Phone a Friend
A few years back, there was a game show that used the idea of “Phone a Friend” when a contestant got in a jam. At Acoem USA, we have been a “friend” for maintenance and reliability personnel for a long time! I recently took a call from a maintenance mechanic who was installing a new…Read More
The Basics of Fans – Know Your Machines
Fans are a very common component in industry, they are used to move air from one place to another. Fans are used in dust collection, supplying air to boilers, provide ventilation to factories, are used in the manufacturing process and more. Even your HVAC system at home has a fan/blower in it to move the…Read More
Fire Pumps – Shaft Alignment & Vibration Testing
Fire pumps are probably THE MOST CRITICAL machines in industrial and commercial buildings. If they don’t work when they are supposed to, no other machine in the building matters. A fire pump needs to be reliable enough to run for a few hours. After that, either the fire is out, or the building is gone.…Read More
Cardan Shaft? Spacer Shaft? What Kind Is It?
Recently, I provided training for a location that had vertical mounted electric motors driving pumps that were one or more floors below them. In this case, these pumps were driven with Cardan Shafts, however they did not have the typical 5-to-15-degree angles (between the motor & pump shafts and the drive shaft) recommended for lubrication…Read More
The 5 Questions No Maintenance Supervisor Should Ask
I’ve never been a maintenance supervisor, but I have worked for several. And when a machine has had problems, most maintenance supervisors have 5 questions: What’s wrong with it? How bad is it? How much longer can we run it? What do we have to do to fix it? What can we do to prevent…Read More
I don’t know about you, but in my nearly 45 years in industrial maintenance, there have been times when I felt stumped when trying to solve a problem. Sometimes you can just walk away and the solution comes to you while performing another task. Other times, a colleague or coworker may come along and have…Read More
A Craftsman NEVER Blames the Tools!
I heard this saying recently, and I like it a lot! Whether we are talking about woodworking, precision maintenance, shaft alignment, or any number of other crafts or technical operations-it is true. In my time as a trainer for Acoem USA, I have heard mechanics say (more times than I could count) “my (current alignment…Read More
Aligned at the Factory – Realigned in the Field￼
Recently I came across a new pump skid where an alignment check was performed after installation during new construction. Even though it did not have much run time there were already telltale signs of misalignment as indicated by the coupling insert dust on the base. The new pump skid came aligned from the factory: A…Read More
Composite Pump Base?
We have written numerous blogs on pump bases, they still at times contribute to precision shaft alignment challenges. A recent class at a wastewater treatment plant, was having difficulty controlling soft foot on several different pump skids with composite bases. Previous blogs have described how a bad base can contribute to soft foot. In this…Read More
“Mic” Your Shims Before Alignment!
Have you ever added the number of shims your laser alignment tool or dial indicator tells you to during an alignment only to find your machine is still out of alignment? This is a frustrating but common occurrence. Was it a calculation error or did your alignment tool give you the wrong measurement? More than…Read More
What is Machine Misalignment Costing You?
We often hear from clients that machine misalignment is a costly and inconvenient problem. But, just how costly is it? It is far more expensive than most people realize, especially when you take today’s supply chain concerns into account. Between downtime, equipment damages, overtime for repairs, and supply chain interruptions, a fairly minor amount of misalignment…Read More
Coupling Tolerances vs. Shaft Alignment Tolerances, revisited
We have several blogs discussing the differences between coupling alignment tolerances and precision shaft alignment tolerances (see links below). As stated in those blogs the coupling manufacture’s tolerances are for the coupling. As maintenance professionals we are concerned with the coupling, however we are more concerned with the bearings in the machines. Precision shaft alignment…Read More
An Old Maintenance Mechanic’s Look at the Next Generation
This grainy photo was from my last day at a Weyerhaeuser mill in 1987. I was a 26 year old millwright. If you look closely, you’ll see an IBM computer in the storeroom. We had another one we used for running Palomar Microlog vibration data collection. We had a first generation laser alignment tool, but…Read More
Why Don’t I Input a Coupling Diameter?
We often get asked why we don’t input a coupling diameter when performing a precision shaft alignment with the ACOEM laser alignment systems. The coupling diameter (or more correctly sweep of a face dial indicator) is only required when doing a rim and face dial indicator alignment or when the user wants to know the…Read More
There are many outside influences that affect a precision shaft alignment. One that seems to be overlooked is pipe hanger location and condition. The weight of the piping on the pump, when pipe hangers are missing or incorrectly spaced, can cause deformation of the pump housing and the base, essentially putting a strain on all…Read More