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 […]

What is the Most Important Piece of Information Needed for Vibration Analysis?

November 13, 2018

Is it bearing information, number of poles, frame size, number of gears, impellers, blades, horse power, operating voltage, motor type, manufacturer, number of belts, sheave size, or tooth count? Nope! None of the above. All of the above information is great to have when analyzing vibration data, but the single most important item that is […]

The Grease Myth:  All Greases Are Good

November 6, 2018

Guest post by Paul Llewellyn – LUBRICATION ENGINEERS As with so many things, such as dogs, all greases are not the same. There are greases that are made simply to meet the slimmest of specifications and then there are greases designed to far exceed basic performance specifications. Greases are primarily made up of oil (70%-95% base […]

Myth or Truth? Pipe Stress Makes the Alignment Difficult

October 30, 2018

MYTH: “Pipe Stress makes the alignment difficult.” TRUTH: Pipe stress does not have any significant influence on the alignment unless you make corrections on the machine with the piping attached. In most alignment the corrections to eliminate misalignment are performed on one machine only, typically the one that is easier to move. In a pump-motor […]

Need Peace of Mind for your Critical Equipment?

October 23, 2018

In every facility there are pieces of equipment that are critical to the daily operation of the plant. Those machines are the ones that keep you awake at night. If the equipment fails or has a break down unexpectedly it has an adverse effect on production.  An online vibration system can assist in giving you […]

Adding Grease to a Bearing and not Hearing Changes from your Ultrasound Instrument?

October 16, 2018

Are you adding grease to a bearing and not hearing any changes from your ultrasound equipment? If so, start wondering where the grease is going. It is a fact that if grease gets into a bearing the ultrasound decibel will either go down on a bearing that needs grease or go up on a bearing […]

Are Coupling Manufacturer Tolerances Good Enough for Shaft Alignment?

October 9, 2018

We often hear “Coupling alignment tolerances provided by the coupling manufacturer are good enough for shaft alignment.” or “There’s no need to align your machines tighter than the tolerances allowed by your flexible coupling.” This is wrong because good quality flexible couplings may be built to withstand much more misalignment than what is good for […]

When Induction Heating Goes Wrong! Understanding the Importance of Bearing Clearance and ID vs OD Temperature

October 2, 2018

Bearings are probably the more complex designed component of any rotating equipment; yet, they are the most misunderstood by the maintenance practitioners who handle them on a daily basis.” —Holcombe Baird, Reliability Center, Inc. If experiencing premature bearing failures, you should not only look at bearing lubrication practices but also at bearing installation practices. When […]

How do you Analyze your Vibration Data?

September 25, 2018

Every analyst develops their own process for analyzing vibration data. This is generally learned from others, being around to observe or communicate with, or from training the individual receives.  Often, the person collecting the data will be the same person that analyzes the data.  The process could include that during the data collection the person […]