As part of our laser shaft alignment troubleshooting series, we have discussed Laser Shaft Alignment Troubleshooting: Part 1 Repeatability and Laser Shaft Alignment Troubleshooting: Part 2 Response to Corrections. In this final part of the series, we will discuss The Pipe Test.

In this series, we’ve examined some of the causes of errors in laser alignment measurements that can be encountered and how to remedy them. If you’ve gone through each of the possible sources of error and are still experiencing problems, there is a simple field test you can perform to ensure the laser alignment system’s functionality.



  • Mount the measurement heads 6 – 10” apart on to a piece of pipe of a diameter no less than two inches.
  • Start the horizontal shaft alignment program and enter the dimensions for the laser heads. Foot dimensions are not needed.
  • If V-blocks are not used, take measurements by rotating the pipe with your hands.
  • Take at least two separate measurements turning the shaft 360 degrees.
  • The coupling results should be zero or very close to it if the system is performing correctly

Laser shaft alignment systems are reliable tools that produce highly repeatable results and simplify shaft alignment. That being said, technicians need to know that the measurements they’ve taken have minimal uncertainty and errors. That is where calibration comes in. Sending your unit out for periodic calibration checks will ensure the reliability of your system.


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by Oliver Gibbs CRL