Categories: Shaft Alignment

The Devil is in the Details!

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By on May 29, 2013

During the field alignment portion of a Fixturlaser GO Basic shaft alignment training class, we were attempting to align a 100 H.P., 3600 RPM  motor to a double suction pump. Sounds easy enough!

Here’s the skinny… The pump and motor were the top set in a vertical, two unit skid made of I-beams and very flexible and we were aligning to a  tight 3600 RPM tolerance of +/- 0.5 mil/1” Angular and +/- 2.0 mil Offset Misalignment at the coupling.

We worked at it for some time and took care to follow the training. The class made sure they had a good rough alignment, no soft foot and an established bolt tightening sequence to follow. We notice however,  there was a particular foot causing the motor to move when tightening the hold down bolt. We checked for soft foot again… Nope it was good, we changed the slightly cupped washer…we have it now, or so we thought. It still moved when the hold down bolt was tightened. Hmm, something has to be moving!

We decided to take turns inspecting the situation and compare our observations. Only one guy caught the problem… The wedge washer below the frame was turned 90 degrees!

He corrected the washer and fifteen minutes later we had a great alignment and were packing up the GO Basic.

When trouble starts and the alignment doesn’t go as planned,  you have to go back to the basics. Look critically at every possible player in the situation. You have to broaden your view from only seeing numbers on the display unit screen and step back and look at each individual element of your machine and their purpose and effect it will have on a good alignment.  If it moves the laser will see it!

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.

4 responses to “The Devil is in the Details!”

  1. Mike Keohane says:

    Nice post – Easy to overlook things like this

  2. Andrew Martin says:

    The fastest way to do an alignment is to take your time.

  3. James Pekarek says:

    Excellent! I’m surprised that washer passed inspection in the first place.