Machinery Maintenance

Mechanical Looseness Identification

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By on November 2, 2018

A common vibration signature on equipment is looseness. There are two types of looseness: structural/fastener, fit between rotating components. For this discussion, we will focus on structural and fastener looseness.  Typically, it is highly directional, occurs at 1xRPM, and will look similar to this spectrum. In this case, the vibration was confined to the vertical […]

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Know Your Alignment Tolerance

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By on October 15, 2018

VibrAlign and Fixturlaser have done what we can to make the precision shaft alignment process quicker and easier for the end user of our tools. To assist maintenance personnel during an alignment a tolerance table “pops up” on the display unit screen (of our tools) when entering dimensions for the machines being aligned. The tolerances […]

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Maintaining Engine and Compressor Crankshaft End Play (Thrust)

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By on October 3, 2018

Gas engines and reciprocating compressors, used in the gas compression industry, have a certain amount of crankshaft end play or thrust (as it’s commonly called). The amount of thrust is determined by the OEMs of the machines. The crankshafts of these machines must be able to “float” axially to prevent excessive/premature bearing wear. When new […]

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Compressor Rod Runout with the NXA Runout Probe

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By on September 27, 2018

The Fixturlaser NXA Runout Probe was introduced last year as an accessory to the Fixturlaser NXA Pro and Ultimate alignment tools.  As originally envisioned, the runout probe was designed with shaft and coupling runout measurements, and direct soft foot measurements in mind. The Runout Probe provides a digital linear displacement measurement, much like a dial […]

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Installation Errors Part 4 – Hold Down & Jacking Bolts

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By on September 20, 2018

Correct fastener torque is important for proper assembly of rotating machinery components to machine bases. Proper torque insures that the fastener will perform as designed. This will in turn help your machine to perform as designed. Hold down bolts and jacking bolts are typically manipulated while performing a precision shaft alignment. These are often the […]

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Vertical Alignments Using the Fixturlaser NXA Pro OmniView

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By on September 14, 2018

Many modern laser alignment systems include inclinometers that aid in the alignment process. Inclinometers, however, don’t work on vertically oriented machines. These include vertical “C” faced machines as well as vertical machines with feet. This meant that vertical machines required a 180-degree swing for accurate measurements and sensors were positioned the old-fashioned way by aligning […]

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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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3 Common Reasons for Shaft Alignment Frustrations

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By on September 4, 2018

Achieving a perfect alignment can seem daunting at times, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right tools and if you know to look out for three common reasons for shaft alignment frustrations. Once you know these three factors, you can take the necessary steps to avoid them and/or correct them. The […]

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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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Setting Tolerances in Fixturlaser Shaft Alignment Tools

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By on July 30, 2018

Fixturlaser Shaft Alignment Tools come pre-programmed with generally accepted industry tolerances for electric motor driven machinery.  These tolerances are based on the motor RPM and will give you an “endpoint” in the alignment process (based on the measured offset and angular misalignment at the center point of the coupling in both the vertical and horizontal […]

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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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Installation Errors Part 3 – Proper Torqueing of Hold Down Bolts

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By on June 27, 2018

One of the most under-rated procedures of the precision shaft alignment process is the TIGHTENING SEQUENCE of the hold down bolts on the movable machine. Also, tightening the bolts to proper torque specifications is many times considered unnecessary and is just not typically done. Tightening sequence and proper bolt torque are critical to the performance […]

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