As you may have noticed if you follow VibrAlign’s social media accounts, we have been going through “Maintenance Tip Mondays” for the past couple months. This is a fun opportunity to hear from our experienced technical trainers as they share the top tips and tricks they have learned over the years in the field and in the classroom.

You can find these posts on VibrAlign’s Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

We also wanted to offer some helpful maintenance tips from our trainers in a single blog post. This blog is a collection of useful troubleshooting tips, maintenance reminders, and pieces of advice from people who have been in the maintenance industry for many years and have seen a thing or two and want to pass their knowledge on to you!

We have categorized the tips below so that you can focus on the section that most applies to your line of work.



When performing shaft alignment, and you do not get repeatable measurements, check:

  • If soft foot is minimized
  • If everything is tight; i.e. brackets, heads, clips, bolts, rods, etc.
  • If the input values (distances from foot to foot, etc.) are correct
  • If the laser head transmitter and receiver lenses are clean
  • If the S and M heads are on the right machines and in the right orientation

Measure your shim thicknesses.  Do not depend on the values marked on the shim to be accurate.



Common reasons for data errors:

  • Magnet not seated and rocking on the surface
  • Slamming the magnet onto the surface and quickly measuring data.
  • Not placing the sensor in the same place (within +/- ½ inch) each time
  • Mounting in the wrong location



  • It’s mostly a mathematical process.  If your numbers are correct on your inputs, the balancing tool should give you good information.
  • I’ve balanced more fans by cleaning them, than by adding weight.
  • It’s best to balance a machine in the direction that shows the most vibration.
  • When everything you try makes the vibration worse, it’s probably no longer a balance problem (unless you’re trying to balance at resonance).  Look for other problems, such as looseness, bent shaft, broken welds, loose fasteners, bad fits, etc.



  • Your machine can never be too clean, especially if you’re changing bearings.
  • If hitting something with a hammer will leave a mark, try a different hammer, or hitting it in a different way.
  • In reference to the above, the coupling hub will break when it needs hitting just one more time.
  • Rubber V-belts can and will wear metal sheaves.
  • It is, in fact, quite manly to read instructions.
  • You already have the best analytical tools: your sight, hearing, touch, smell, your brain, and your gut.
  • The proper amount of grease is BEFORE it exits the seal.


What are your best maintenance tips? Share them below!

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