PM’s can be costly!

April 5, 2016

Did you know that equipment PM’s (Preventive Maintenance) tend to become more expensive over time?  Why does this happen?  For example additional maintenance steps tend to be added to a PM as time passes.  The machine configuration (design installation) changes and the PM’s are never updated to reflect these modifications.  Some PM’s are not written correctly in the first place.  All of this means that unnecessary maintenance is performed on your machines costing a lot of resources and money for a very long time. These are just some of the reasons PM’s can be costly.

RCM and FMEA functions usually cost more money up front and tend to be avoided as a result.  However these functions can clearly identify what maintenance actions should be performed on equipment and guide you to steps that will avoid maintenance issues. Condition Monitoring is another tool that works directly with RCM and FMEA functions to reduce PM activities and drive better equipment performance and reliability.  These activities may cost more up front versus a PM, but will be much more cost effective in the long run.

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Exclusive News: EASY-LASER and LUDECA Announce Exclusive Partnership for U.S. Market

April 1, 2016

Since 1981 the name LUDECA has been synonymous with SHAFT ALIGNMENT. We introduced to the U.S. market the first pre-programmed dial indicator alignment tool, the Machinery Alignment Computer (“M.A.C.”), followed by the ALI 2000 in 1983.

We then pioneered laser alignment in the United States with the OPTALIGN®. This success was followed in the years thereafter by such recognized brand names as ROTALIGN®, SHAFTALIGN® and ALIGNEO®.

As of April 1st, 2016 a new chapter will begin in the evolution of Laser Shaft Alignment and Geometric Alignment Systems in the U.S. market, as LUDECA, INC. joins forces with the prestigious Swedish manufacturer EASY-LASER® for the sale and service of their highly accurate, logical, intuitive and easy-to-use laser alignment systems that expand your measurement capabilities with solutions that evolve with industry. The name behind the product says it all: EASY-LASER. Built for today with a vision for tomorrow.

LUDECA’s well-known and unparalleled technical and service support will continue to back up every system we deliver to our valued customers, both old and new. Calibration and repairs will continue to be done at our Doral, Florida facility. On-site training by factory-trained alignment specialists will be offered, as well as in-depth product training at our state-of-the-art training center in Doral.

LUDECA and EASY-LASER are excited about our new opportunity to serve existing and future customers with the best products for their maintenance and reliability needs.

LUDECA & EASY-LASER Video

About LUDECA 

LUDECA is a leading provider of Predictive and Proactive Maintenance Solutions including laser alignment, ultrasound testing, vibration analysis and balancing equipment as well as related software, rentals, services and training. For more information, visit www.ludeca.com

[OPTALIGN, ROTALIGN, SHAFTALIGN and ALIGNEO are registered trademarks of PRUFTECHNIK.]

 

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What makes a laser shaft alignment tool accurate?

March 29, 2016

There are many tools considered “accurate”. Dial test indicator can measure to the ten-thousandths and gauge blocks can be certified for even tighter tolerances. Even CNC machines can reach ten-thousandth’s accuracy given the right conditions. However, they are tools and they can’t perform to their maximum potential if not used properly or in the right application.

Laser shaft alignment tools follow the same rules. The sensors by themselves have varying degrees of accuracy but how the sensors are used and what application they are used for can vary this accuracy quite a bit. When searching for a “laser alignment system”, don’t be quick to commoditize the term and think all systems are the same just because it uses a “laser”. The most capable systems will work for their intended primary application— general shaft alignment. Should a specialized application arrive, such as an uncoupled spacer shaft with limited rotation, a system that has more functionality will be able to immediately handle the job over a basic system.

LUDECA can assist you in your decision. We provide a network of local solutions providers who are your highly experienced advisors for navigating all of the choices that a quick internet search can provide. They will make sure you know you are getting the right tool for your needs whatever your budget. We also have a team of engineers that will guide you in your applications. All this is provided for free! This is something to consider when purchasing on price alone. We will be there when you need us the most.

So let’s go back to the dial indicators, gauge blocks and the CNC machine – they are not accurate in use without a trained operator. The same principle applies to laser shaft alignment. Most of our laser shaft alignment systems currently have 1-day free training on site at your facility by your local solutions provider. Our laser shaft alignment tool is designed to improve your reliability and thereby reduce downtime. Avoid costly mistakes and wasted time by ensuring your operators are well trained to use these tools to their maximum potential.

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Who owns plant reliability?

March 22, 2016

Can a Reliability Engineer or Reliability Manager make a facility or organization reliable? This is a very important question that may be worth discussing within your organization to ensure proper expectations and success.

A more practical definition of reliability may be:

Equipment performs the way you want it to when you want it to”.

Reliability is very easy to define, stuff but achievement of this simple goal is complex and unfortunately unattainable for many organizations. Reliability requires a holistic approach that involves the complex interaction of Maintenance, see Operations, Supply Chain, Engineering, Procurement, Management, Process and Vendors. Consistency, focus and strategic implementation directly correlates to the success of any effort and this is true for your reliability efforts. Therefore, a consistent and strategic top down focus is required from management and throughout each of these groups. Organizational misalignment leads to competing groups and will make sustainable reliability within your organization extremely difficult, and maybe even impossible to achieve.

Reliability Engineers and Managers can support reliability through leadership, training, tools, etc. However, the answer to the question is that everyone within your organization is responsible for reliability. It is critical that everyone within an organization understands this and that reliability is made a goal for each of these groups with defined metrics to track understanding and achievement.

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Will welding arc light damage my laser shaft alignment system?

March 15, 2016

Often, welding operations such as MIG and TIG will be occurring in the presence of your laser shaft alignment system. The question often comes up: will this light energy damage the optics? The answer is no.

However, if you must weld in the presence of your laser alignment system, a greater source of damage could be from the heat, sparks, and electrical energy that is emitted from the process. We do not recommend leaving equipment attached to anything being welded due to these dangers. Welding is like having a continuous lightning strike occur and electrical voltage differences and resulting magnetic fields could cause electrical damage. Remove your equipment to protect it from such hazards.

As far as light energy goes, OSHA has standards for minimum eye protective shade numbers ranging from “4” for gas welding to “11” for shield metal arc welding and finally up to “14” for carbon arc welding processes. NASA recommends a number “14” for directly viewing solar eclipses. All of this is for protecting the human eye, which is less resistant to damage from light than a laser detector. A laser detector is designed to continuously absorb direct laser light energy over a continuous period of time. This is far more light energy than the human eye would encounter from arcs and sunlight with proper protective gear. Warning labels caution you not to stare directly into the laser beam!

Many laser alignment systems have special protective coating on the detector that is optimized for the specific laser wavelength of light it is intended to detect. This helps prevent interference from the bright sun causing measurement error. Many laser systems are used in bright sunlight, and some work better than others under such conditions. Since the welding energy would at most be of the same intensity as direct sunlight, this would most likely not cause damage. Of course, you could also put the protective caps on to be completely safe.

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What is your maintenance focus at your facility?

March 8, 2016

Most companies focus on repairing equipment after some functional failure has occurred and getting the equipment operational again. Is that the primary focus of your facility? Different studies have been completed by different organizations, which, while the percentages are different, all point to some very consistent and vital information. Design (engineering), installation (contractors, internal resources) and operation of the equipment all introduce equipment defects and drive reliability in your facility. Maintenance cannot overcome poor design, installation and operation. Your maintenance staff can only deal with (repair) the consequences.

Your reliability efforts should be focused on preventing the introduction of defects in your equipment. This will help ensure equipment reliability leading to lower maintenance costs, increased capacity and other positive results. Ensure that your equipment is designed, installed and operated with reliability in mind. Make sure that you focus on the prevention and elimination of equipment defects as well.

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