Categories: Machinery Diagnostics,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

Identify Gaps in Knowledge with the Smart Machine Checker!

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By on December 16, 2019

At a recent Fixturlaser Smart Machine Checker (SMC) training class, one particular pump came up during the discussions. This pump has been “a problem child” for years. It had been rebuilt recently by one of the class attendees. The mechanic had rebuilt the pump “just as it had come apart” and was certain the impeller clearances and precision shaft alignment were both within tolerance. The pump was consistently loud and vibrating.

We decided that it was the perfect pump for training. The SMC was set up and readings taken.The vertical and horizontal radial readings were good, however the axial vibration was off the charts. The diagnosis by the SMC showed the problem to be confined to the pump. The alignment was not identified as an issue, strictly the axial vibration in the pump. This led me to ask some questions about the rebuild.

As it turns out, the mechanics were unaware of how to properly replace the bearings in this pump. When the bearings were installed, no spacer ring was installed on either end of the shaft thus allowing the rotating assembly to float axially within the cases. That knowledge blossomed into a discussion about the years of failure of the pump and the passing on of incorrect or incomplete knowledge to the apprentices. It turns out that the pump was maintained by one mechanic for years that had recently retired and the new mechanic was doing as he was taught.

I have heard numbers thrown around that went something like this; A mechanic retains 50% of what they are taught, teaches 50% what they know and only 25% of that is heard!

VibrAlign is making an effort to properly educate our nation’s mechanics. We have a pool of qualified trainers and quality curriculum to help you get back on track if your training seems to be getting behind or you are experiencing a skills gap in your maintenance personnel.

Contact us, we can help!

(800) 394-3279

About the Author

Tom comes to us as the result of a positive customer experience with VibrAlign. After 16 years with Wausau Paper in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, he was transferred to a greenfield project in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. One of this tasks was to research alignment tools. As Tom tells it, “I was amazed at the ease of use the VibrAlign tools offered. Then to understand the values of VibrAlign… I wanted to be part of this team.”

Tom is a Journeyman Millwright/Pipefitter with 16 years in the paper industry and customer service training provided by Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

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