By Daus Studenberg – Applications Engineer
Cardan Alignment
There are certain cases where it is necessary to make sure that two machines have a considerable amount of parallel radial offset. Such machines are usually coupled by a cardan shaft where more than 4-6 degrees of angle exists between the cardan coupling and the machines. Once the offset is established, it is important to ensure the machines are parallel to each other. If angular misalignment exists (i.e. the machines are not exactly parallel to each other) a rapid change in the shaft RPM will result during operation, as well as an uneven bearing loading, which could shorten the life of the machine.

A special cardan bracket was developed specifically for this application. Its main function is to directly translate the axis of rotation of one machine to the axis of rotation of the other machine.
With the bracket installed, a simple shaft alignment occurs using an uncoupled measurement mode as the laser and receiver are both turned independently of each other to take measurements. The ROTALIGN® ULTRA and the OPTALIGN® SMART both feature superior single-beam sensor technology that allows uncoupled measurements to be taken accurately. The ROTALIGN ULTRA takes it a step further with its useful “pass mode”. The “pass mode” automatically takes measurements each time the laser is rotated past the receiver, thus reducing the time to take measurements.

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by Daus Studenberg CRL