A Clean Fan = A Clean Balance!

Over hung fan in an industrial facility.

Editor’s Note: This Blog is authored by Brian Rimmer (Freudenberg) & Stan Riddle (Acoem USA) Acoem USA recently provided dynamic balancing training for Freudenberg in Durham, NC, using an Acoem Falcon vibration analyzer/balancer they had purchased.  During the class, Acoem was asked to assist in balancing a large primary air fan.   Inspection of the…

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Using the Bearing Defender as a PM Tool

Acoem’s Bearing Defender sensor is a true wireless 3-channel accelerometer.  It can be used with a tablet or smartphone to detect common vibration problems quickly and easily on a machine-with no training or certification required. It can be used standalone (with a smartphone or other device for the display), or in conjunction with Acoem’s more…

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Introduction to Wireless Sensors in Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring is by no means a new concept in industry. In fact, it is so widely regarded as a best practice, that it becomes commonplace in more industries each year. With this increase in awareness, we have seen an influx of options over the years. Simple overall meters, portable analyzers, wired continuous systems, and…

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Bolt Torque and Overhung Pump Centerlines

Recently I conducted training at a location that had quite a large population of centrifugal pumps, the majority of which were overhung pumps. As you can see from the diagram below, the overhung pump casing bolts to the volute by a ring of bolts in a circular flange.     Issues with Bolt Bound and…

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Learn to Hold Down Your Equipment!

During a recent balancing class, I was requested to help the customer balance a couple of fans. Typically, our services team does this, but I agreed to help. When we got to this rooftop penthouse, I noticed a few things: The fan wheel, housing, and shaft were coated in a fairly thick coat of rust…

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How Many Times Do I Need to Align This Machine?

A customer called me recently with concerns about a pump alignment job he completed about six months earlier. He had checked the alignment again and found that the alignment values changed. He was concerned that he had done something wrong. I explained to him that he was performing the alignment correctly, however, the machine could…

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Closing the Loop in Reliability

The Journey of Reliability A machine is identified by the vibration analyst and recommendations are made for repair, the planner orders the parts, management gets together and determines when the repairs are made, and the maintenance team carries out the plan to replace the defective component. Success! We averted disaster once again! … And the…

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V-Belt Sheave and Groove Gauges

V-belts are cheap, right? That’s what most people in industry think, but a dumpster full of worn-out belts represents a good amount of money. Not only that, but the time required to change belts, along with any downtime, can be significant. Make Belt Drives Efficient Belt drives need four things to make them efficient: Proper…

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Why V-Belt Tension Gauges Matter

An often-overlooked precision maintenance tool is the V-belt tension gauge. Many maintenance technicians believe they can just go by “feeling” for what proper belt tension should be. In our Reliable Precision Maintenance (RPM) course, we often let mechanics tension the belts to what they “feel” is correct.  Then we check the tension with a V-belt…

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RCFA: Another Acronym but an Important One

There sure are a lot of acronyms around and it seems like new ones come out every day. Not sure about you, but I have a hard time keeping track of them. There are times when I attempt a conversation with someone, and they are spewing out so many acronyms it is hard to decipher…

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Understanding Thermal Growth Target Inputs

Acoem alignment systems allow the user to input thermal growth (offline to running) targets prior to performing a precision shaft alignment. Using targets allows the alignment to be completed to tolerance and the thermal growth will be compensated for. The real key to success, of course, is determining good targets. These are best obtained via…

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Basics of Centrifugal Pumps – Know Your Machines

Centrifugal pumps are common in industry. They are used to move various liquids from one place to another. This work is performed using a rotating pump wheel, or “impeller”, with a number of “vanes” on it. The wheel acts against the pump housing internals, which are either a volute or diffuser style, and produce the…

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Does Your Maintenance Program Need Maintenance?

An isometric illustration of a plant depicts machines that are experiencing problems, confused workers, and machine parts strewn across the facility floor.

Does your maintenance program need some… well, maintenance? A “good” maintenance program involves keeping equipment in peak condition and mitigating failure. Getting to this result takes the proper balance of strategies, people, and resources. Between changes in management, the revolving door of employees, and unreliable contractors, it can be relatively easy for an organization’s program…

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Performing Shaft Alignment on a Caterpillar!

Maintenance worker looks at 1000 hp Caterpillar engine attached to a pump in an industrial setting.

Aligning motors to pumps, fans, compressors, etc., it’s what we do. But occasionally we get to assist a customer perform some real “millwright” work! Case in point – a 1000HP Caterpillar engine, driving a backup floodwater pump for a large municipality in the southeast US. This pump is critical to prevent flood water from mixing…

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Sheave Alignment: Aim Small, Miss Small

A belt driven fan has a laser tool mounted to it to perform a sheave alignment.

A customer recently called saying his Belt Hog Sheave Alignment Tool was out of calibration. He stated that when he placed the Belt Hog lasers in the sheave grooves, they showed a slight amount of misalignment. However, when he rotated the lasers 180 degrees to check, there was a variance of 3mm (0.118”). While this…

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