Categories: Shaft Alignment

Shaft Alignment of a Vertically-Oriented Motor with Feet

| | |

By on July 22, 2012

Vertical Shaft Alignment with feetVertically-mounted motors that are coupled may need alignment, whether they are C-faced or not. In cases where the motors are not C-faced, the shaft alignment is treated as a horizontally-mounted motor, with a couple exceptions. Here’s a quick walk-through on a Fixturlaser GO Pro.

  1. Inclinometers cannot be used, since they cannot detect changes in the shafts as they are rotated (they work against gravity). In this configuration, they are always horizontal.
  2. The Live Mode function should not be used when making corrections in what would normally be thought of as the vertical correction. This is due to the fact that as the motor bolts are loosened, the motor tends to lean away from the baseplate.


Fixturlaser GO Pro InclinometersStep 1 – Mount your laser tool to the shafts. Choose horizontal alignment. Select the proper speed and insert your dimensions as you would normally.

Step 2 – Select the Toolbox and select the icon to turn inclinometers off (see image right). After this alignment is completed and saved and you have returned to the Main Screen, the inclinometers will go back to normal operation.
Vertical Shaft Alignment with feet HorizontalVertical Shaft Alignment with feet VerticalSince your inclinometers have been disabled, you must find another point of reference. The easiest way to picture this is that in the case of this shaft alignment, “vertical” is in the direction of the feet bolts, and “horizontal” is parallel to the base plate. An easy way to use this reference is by using a square to sight vertical and horizontal directions.

Fixturlaser GO Pro 9 oclockStep 3 – Measurements will be taken in Clock Mode. The first measurement will be taken at the 9 o’clock position. To orient yourself, picture yourself above the motor, leaning over the top. 9 o’clock would be on your left. Take the first measurement here.

Fixturlaser GO Pro 3 oclockStep 4 – Rotate the shafts 180° to the 3 o’clock position and take the second measurement.

Fixturlaser GO Pro 12 oclockStep 5 – The final reading will be taken with the shafts rotated to the 12 o’clock position.

Measurements are now complete.

Fixturlaser GO Pro resultsStep 6 – Add or remove shims to correct the vertical as given on the results screen.

Gently snug the feet bolts and rotate the shafts to the 9 o’clock position. Live Mode can be used to monitor the horizontal moves.



Facing an alignment problem that is out of the ordinary? Know of any other applications where this same method will work? Send us a message!

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.

4 responses to “Shaft Alignment of a Vertically-Oriented Motor with Feet”

  1. Majid Kami says:

    Hi Stan;
    That is nice to hear about you.
    i would like to build up another company in Dubai which gives alignment services and training courses to applicants.
    Do have any advise?

    I am already in Austin (Tx) 213-304-2298 , and after 2 weeks will be back in Dubai Again

  2. Jayadev says:

    Hi Stan;

    Do you have any training center in Dubai for train couple of guys Shaft / Motor Alignment including a theory class.

    We are looking to hear from you.

    Thanks & Regards;

  3. Stan Riddle says:

    Jay, thanks for asking. I have forwarded your email to my manager. He should be in touch with you soon.
    Thank you – Stan

  4. Sherif Mounir says:

    i would like to know the tolerance for vertical alignment job