Categories: Shaft Alignment,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

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 need a fresh perspective. Many of our blog posts are a result of these support calls.

I received one of these calls not too long ago from a couple of very good aligners that had received our training. The issue was repeatability or the lack thereof. They had already checked everything that is suggested during training. (see blog post by Tom Shelton “Troubleshooting Tips” January 2016) They also mounted the sensors to a solid shaft in a lathe then checked for repeatability. The laser repeated every time.

So, what else may be causing the problem? My question was what was different about this 5500HP motor/compressor set up this time than past alignments of similar units? The answer nothing except it was a new installation.

Next question, what bearing types were in the motor and compressor? In the motor, sleeve bearings, in the compressor, roller bearings. Next question, were they lubricated? The answer, no.

The motor shaft was not holding position due to lack of lubrication. (see blog post by Stan Riddle Considerations for Aligning Shafts Supported by Sleeve Bearings August 2012). They lubricated the bearings and the repeatability issue went away.

Sometimes we just need a fresh perspective. Give us a call, maybe we can help solve some of that frustration.

Save Time. Save Money. Save the Machine.

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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