Machinery Diagnostics

Too Much Grease (a “liquid” unbalance!)

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By on September 13, 2018

We recently published a blog about using the Fixturlaser SMC as a lubrication tool. https://vibralign.com/other-topics/using-the-smart-machine-checker-as-a-lubrication-tool/ Ironically, just a couple of weeks later I received some photos from a new SMC customer.  He got a report from his SMC stating that a chilled water pump was experiencing motor unbalance.  He took the motor apart to inspect […]

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Vibration Sensor Mounting Tips

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By on September 13, 2018

Accelerometers by nature are sensitive tools. This sensitivity is heavily influenced by how the sensor is mounted. Standard accelerometers are mounted several ways based on need and application. Typical route-based data collecting will be done with a rare earth magnet. The magnet can be either flat or a two-pole type. This provides good data with […]

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What is the Difference between Unbalance and Runout?

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By on September 5, 2018

Unbalance and runout are two terms that we hear frequently in the predictive maintenance community. Both unbalance and runout can be serious issues and need to be addressed to prevent inefficient functioning and damage to machines. Unbalance occurs due to corrosion, erosion of the fan wheel, or if a correction weight is removed. Runout occurs […]

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The 3 Types of Unbalance You Should Know About

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By on September 4, 2018

We often hear about how to correct unbalance in rotating machinery, but to correct unbalance, it is first necessary to accurately diagnose what type of unbalance your machine is experiencing so that you can take the proper action to correct the problem. In this post, we will go over the three types of unbalance you […]

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Here are 10 Important Steps of a Predictive Maintenance Plan

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By on September 4, 2018

As the resurgence of manufacturing and processing in America continues, the requirements on all of us to do more with less will only grow more important in order to reach the needed profitability goals. Combine this downward pressure with the diversity of today’s plants and their mechanical components, and the overwhelming gap of skilled workers […]

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How to Measure Your Machine’s RPM

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By on September 4, 2018

Determining the RPM (revolutions per minute) of your machine is an important part of conscientious condition monitoring. Significant loss of time and productivity can occur if your machinery is not operating at the correct RPM. That’s why it is imperative to be able to quickly and accurately determine the RPM. In this post we will […]

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Condition Monitoring Basics: The Importance of Routes

By on July 31, 2018

One of the basics of condition monitoring is establishing routes so that you can efficiently check the diagnostics of all your machines in an orderly, structured way which does not disrupt the daily tasks of other workers in your plant. Routes help to guide the mechanic to the next machine in a logical order rather […]

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Pipe Strain/Stress

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By on July 18, 2018

Not only do we write blog articles at VibrAlign, we also read them. Nearly every training session I conduct, pipe strain as a source of alignment frustration, comes up. I recently came across an excellent blog written by Ricky Smith CRL CMRP CMRT that I would like to share. There is some really good information […]

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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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