Aligned at the Factory – Realigned in the Field

An alignment check was performed on a new pump skid that had been recently installed as part of new construction. Even though it did not have much run time there were already telltale signs of misalignment as indicated by the coupling insert dust on the base. The new pump skid came aligned from the factory. …

Read More

What is Machine Misalignment Costing You?

We often hear from clients that machine misalignment is a costly and inconvenient problem. But, just how costly is it? It is far more expensive than most people realize, especially when you take today’s supply chain concerns into account. Between downtime, equipment damages, overtime for repairs, and supply chain interruptions, a fairly minor amount of misalignment…

Read More

Pipe Strain/Stress

Not only do we write blog articles at VibrAlign, we also read them. Nearly every training session I conduct, pipe strain as a source of alignment frustration, comes up. I recently came across an excellent blog written by Ricky Smith CRL CMRP CMRT that I would like to share. There is some really good information…

Read More

Installation Errors Part 3 – Proper Torqueing of Hold Down Bolts

One of the most under-rated procedures of the precision shaft alignment process is the TIGHTENING SEQUENCE of the hold down bolts on the movable machine. Also, tightening the bolts to proper torque specifications is many times considered unnecessary and is just not typically done. Tightening sequence and proper bolt torque are critical to the performance…

Read More

Installation Errors Part 1- Coupling Care and Balance

Observing a training class of new mechanics can sometimes be a stressful proposition for a former field Millwright. Especially when said millwright has control issues.  As part of our Precision Shaft Alignment Training, the trainees move from the classroom setting into the field to practice what they have learned. Transferring the knowledge gained in a…

Read More

The Role of Fasteners in the Alignment Process

Fasteners are a critical component of the precision shaft alignment process, yet the importance of fasteners is many times overlooked.  If bolting is not selected, assembled, and torqued correctly, it can make the precision shaft alignment process less accurate, more difficult to achieve, and potentially harmful to the machines. While there are always unusual circumstances,…

Read More

Is It Mils, or Thousandths, or What?

On occasion, we are asked, “What are these numbers on the screen?”  All our alignment tools (and most others) can be configured in Imperial or Metric.  Most US users use Imperial (inches, feet, and so on). When we say, “Your laser displays in mils”, we’re asked, “What’s a mil?” Definition – [mil] noun. 1. a…

Read More

Fix the Easy Things First!

One of the hallmarks of a good maintenance technician is the ability to troubleshoot – not just using vibration tools, or volt meters, or laptops with Ethernet plug-ins, but the ability to troubleshoot machinery in their minds.  In other words, the ability to visualize what the problem might be. “Fix the easy things first” is…

Read More

The First Rule in Precision Shaft Alignment is “Don’t Assume”!

This is an obvious statement and most of us know what happens when we do “ASSUME” with most things in life. However, we (The VibrAlign Trainers) see assumptions being made quite often during a precision shaft alignment. Several years ago, I read a book titled “A Millwright’s Guide to Motor/Pump Alignment” by Tommy “T-Hammer” Harlon…

Read More

Critical Machines? It Depends on Who You Ask

I recently taught alignment training at a gas compression site.  These were sharp technicians, and they keep these large gas compressors in excellent shape.  We went out to check alignment between the engine and compressor.  It was great just as I expected, because compressing gas is their only product. So I asked if they had…

Read More

Precision Shaft Alignment with Adjustable Chocks

We have written, here on the VibrAlign blog, about adjustable chocks used in place of shims for vertical adjustment and machine support. A recent experience at a customer site prompted this article, to share a simple tip that could save valuable time and effort. The customer was using vertical jack bolts while viewing live alignment…

Read More

Save Time. Save Money.

Time is a commodity maintenance personnel typically have in short supply. We hear quite often, in our on-site Shaft Alignment Best Practices training classes, “………. doesn’t give us enough time for a proper shaft alignment”. So how can maintenance personnel get more time for shaft alignment? Stop wasting it! I had the pleasure of working…

Read More

Positive/Negative

When we align equipment, we are aligning the rotational centerlines of the shafts. We have a stationary machine and a moveable machine. In most cases the stationary machine’s center of rotation is the target and reference for all measurements and corrections of the movable machine. When reading laser or dial indicator values, the terms of…

Read More

The NXA Extended Alignment Function – What is it? When to use it.

When training clients to use VibrAlign’s Verti-Zontal Alignment Process we show taking the 3rd measurement at a horizontal position, typically at 3 o’clock. This is simply for expediency and is NOT a requirement as Fixturlaser Shaft Alignment Systems can take measurements at any position due to the inclinometers in M & S sensors. If possible…

Read More

Soft Foot Concerns In The Stationary Machine?

VibrAlign has numerous blogs on soft foot and the frustration that goes along with not eliminating it. Repeatability (or the lack of) can be a major issue. Vibration analysis will pick it up if it is severe enough. When performing a precision shaft alignment most, if not all, soft foot will be eliminated in our…

Read More