January 4, 2018

Plan Your Work for Quick Alignments

By Brad Case


We have been teaching maintenance personnel to use the Verti-Zontal Process to perform precision shaft alignments quickly for years. The key to quick alignments is to follow the Verti-Zontal plan which includes the pre-alignment steps

Obviously when alignment checks are done, the pre-alignment steps aren’t performed on the “front end” of the alignment however they should/can be performed during the alignment.

A recent alignment check of an 100 HP, 1800 RPM electric motor and pump set using a Fixturlaser GO Basic revealed severe misalignment with the vertical angle almost six times tolerance and the vertical offset 3 times tolerance. The horizontal alignment was just slightly out of tolerance.

The motor had to be lowered vertically 138 mils at the rear feet and 81 mils at the front feet. The class noted there were 3/8″ (.375″) thick carbon steel spacer plates and stainless steel shims under all motor feet.

3/8” cold rolled carbon steel plate with rust is not as a precise thickness as pre-cut stainless steel shims so the agreed upon plan was to replace the plates with 250 mils (.250”) of stainless steel shims to get us close vertically (rough-in to minimize coupling influences) then fine tune the alignment.

Replacement shims were measured with a micrometer to verify the “as marked thickness”, the motor adjusted horizontally and before the hold down bolts were tightened an obvious soft foot check was performed. No soft foot was detected the bolts tightened following a sequence and final soft foot checked, with no correction needed.

Another set of alignment measurements were taken a quick Verti-Zontal correction was made and and a fresh set of measurements taken.

A total of two Verti-Zontal moves and done. BAM! 40 minutes from “As Found” to “As Left” results.

Work the Verti-Zontal Plan and the plan will work for you!