Blog

Is a Perfect “0-0” Alignment Possible?

August 11, 2020

Often, when I get a report or a technical support call, if I see the user got a perfect “0-0”, I become immediately suspicious rather than celebratory.  What I mean by “0-0” is that the coupling results or feet corrections (or both) are perfect zeros.  There are times where that is possible, for example, this […]

10 Major Problem Areas in Mining and How To Identify Them With Ultrasound

August 4, 2020

The many applications of Ultrasound, as diverse as they are, rarely get used to their fullest capacity.  The Mining Industry poses many challenges in condition monitoring due to various machine types, speeds, and access. Below are 10 of some of the prime applications for Ultrasound: Air Compressors and Blowers designed to supply air on demand […]

Plan, then Schedule, then Execute!

July 28, 2020

Maintenance planning, scheduling, and work execution are all critical for the success of best practice returns in maintenance and reliability. Unfortunately, it is easy to confuse and merge these processes together, thereby lowering the efficiency of maintenance activities and the overall health of manufacturing assets. The reality is that each of these efforts is dependent […]

Just What Are Balancing tools? 6 Things You Should Know

July 21, 2020

A balancing tool is simply anything that serves the analyst for the purpose of statically or dynamically balancing a rotating piece of machinery. Precision balancing should include: An instrument capable of reading data from different types of vibration sensors, including accelerometers, velocity sensors, and proximity probes among others. It should also be able to display […]

5 Tips for Spacer Shaft Alignments

July 14, 2020

Correcting a shaft alignment problem brings a vast set of challenges to the workload of our mechanics, millwright, and engineers. Those issues could be in the form of physical constraints preventing movement or distortion from poor bases or pipe stress. They could be as simple and frustrating as soft foot or old bent shims. But, […]

Are You a One-Shot Bandit?

July 7, 2020

Throughout our industry, technicians and maintenance personnel have been guided by various myths on how to lubricate their rolling elements.  Some do take their time and try their best to calculate the correct amount, but in this day and age where we all have to do more with less, there is a drop in the […]

Adjustable Chocks for Equipment Mounting: Friend or Foe?

June 30, 2020

Adjustable chocks have been around for years and are a useful way to accomplish parts of machine mounting and alignment. In some circles, they have either a great or bad reputation. A lot of that reputation may depend on the application and how the chocks were installed. Adjustable Chocks vs. Shims First, let’s discuss why […]

What’s Shaking? Everything!

June 23, 2020

“What’s shaking?” was a commonly used question many years ago to ask someone how things were going. It was very generic and could cover a vast range of things. It is still used today but the frequency in use has declined. When that question is asked of a person, the normal reply is “Not much.” […]

Comparing Ovens to Induction Heating: What’s Your Method?

June 16, 2020

In order to heat a bearing for proper bearing installation, you can use multiple methods. In this case, I will compare using an Oven to using an Induction Heater. Ovens come in different shapes and sizes but in essence, it is what we know an oven to be, you will place a bearing into the […]

Airborne Ultrasound Keeps Flexible Couplings Reliable

June 9, 2020

Simon is a condition monitoring specialist from a local oil refinery. He contacted SDT for advice on predicting flexible coupling failures. Currently, they perform condition monitoring on their pumps and motors using vibration analysis.  They identified most bearing failures in time but could not detect coupling defects; there was no safe place to mount a […]

Thermal Growth in Alignment Components: Achieve Reliable Results With These 4 Tips

June 2, 2020

The consequences of positional change due to thermal growth in machinery as it pertains to shaft alignment are well documented. Methods for determining these changes and compensating for them are not only essential to the reliability of machines but can prevent catastrophic failure. It is therefore of great importance that these methods be carried out […]

Proper Precision Lubrication Starts With The Right Mindset

May 26, 2020

There are a lot of numbers and stats associated with lubrication; or, with the lack of proper lubrication in this case.  For instance, it is said that 60% – 80% of bearing failures are related to lubrication issues of some kind; lack of lubrication, over- or under-lubrication, mixing lubricants that are incompatible, choosing the wrong […]

You Know What’s Important? Soft Foot Check!

May 19, 2020

Soft Foot Measurement – It really is important! On a recent visit to a power plant, they asked me to help them align a pump with their new EASY-LASER XT Alignment System.  It was a machine they had previously aligned with dial indicators, which they thought was “pretty good”.  The initial measurement showed a vertical […]

Correct Heating Methods Can Ensure Proper Equipment Operation and Longevity

May 12, 2020

For many years, applying heat was explained as simply just that, applying heat. How it was done was usually left totally up to interpretation. In a field application, this could be left to the discretion of the crew doing the job, based on either what was available or considered most effective/least expensive/easiest. Any one of […]

How Can You Eliminate Unbalance of a Coupling? Here Are Some Key Points!

May 5, 2020

  Many shafts have keyways cut into them to hold the coupling. “Keys” are pieces of square metal stock inserted to hold the hub in place. If there are two (2) keys, one on each side of the coupling, you should not “align” the keys across the coupling. Instead, it is very important to ensure […]

What is Grease?

April 28, 2020

Tremendous science goes into engineering the many grease formulations that keep physical assets working their best. The sheer number of grease types available is as varied as the applications where they are used. Yet their composition remains a simple mixture of base oil, thickener, and in most cases some additives. The Base Oil is the […]

The Importance of Correcting Sheave Run-Out

April 21, 2020

Today’s advancements in technology have allowed many maintenance tasks to be performed more easily and efficiently. Such is the case with using a laser alignment system to accomplish sheave/pulley alignment. However, prior to setting up the laser system to perform the alignment, one important and often overlooked step is to measure and correct sheave run-out. […]

Make Sure To Include These 8 Steps To Your Vibration Analysis Process!

April 14, 2020

Every person that performs vibration analysis develops his or her own analysis process.  Suggested steps at a minimum should include: Open the spectrum (FFT) and locate the running speed peak and reset the reference speed to that speed.  Since all induction motors vary in speed based on the load, this is necessary for accurate analysis, particularly at […]

Take FIVE for SAFETY. 5 Minutes, 5 Takeaways and 5 Steps for Safe and Reliable Work.

April 7, 2020

Once again, I was struck by a smart sign that reminded me of the importance of safety: “TAKE FIVE for SAFETY.” This one popped up while touring the APM Training and Development Center in Houston, Texas after our #NoExcuses for Equipment and Bearing Failures workshop. It was the perfect closing theme to a day of learning […]

A Case Study On Why Pipe Strain Needs To Be Measured

March 31, 2020

Repost from Benchmark PDM Maad Blog   Let us review this case study on a common issue when working on a pump and motor alignment done by Brian Franks, Owner and Field Service Technician of JetTech Mechanical. He begins in the normal manner entering the distances of the machine. As you can see this is […]