Can You Spot the Problem?
A few months ago, while teaching a shaft alignment training class, a customer asked if we could take a look at a machine that the maintenance group was having trouble assembling.
After a quick inspection, the photo on the right was taken. Do you notice anything unusual? Leave a comment below if you spot it.
Don’t laugh! If you’ve been in maintenance for very long, you’ve probably done the same thing–or worse!
Sometimes, when performing troubleshooting as a part of shaft alignment, we miss some obvious clues. Things such as:
- Shims stacks that are loose. A good sign of soft foot, a loose bolt or both.
- Obvious coupling wear, such as that pile of bright orange dust underneath a bright orange coupling. There is really no good reason to align a worn coupling insert–replace it first.
- Loose coupling hubs. Look for loose bolts, missing keys or an undercut shaft diameter.
- Loose bolts in the baseplate or frame. This can be a cause of vibration, alignment discrepancies, wear, etc.
- Pipe hangers, saddles, or stiff legs that aren’t supporting the weight of the piping.
- Too much, or too little lubrication.
- And yes, assembly errors.
VibrAlign sells some excellent alignment tools, but the two best alignment tools are your eyes and your brain. And the one quality that separates a mediocre “aligner” from an excellent “aligner” is the ability to troubleshoot.
Don’t forget the obvious.