Categories: Shaft Alignment

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BASE, PART 2

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By on November 4, 2015

One of the biggest problems facing maintenance personnel in the shaft alignment business is the quality of the equipment base. Poor mounting base or platform construction will almost always result in machine movement. If the moveable machine (or the stationary) is not mounted to a solid platform capable of withstanding the weight of the equipment and also strong enough to remain rigid under the rotational torque of the motor, the alignment may not remain in tolerance resulting in poor equipment performance and excessive coupling wear. Precision shaft alignment may not even be possible at all.

Pump skids and platforms that are under designed and built out of inferior materials typically have excessive flexibility in the system. Often, the inferior base construction is due to system upgrades and modifications, such as the addition of larger more powerful motors or the relocation of equipment to a location not sufficient to support the weight and torque of the motor.

Factors that will affect base quality and allow machine movement.

1) Insufficient or thin metal construction of the mounting platform allowing flexibility in the skid.
2) Incorrect material or improper mounting system allowing flexibility or a non-sturdy mounting surface.
3) Old, aging, cracked or crumbling concrete and grout materials.
4) Rusted base hardware.
5) Excessive vibration.
6) Excessive debris and dirt.
7) Excessive shims or inconsistent use of spacer plates.

Here are several pictures that represent poor or improper mounting methods. These are representative of common systems I come across while on the road performing precision shaft alignment training. Although it may be possible to bring equipment like this into alignment while not running, it is very likely that all of these systems would twist themselves out of alignment during running time. The coupling pictures are from equipment that seemed properly aligned, but twisted out of alignment upon running quickly destroying the coupling inserts due to dynamic torqueing from the flexible bases.

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About the Author

James Pekarek joined VibrAlign in 2013. He has 18 years of experience in machine installation, electrical systems, maintenance and service management.

James began his career in the automation industry installing and maintaining various types of machinery and performing technical training to customers in the semiconductor industry. He spent 3 years with Cummins Industrial Power Generation as Service Manager. James also spent 3 1/2 years as lead Electrical Instructor at a vocational college serving the Wind Industry. While there, he gained his NFPA 70E certification as well as NEC 1910. James is also a certified Electrical Safety Instructor.

During his technical instruction career, James was introduced to VibrAlign and many of the products. He was impressed by the company philosophy and values and decided to pursue a career as a technical instructor with us.

James and his family live in Vancouver, Washington. He enjoys the outdoors, family time and building cars.

3 responses to “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BASE, PART 2”

  1. […] almost always result in machine movement. If the moveable machine (or the stationary) […] Read More Source: The Alignment […]

  2. Wendell says:

    You are so right. If your base is perfect your alinement will be perfect.

  3. Wendell says:

    You are so right