Thermal Growth Compensation with Alignment Targets

September 1, 2015

Thermal growth compensation has become fairly routine among laser aligners. For machines that run at high temperatures, most manufacturers will recommend a target to align to that compensates for the thermal growth that the machine is expected to undergo. That target only tells half of the story though. In many of the situations we see, once operating, there may be more horizontal movement than vertical, and both movements often far different from the specified amounts. These differences usually arise from sources such as pipe stress, foundation looseness, operating load variances and other factors.

To ensure perfect alignment under operating conditions, you can monitor the positional change of machines at your plant using the ROTALIGN ULTRA and Live Trend module. During your next shut down, mount the lasers to the machines and monitor the cool down. During the shutdown, align the machines using your newly discovered targets and even verify the accuracy by re-measuring the positional during start up and run up to final operating condition.

Watch our Thermal Growth and Machinery Alignment video


The Benefits of Wear Particle Monitoring with WEARSCANNER Online Particle Counter

August 25, 2015

All machines and their components will exhibit wear at some point. This can lead to loss of function and require corrective action.

Wear particles are one of the most common sources of equipment reliability problems. They indicate that the oil is unfit and unreliable for operation in the equipment and will lead to damage in the equipment. These particles can give an insight on the type of equipment problems as well. The characteristics of wear are specific from machine to machine.

A facility in Texas lost key personnel in their condition monitoring program and experienced a gearbox failure. The plant was in need of a true online monitoring system for small and large particle quantities. They purchased the WEARSCANNER oil particle distribution solution as a result. The WEARSCANNER solution not only counts and classifies, but also has the ability to count low and high particle flow speeds which is of value to the customer. The customer was able to adjust the different size classes in accordance to ISO 16232 and have the data fed directly into their control system.

WEARSCANNER installed and continuously monitoring critical equipment for lubrication problems

WEARSCANNER installed and continuously monitoring critical equipment for lubrication problems

One of the keys to equipment reliability is keeping lubrication clean, cool and free of moisture. This facility purchased the WEARSCANNER solution so they can actively monitor the cleanliness of critical equipment.


How to Analyze Unexpected Results After Performing a Shaft Alignment Horizontal Live Move

August 18, 2015

You’ve just completed your horizontal live move and you’ve re-measured to double-check your results. Now, it seems your coupling results are not at all what you were expecting. Does this sound familiar?

All too often when this occurs, the reasons are quite simple, such as some residual soft foot, or coupling strain that affected the accuracy of your initial readings. But if you’ve already eliminated these causes, perhaps the cause is more basic.

Double-check your dimensions screen again. It’s not that uncommon to “fat-finger” the values. Perhaps, intending to enter 2.5 inches you accidentally entered 25 inches instead! Also make sure the units (mm or inches) are correct while you’re there.

Another often overlooked detail is the process of moving itself. Care must be taken when performing any move to prevent the laser systems heads from being bumped or jarred. Laser alignment is a very precise business and the detectors can “see” very fine movement. Unintentional movement of the laser/detector from hammer blows to the machine can cause a false reading to occur giving you an inaccurate representation of the final move result. Always use jackscrews whenever possible!

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The Importance of Monitoring the Condition of Spare Equipment

August 11, 2015

Facilities apply different management strategies with condition monitoring spare equipment. Some facilities do not routinely operate spare equipment until the primary equipment has failed. Others operate primary and spare equipment equal amounts of time. It is critical that the management scheme ensures that both primary and spare equipment are equally operational upon demand.

As a condition monitoring analyst it is vital that you periodically analyze the condition of both the primary and spare machines. This will most likely require asking an operator to start both machines so a conditional assessment can be made. Management should ensure that both machines are made available to the reliability team as may be required and verify that conditional assessments are routinely completed on both.

What happens if the primary equipment becomes non-operational for some reason and the spare equipment has an unknown defect that prevents its operation as well? The outcome is not usually positive! It is important to maintain the reliability of both primary and spare equipment. Collecting periodic condition monitoring data on both will help ensure availability when required.

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Proud to be an approved Reliability Leadership Institute Mapped Services and Training Provider!

August 5, 2015

LUDECA is proud to announce that they are now an approved Reliability Leadership Institute (RLI) Mapped Services and Training (MSAT) Provider. As such LUDECA provides training and services aligned with the Reliabilityweb Uptime Elements for the Alignment/Balancing (A/B) domain under Asset Condition Management (ACM).

Ludeca MSAT Approved

We are excited to be part of this program and thereby be able to better assist the Asset Condition Management community in their quest to eliminate machine defects in applying precision alignment and balancing techniques,”
says Ana Maria Delgado, CRL, Marketing Manager for LUDECA.

To support the MSAT program and better serve their customers with their maintenance and reliability needs, LUDECA recently certified 25 team members as Certified Reliability Leaders (CRL) and has embarked on a Reliability Journey to educate customers on the benefits of proactive precision alignment and balancing as a key step on the road to world-class reliability excellence

LUDECA is a leading provider of Preventive, Predictive and Corrective Maintenance Solutions including machinery laser alignment, vibration analysis and balancing equipment as well as software, rentals, services and training. For more details, visit

About the Reliability Leadership Institute (RLI)
Reliability Leadership Institute (RLI) was established as a Community of Practice (CoP) in 2012 to improve how organizations deliver asset performance through the use of Uptime Elements, a reliability framework designed to enhance the triple bottom line of economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Reliability Leadership Institute (RLI) has a reputation for creating knowledge that measurably improves reliability and asset performance strategies. More details are available at

About Mapped Services and Training (MSAT)
The Uptime® Elements™ framework is a system-based approach embedding a reliability culture into an organization. As more asset managers are adopting the Uptime® Elements™ framework in support of ISO55001, there is a growing need for in-depth services and detailed “how to” training related to the mastery of each element.

The Reliability Leadership Institute is introducing a Mapped Services and Training (MSAT) Providers program to assist potential clients in sourcing approved vendors on processes and technologies covered by the Uptime® Elements™ Framework.

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Testimonial: ROTALIGN ULTRA Move Simulator saves time & labor on multi-coupling train alignment at Eastman Chemical

August 4, 2015

The “Move Simulator” program is extremely useful on all types of machines but we have found it most helpful on multi-coupling train units.

We recently performed an alignment on a 350 HP turbine/gearbox/pump train in one of our cracking units. The turbine had been replaced by the area Maintenance Group and the machine was supposed to be a like-for-like drop-in exchange. This was not the case for this unit. Two problems: A bolt-bound condition and height difference on the turbine. Due to time constraints, removing the turbine and modifying support feet was not a viable option.

We used the Rotalign ULTRA IS, took readings on both couplings and then used “Move Simulator”. We were able to adjust the gearbox height and move it horizontally to achieve acceptable alignment to the turbine. The pump side had been found almost perfect (per targets) and we ended up maintaining the offset but disturbed the angularity slightly but remained within tolerance for the coupling.

The “Move Simulator” was certainly a time and labor saving program on this occasion. —J.W., Reliability Technologist – Eastman Chemical Company

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