By on October 26, 2017

One of the hallmarks of a good maintenance technician is the ability to troubleshoot – not just using vibration tools, or volt meters, or laptops with Ethernet plug-ins, but the ability to troubleshoot machinery in their minds.  In other words, the ability to visualize what the problem might be. “Fix the easy things first” is […]

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