Categories: Shaft Alignment

Why Misalignment Draws More Current

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By on January 28, 2015

In a previous blog article by Patrick Lawrence “Was Softfoot the Problem” before and after vibration spectrums were taken and the results post precision shaft alignment were remarkable! Apart from contributing to higher vibration levels, misalignment has another adverse effect, increased motor loads!  I wanted to find a cause and effect case study that would give me a better understanding. I found a very good one and would like to share that in this blog.

Considering the cost of electric motors alone (between $50 and $100 per horsepower on average, some much higher) and the cost of energy, unscheduled downtime…etc. Precision alignment benefits on the electric motor alone puts money in the bank!

Motor Load increases when there are stresses coming from bearing and unusual mechanical loads. 50% of machinery problems, electric motors in particular are caused by excessive load due to imbalance, misalignment and belt tension. Figures 3, 4 and 5 show the impact of misalignment to motor load.

Photo 1



Photo 2



This technical study was performed by the International Copper Association. I can send you a copy of the full report upon request.


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.”

6 responses to “Why Misalignment Draws More Current”

  1. Tom Shelton says:

    Awesome info. Easy cost justification.

  2. Bill Beasley says:


    If there not time to do it properly the first time,
    when is there going to be time?

  3. Paul E. Feuerstein, PE says:

    Years ago we, engineers designed machine support systems by rule of thumb and other weak methods. At that time our saying was; we never had time to do (design) it right, just over. We didn’t know any better. We had vibration and alignment problems; I find the problems still prevail and and will continue until the foundation system is understood and designed accordingly. There is a very understandable and precise method of designing dynamic systems to control the rigiity of the system; thus controlling vibration and alignment.
    Milwaukee, WI. 414-964-3034

  4. Krishna Sheth says:

    Need a full copy for current measurement with equation

  5. Mac MacCormack says:

    Krishna, I will email you a copy of the study.

  6. Prakash says:

    Hey Mac,
    Could I get a copy of the study too?