How Long Should the Key Length be for a Coupling Installed onto a Shaft?

April 16, 2019

Sometimes unbalance can be caused by a shaft key being too long.  When a shaft assembly goes to the balance machine, the assembly is normally balanced with a half key installed.  The coupling and key have been removed and a half key installed into the keyway on the shaft.  The straight portion of the shaft […]

Detecting Bearing Defects with SDT270 Ultrasound System at a Methane Plant

April 9, 2019

The SDT270 system was used to collect ultrasound data at a methane plant for start-up and commissioning of newly installed equipment to get a baseline condition on the motor’s and gear reducer’s bearings and gears. We were immediately able to pinpoint a defect in the drive end motor bearing using the SDT270 as well as […]

Comparing Oil Bath to Induction Bearing Heating for Proper and Safe Installation

April 2, 2019

In order to heat a bearing for proper bearing installation, you can use multiple methods. In this case I will compare using an Oil Bath Heater to using an Induction Heater. In an Oil Bath Heater you need a container which will be filled with oil and heated in order to place a bearing in […]

4 Common Vibration Issues that are Easily Detected to Extend Equipment Reliability

March 26, 2019

Vibration is everywhere! Vibration is a “back and forth” movement of a structure or component. Vibration can also be referred to as a “cyclical” movement. It can be inherent in a piece of equipment or can be induced by another form of energy. The real question is whether the vibration is detrimental to the equipment […]

How to Deal with Obstructions to Line-of-Sight While Measuring Misalignment

March 19, 2019

A couple of months ago, we were hired to perform an alignment on a motor/gearbox setup with a 9-foot spacer coupling in between. The obstacle this time around was that the spacer coupling was going through a steel support beam. The coupling is round but the hole in the beam was square, just big enough […]

6 Advantages of Automatic Lubrication and Single Point Lubricators

March 12, 2019

Guest post by Paul Llewellyn – LUBRICATION ENGINEERS If manually greasing a bearing typically means that the bearing will end up being over-greased because more often than not the person doing the greasing pumps new grease in until new grease comes out the other side of the bearing, and over-greasing is as bad as under-greasing, then […]

Implementing a Successful Preventive Maintenance Program at Crystal Union with the SDT270 Ultrasound Solution

March 5, 2019

As Published by Maintworld March 2018 issue CRISTAL UNION (CU) is an agroprocessing cooperative company ranking among the top European sugar and alcohol producers. Most of its facilities are established in France (18 sites). The BOURDON site in AULNAT (in the Puy-de-Dôme département) has a production capacity of 4,500 tons of beets per day. The company contacted SDT Ultrasound […]

Bilfinger’s Maintenance Team Ensures Innovative Shaft Alignment with XT550 System

February 26, 2019

As Published by Maintworld March 2018 issue When it comes to shaft alignment, experts from industrial service provider Bilfinger have relied on the co-operation with Swedish company Easy-Laser for nearly two decades. Now, the company is introducing a new generation of devices, which will greatly simplify the alignment process for clients and employees, especially in potentially explosive […]

Maximizing Opportunities to Improve Equipment Reliability. Education vs. Training.

February 19, 2019

At the onset of any program we should be more interested in education than in training. Training involves learning how to perform a task, while education means understanding the why or importance of the task. While both are necessary for a successful program, education will yield a stronger, more involved team. Unfortunately, many companies focus […]

The Correct Sequence of Events in any Alignment job. Shim First or Move First?

February 12, 2019

MYTH: “You should always do your shimming first and then make your horizontal moves.” TRUTH: This is generally true for the final alignment after soft foot has been corrected, but is not universally true for all alignments. In fact, for the initial rough alignment you should correct the plane with the largest misalignment first, even […]

Acoustic Lubrication Including Step-by-Step Procedure and Handbook

February 5, 2019

While we’ve been using calendars and calculators to determine grease replenishment requirements in bearings for a long time, this science is wrong. Most bearings never reach their L10 engineered life, and poor lubrication practices are attributed as the primary failure cause. Bearings fail when they are over-greased. We lubricate them too often, and we use […]

The Importance of Purchasing the Right Vibration Analysis System

January 29, 2019

A vibration analysis package today could cost $20K, 30K, 40K or easily more. If the wrong package is purchased, most companies are still committed to use it at least until it is depreciated, before they would be allowed to explore other alternatives, which could take 3 to 5 years. The purchased package may not include […]

Is New Oil Clean Oil?

January 22, 2019

Guest post by Paul Llewellyn – LUBRICATION ENGINEERS Is new oil clean oil? That is a question that can be debated, and has been, for many, many years.  If the new drum that was delivered to my dock, destined for my hydraulic equipment, has never been opened, how can the oil inside it be “dirty”? To […]

Alignment Tolerances Carved in Stone. Details of new ANSI standard provide clarity for an important industry issue.

January 15, 2019

December 2018 – EFFICIENT PLANT The recently released Alignment Standard (ANSI/ASA S2.75-2017) from the American National Standards Institute, Washington ( took nearly three years to develop. A committee of alignment experts discussed every aspect from safety procedures to the mathematics involved in defining the new standard. Alan Luedeking, CMRP, CRL, of Ludeca Inc., Miami ( […]

What Equipment Information is Necessary for a Vibration Database?

January 8, 2019

Necessary equipment information needed for a successful vibration database can and will vary greatly depending on the person being asked.  This variation is due to their involvement with the process; for some, plant criticality defines what they believe to be important; for others, it may be how often a piece of equipment fails. Generally we […]

How can we Prevent the Introduction of Particles into Lubricants?

December 18, 2018

Prevent metal-to-metal contact (which creates wear particles) by using condition-based lubrication through ultrasound. Ensure the proper oil viscosity and additive package is selected and that the bearing load does not exceed its design capacity through proper installation, alignment, balancing and operation. Use desiccant breathers. Adopt an aggressive fluid management program that establishes acceptable ISO cleanliness […]

The Impact of Washers on Shaft Alignment

December 11, 2018

Often, maintenance departments invest in good quality Bolts and Nuts (Grade 8), but neglect to do the same with flat washers. The importance of a good washer cannot be overstated. If you use a typically thin Grade 2 (or worse) flat washer under the bolt head of the hold-down bolts of your machine, this washer […]

Does Applying Overall Amplitude Values Allow Correct Trending and Identification of Equipment Faults?

December 4, 2018

An overall level is a single number representing the amplitude of a vibration measurement. Overall values can be derived many different ways. You should be very cautious when assigning generic or the identical alarm values to your equipment. Similar machines can operate at different vibration levels. The individual characteristics of each machine should be taken […]

Compressed Air Leak Management Including Procedure and Handbook

November 27, 2018

Compressed air is the fourth most commonly used source of energy in industry. Walk through any facility and see miles of pipe transporting this house-made energy source to its point of use. On this journey its fate is undecided. Will it arrive to deliver the intended value? Or is it lost along the way? Why […]

MYTH or TRUTH? All Soft Foot Conditions can be Corrected by Proper Shimming

November 20, 2018

MYTH: “All Soft Foot can be corrected by proper shimming.” TRUTH: Soft Foot is Machine Frame Distortion. This can sometimes be caused by problems not easily fixable by shimming, like pipe strain, which can only be properly corrected by adjusting the piping and interface with the machine. A good laser system with positional change monitoring […]