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. …

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Composite Pump Base?

We have written numerous blogs on pump bases, they still at times contribute to precision shaft alignment challenges. A recent class at a wastewater treatment plant, was having difficulty controlling soft foot on several different pump skids with composite bases. Previous blogs have described how a bad base can contribute to soft foot. In this…

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“Mic” Your Shims Before Alignment!

stack of shims

Have you ever added the number of shims your laser alignment tool or dial indicator tells you to during an alignment only to find your machine is still out of alignment? This is a frustrating but common occurrence. Was it a calculation error or did your alignment tool give you the wrong measurement? More than…

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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…

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Coupling Tolerances vs. Shaft Alignment Tolerances, revisited

We have several blogs discussing the differences between coupling alignment tolerances and precision shaft alignment tolerances (see links below). As stated in those blogs the coupling manufacture’s tolerances are for the coupling. As maintenance professionals we are concerned with the coupling, however we are more concerned with the bearings in the machines. Precision shaft alignment…

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Why Don’t I Input a Coupling Diameter?

We often get asked why we don’t input a coupling diameter when performing a precision shaft alignment with the ACOEM laser alignment systems. The coupling diameter (or more correctly sweep of a face dial indicator) is only required when doing a rim and face dial indicator alignment or when the user wants to know the…

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Is it really Bolt Bound?

In a recent RT300 class during the field portion of the training, the team made the decision to take vibration readings on a motor/pump assembly that was very noisy and had frequent coupling failures. The RT300 diagnosed misalignment, cavitation and shock modulation. Then using the same RT300, they checked the alignment and it was indeed…

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Don’t Forget a Lift Check!

    A lift check isn’t always done when performing a precision shaft alignment, nonetheless excessive lift can be the cause of alignment frustration. Here is a recent example from a very experienced aligner. This particular alignment was on a 150 HP motor driving an extruder through a gearbox. The horizontal alignment came in as…

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Aligning a “Bouncy” Motor!

  In recent years many new gas processing plants have been built to keep up with the demand for natural gas. Some of the process equipment for these plants are constructed on “modular skids” which are simply set in place, on the ground, then the piping is connected. During a recent training class, at a…

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A “Typical – Atypical” Alignment

A colleague and client of ours called, in a bit of a quandary. “Ever seen anything like this?” he asked.  I had to answer “No, I have not”. This is a C-face motor.  It is typically mounted to a C-face flange, which connects to a vertically oriented pump.  But in this case, the C-face motor…

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Common Shaft Alignment FAQ

  We get asked a multitude of questions in our training classes, which we appreciate.  But a few questions pop up almost every time.  Here are some of our most common questions and answers. QUESTION:  Sometimes on small machines, I don’t have enough room on the shaft to mount the laser.  Can I mount it…

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Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

  Often times customers ask the question how can we keep it going? “How can I continue to train my technicians with the principles they learned in your class?” Craftsmen and women often admit we don’t perform precision shaft alignments often enough to keep our skills current. To this I say recycle! One of the…

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Thinking Outside the Alignment Box on Flexible Bases

    Here is another example of the complexity of completing a precision shaft alignment on a flexible base. Some industries use pump skids that are moved to different areas of a plant for various reasons. Whether they exist to save money, allow for quick removal or process changes, the flexibility of these types of…

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Fixturlaser Laser Kit Tips

During several recent technical support calls, regarding the Fixturlaser Laser Kit, the clients asked the same questions about the LEDs on the sensors and several warnings that pop-up on the display. Others may have the same questions, so I thought it worthwhile to discuss here. S & M Sensor LEDs: The amber LEDs illuminate when…

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