October 29, 2012
Small Details Make A Big Difference in Shaft Alignment
By Brad Case
Today’s maintenance personnel are tasked to do more in less time so production can resume as soon as possible. As such, aligners of rotating machinery may believe they are saving time by eliminating some steps of the shaft alignment process when in reality the opposite is true.
An alignment check was performed on a process pump during the OJT phase of a shaft alignment training class at an ore processing facility.
The initial results disclosed the vertical offset to be out of tolerance.
The class set to work correcting the alignment following our Best Alignment Practices, taking care of the small steps, while using the Verti-Zontal compound move.
- Cleaned around and under the feet using a water hose than drying with air.
- Performed a soft foot check.
- Mic’d the old shims under the feet, replacing corroded and damaged shims as needed.
- Consolidated shims when making the vertical correction leaving no more than 5 shims under the movable machine’s feet.
- Maintained a cross pattern tightening sequence using three passes and the same person to tighten the hold down bolts.
- Eliminated coupling backlash when taking alignment readings
The final results? The shaft alignment was finished 31 minutes with only two spins of the shafts!