Shaft Alignment

Precision Alignment and Balance isn’t Important – Unless you care about budgets and the reliability of your rotating assets.

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By on August 16, 2017

I read an interesting article in the June/July 17 issue of Uptime Magazine. It was titled “The Reliability Impact Within the P-F Curve” by Randy Riddell. Randy is the Reliability Manager for the SCA Barton Mill in Alabama. I encourage you to read the full article (https://reliabilityweb.com/articles/entry/the-reliability-impact-within-the-p-f-curve). The article includes the following graphic that I […]

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Rolled Steel Frame Electric Motors

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By on August 9, 2017

In the precision shaft alignment business, we encounter all types of electric motors.  One type we come across are “Rolled Steel Frame” (RSF) motors.  These motors have a frame housing and feet that are made from mild, rolled steel.  They range from very small up to about 25hp.  They are common in many industries; however, […]

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Fresh Perspective

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By on July 26, 2017

We all have run into situations where things just aren’t working out the way we think they should. Kind of like not seeing the forest for the tree’s. Part of our profession as trainers at VibrAlign is fielding support calls when a client has questions or has reached the point of frustration where they just […]

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Critical Machines? It Depends on Who You Ask

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By on July 20, 2017

I recently taught alignment training at a gas compression site.  These were sharp technicians, and they keep these large gas compressors in excellent shape.  We went out to check alignment between the engine and compressor.  It was great just as I expected, because compressing gas is their only product. So I asked if they had […]

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Pipe Strain Was the Issue

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By on July 13, 2017

Have you ever struggled with a precision shaft alignment, even though you did everything right? (Preformed the pre-alignment steps, controlled backlash, etc., etc.) So, what was different? Maybe it was pipe strain. An alignment check of a new installation of a 40 HP, 3600 RPM motor/pump  revealed the vertical angular misalignment was 3.2 times the […]

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The Cure for Alignment Frustration!

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By on June 28, 2017

A customer called me, extremely frustrated, because he could not get a good alignment.  “I’ve spent two hours trying to align this stupid pump!” he said.  He blamed the laser, the “cheap” pump his company had, the bad base, his bad trainer (me), and anything else that came to mind. I did not take it […]

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Correcting for base bound or bolt bound conditions.

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By on June 12, 2017

A question often asked during our training classes is how to deal with base bound and/or bolt bound conditions when performing a precision shaft alignment on rotating machinery. Base bound is the vertical condition that occurs when the moveable machine needs to be lowered but is “bound” by the base due to an insufficient number […]

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Roughing In Before Precision Shaft Alignment

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By on June 1, 2017

Some people believe that precision laser shaft alignment has evolved to the point where pre-alignment steps, such as roughing in the alignment with a straightedge, are no longer needed.  Well, quite frankly, those people are wrong! The reason for roughing in the alignment has little to do with how accurately the lasers/sensors measure.  It has […]

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Precision Shaft Alignment with Adjustable Chocks

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By on May 17, 2017

We have written, here on the VibrAlign blog, about adjustable chocks used in place of shims for vertical adjustment and machine support. A recent experience at a customer site prompted this article, to share a simple tip that could save valuable time and effort. The customer was using vertical jack bolts while viewing live alignment […]

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Save Time. Save Money.

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By on May 4, 2017

Time is a commodity maintenance personnel typically have in short supply. We hear quite often, in our on-site Shaft Alignment Best Practices training classes, “………. doesn’t give us enough time for a proper shaft alignment”. So how can maintenance personnel get more time for shaft alignment? Stop wasting it! I had the pleasure of working […]

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Precision Shaft Alignment of Machines With Small Diameter Shafts

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By on April 27, 2017

A VibrAlign customer recently called, stating they were having repeatability problems with aligning a small motor to gearbox to pump.  After some phone conversation, I asked if they could send me photos of the machine, and the discrepancy in the measurements.  After seeing them, I knew what the problem was.   Machines with small diameter […]

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Is there such a thing as “Too Good” of a Precision Shaft Alignment?

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By on April 6, 2017

This question comes up frequently in our Shaft Alignment Best Practices training classes. The result screens below both show two different aligned machines meeting 3600 tolerances.   The question is; is one better than the other? There has been a lot of discussion about this very topic. The theories are abundant and points of view […]

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When Should You Replace the Coupling Insert?

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By on March 30, 2017

In industry, many couplings utilize an elastomeric insert or element.  This type of coupling has many advantages, among them: Ease of replacement Ability to absorb torsional loading No need for lubrication Tolerant of slight amounts of misalignment Inexpensive It is important to remember that even though these elastomer couplings can be tolerant of misalignment, the […]

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When an Alignment Check Turns into Starting from the Beginning.

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By on March 22, 2017

A recent NXA Pro training class performed an alignment check of a winch driven by an 80 HP, 1800 RPM, DC electric motor with a gear style coupling. The initial results revealed a misaligned machine, with a vertical angularity over 13 times the tolerance of 0.7mils/1” (1.0 mil = .001”), vertical offset six times tolerance […]

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Maintenance Strategies: Part Four – Proactive Maintenance

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By on March 16, 2017

Proactive Maintenance includes a number of maintenance strategies, such as Precision Maintenance, Reliability Based Maintenance, Reliability Centered Maintenance, and Root Cause Failure Analysis. The idea is to anticipate and solve problems before they become problems. Reliability Centered maintenance would begin with a study done on a piece of equipment to gain understanding of all its […]

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