Categories: Shaft Alignment,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

Are Shims Causing a Soft Foot Issue?

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By on May 15, 2018

One of the many things I love about my job is the numerous challenges we face during the field alignment portion of our Precision Shaft Alignment Training.

Prior to the training, there were some repeatability issues when attempting to perform a precision alignment on this piece of equipment. One of the main causes of non-repeatability is soft foot.

During the pre-alignment steps a couple of things were noted that could contribute to this situation.

  1. The shims were not the correct size, they were “B” size and should have been “A”.
  2. They were not clean.
  3. They mic’d out different thickness than what they were labeled.
  4. The spacer plates were rusted, corroded and uneven.

After making the corrections to these items and completing all the pre-alignment steps, the alignment took about 20 minutes and total alignment time from start to finish was just over 40 minutes.

The results? A precision shaft alignment meeting 3600 rpm tolerances on an 1800 rpm motor.

For more information on soft foot and shims, visit the VibrAlign Blog. There are numerous blog articles written on these subjects. If you run into a challenge, chances are we have encountered very similar challenges and we want to help.

Give us a call at 800-394-3279 or go to our Field Contact web page and click on one of the trainers “Contact” button to send us an email.

About the Author

Mac was a Journeyman Millwright at a Kimberly-Clark paper mill in Washington State before moving into a Maintenance Team Leader position. Later, he moved to Kentucky where he went to work for Wausau Paper as Maintenance Team Leader on a new mill start-up. This is where Mac was first introduced to VibrAlign. “I was so impressed with the people, passion, and products of VibrAlign. I had always hoped to one day give back some of the knowledge I have been fortunate enough to gain from others in my field. VibrAlign has given me that opportunity.”

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