Categories: Shaft Alignment

It’s Brand New, So It MUST Be Aligned, Right?

| | |

By on August 26, 2013

During a recent training class at a new facility in Indiana, the class wanted to check alignment of a recently installed circulating pump.  Their response was, “It’s brand new, so it must be aligned, right?”.  To which I responded, “I’ll bet it isn’t”.

Here are the alignment results as we found it. 

For an 1800 RPM machine the maximum allowable angular misalignment is +/- 0.7 mils per inch and a maximum allowable offset of +/- 4.0 mils in both the vertical and horizontal planes.

The vertical angle is almost 3 times tolerance with the horizontal angle almost 13 times tolerance! The vertical offset is 13 times tolerance and the horizontal offset is 20 times tolerance!

Never trust that a newly delivered machine is aligned.  I do not care if it has a tag saying it is.  I do not care if the company you purchased it from says it is.

Even on the outside chance it was aligned correctly when it was installed, lots of things can happen between the factory floor and your plant floor.

  Machines can be moved to connect piping, ductwork, etc.

  Bases and piping can cause the alignment to be moved.

  Several hundred miles of hauling the machine down an interstate can change the alignment.

  And their degree of alignment may not match yours.

I recommend aligning machines as soon as they are unloaded from the truck, whenever possible.  Not only can you verify the alignment is now “good”, you can correct any bolt bound or base bound problems before any additional components, such as piping and conduit are installed.  After all the accessory components are installed, check it again.

About the Author

Stan Riddle joined VibrAlign in 2008. He has over 35 years experience in aligning industrial machinery. Stan received his AAS Degree in Machinist Technology from Surry Community College in Dobson, NC, and also holds a diploma in Industrial Systems Technology from Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC, where he was also an instructor in the program.

Stan began his maintenance career working as a machinist and millwright for companies such as Weyerhaeuser, R.J. Reynolds, and Tyco Electronics. He also has over 25 years experience in Predictive Technologies, such as vibration analysis, thermography, oil analysis, and ultrasonic inspection. He is a certified Level III Vibration Analyst with the Vibration Institute, and is a Past Chairman and Board Member of the Piedmont Chapter.

Stan and his wife live in Yadkinville, NC.

2 responses to “It’s Brand New, So It MUST Be Aligned, Right?”

  1. Mike Keohane says:

    Great post.

    Machines will move in transit or during installation and unless tolerances are specified upfront “aligned” means different things to different people.

  2. In fact, based on my experience as a pumps field service engineer; I think that if it’s brand new, then it means that is should not be aligned.
    yes, it has been aligned in factory, but, during installation of the baseplate, it (baseplate) may by twisted/bent a very little bit, this would certainly cause mis-alignment.
    After we finish leveling the baseplate, and before we grout, we check if pump and motor are in range alignment or not, of ok, we proceed with grouting.