Machinery Maintenance

Challenging, But Not Impossible!

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By on April 3, 2018

As we trainers travel around the country conducting precision shaft alignment training, we often run into some fairly harsh work environments during the field portion of the training. At times the equipment that needs to be aligned is caked in product from spills or leaks. This can create a significant challenge when attempting a precision […]

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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 3) How to REALLY Minimize Soft Foot Every Time

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By on March 4, 2018

It is both possible, and desirable, to minimize the negative effects of soft foot.  While it may be difficult to completely get rid of soft foot, it can typically be reduced to a few mils, if the following techniques are used. PREPARATION AND CLEANLINESS CLEAN! If you remove the motor, wipe the feet clean, before […]

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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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Soft Foot! Or Are You Just Pulling My Leg?

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By on February 12, 2018

It’s no joke that many machines operate with high levels of vibration due to soft foot.  These same machines often have a decreased life span due to this condition. Soft foot is a condition that should be eliminated during the precision shaft alignment process, if you’re performing proper alignments at all.  This condition can manifest […]

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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 Role of Fasteners in the Alignment Process

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By on January 24, 2018

Fasteners are a critical component of the precision shaft alignment process, yet the importance of fasteners is many times overlooked.  If bolting is not selected, assembled, and torqued correctly, it can make the precision shaft alignment process less accurate, more difficult to achieve, and potentially harmful to the machines. While there are always unusual circumstances, […]

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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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Plan Your Work for Quick Alignments

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By on January 4, 2018

We have been teaching maintenance personnel to use the Verti-Zontal Process to perform precision shaft alignments quickly for years. The key to quick alignments is to follow the Verti-Zontal plan which includes the pre-alignment steps Obviously when alignment checks are done, the pre-alignment steps aren’t performed on the “front end” of the alignment however they […]

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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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Is It Mils, or Thousandths, or What?

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By on December 1, 2017

On occasion, we are asked, “What are these numbers on the screen?”  All our alignment tools (and most others) can be configured in Imperial or Metric.  Most US users use Imperial (inches, feet, and so on). When we say, “Your laser displays in mils”, we’re asked, “What’s a mil?” Definition – [mil] noun. 1. a […]

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