December 27, 2017
Why You Should Perform Shaft Alignment as Part of Your PM
By Stan Riddle
James Pekarek, one of our trainers, wrote a blog entitled “Performing Alignment Checks as Part of Your Preventive Maintenance”.
It is a great article, and good advice. I recently shared this blog post, and the advice, with a customer of ours. Here’s why.
I taught a training class at a large water plant in the eastern US. They had multiple buildings, and many pumps. Precision alignment had been performed on these pumps – some with dials, some with lasers. They did perform pump PM on an annual basis, but did not check for alignment.
Some of these pumps required coupling insert replacement on a regular basis, and some did not.
When a machine is supposedly aligned, but requires frequent coupling replacement, it is a good sign that:
- it is not aligned correctly,
- the coupling is not matched to startup and torque requirements,
- the alignment has changed.
Obviously, the pump was out of alignment. Which of these three took place – I don’t know.
It was aligned to tolerance, and the alignment data was saved. This facility will now include a quick alignment check as part of their PM.
- If their alignment changes, they will know.
- They’ll be able to make corrections before more serious damage occurs.
They will use their alignment tool as a PM tool, not just a repair tool.