When you are bolt-bound or base-bound on a critical machine train—usually one that is very difficult to move—it is not enough to just fix (make stationary) individual pairs of feet to obtain alternative shimming or moving solutions. You need even more flexibility, such as the ability to minimize moves across all the feet. The concept of stationary and movable machines is obsolete: all machine feet are movable under given circumstances, so it is essential to be able to find the minimum corrections necessary to align to any conceivable centerline, including fully optimized centerlines or centerlines optimized for any desired number and combination of fixed and movable feet. Such flexibility is imperative when working with machinery on the critical path. Therefore, look for this capability when selecting your next laser shaft alignment system.

For example, while trying to make the horizontal corrections on the misalignment below, one may run into a bolt-bound situation on the far-right machine. Moving the back feet of the motor over 100 thousandths may not be possible.

bolt bound not optimized

However, by making all machines movable and letting the laser alignment system optimize the alignment moves, we now have achievable corrections at each pair of feet:

bolt bound optimized

Notice that the back foot move of the motor on the far right dropped from an impossible 108.8 mils to a readily doable 11.9 mils.

Watch our Shaft Alignment Know-How: Bolt-Bound video to learn about the options of achieving alignment when in a bolt-bound or base-bound condition.

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by Carlos Bienes CRL