July 30, 2012
Shaft Alignment Training with Dial Indicators
By Patrick Lawrence
This past week I had the pleasure of teaching a couple hybrid shaft alignment training classes–part of each class was using the rim and face dial indicator method and the other part was using a laser alignment tool. I love these classes because I learn a lot so what nuggets of wisdom was I able to leave behind? Well, I keep it pretty simple:
- The dial indicator stem goes in, the number gets more positive.
- The dial indicator stem goes out, the number gets more negative.
- Work the dials back to zero.
Now for the dial indicator veterans out there, that might seem like an oversimplification but dial indicator alignments was’t in my upbringing as much as laser tool alignments. I had to keep it simple when I was first learning. The more I’ve been exposed to dial indicators over the years, the more I’ve grown in my ability to teach the principles of measuring and correcting shaft misalignment. The two statements above are really at the heart of how dial indicators work.
From there we know basically how one shaft is positioned relative to the other and collecting the necessary data to graph or calculate actual alignment conditions becomes easier. We can graph where we are, we can look at where we want to be, look at different scenarios in how the brackets and dial indicators are situated, etc. Jumping into the equations we know what to roughly expect since we see on the dials where we are starting and what direction we are heading. Calculating an exact answer then makes more sense.
So how did you learn dial indicator alignments? I’d love to hear about it. Want to learn more about graphing and the equations involved? Let us know!