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I remember once performing an alignment where I followed the guidelines at the time to make sure no soft foot was present before continuing the alignment. I struggled to take care of the soft foot issue, yet still had unacceptable results.  No more than 3-5 shims under each foot? Check.  Pull each shim pack with all feet unbolted and fill in obvious gaps? Check.  Inspect shims and remove rusted, damaged or crinkled shims?  Ah –hah!

At that point, I inspected the shims and found one, a 150 thou shim, to have a slight bow in it due to it conforming to the base.  I essentially had a leaf spring under the foot. No amount of shim corrections will eliminate this situation.  A leaf spring is a very common suspension component found in trucks and trailers and shown below.

Leaf-Spring-Common-Truck-Suspension-Component

This leaf spring effect manifests itself in two forms:

  • The first form is when a very large shim is bent and placed back into the machine foot upside down.  This forces the machine foot up when the bolt is loosened during a soft foot check.
  • The second form is when there are a stack of more than 5 shims, particularly if they are crinkled or bent.  The combination of these defects also creates the leaf spring effect.

Shims-Under-Machine-Foot

The importance of pre-alignment checks is important in rotating equipment alignment.  It is so important that we have incorporated it as step #1 in our standard Ludeca 5-Step Shaft Alignment Procedure as shown below.

Ludeca-5-Step-Shaft-Alignment-Procedure_870x460

The importance of these pre-alignment corrective actions have been incorporated into the ANSI/ASA S2.75-2017 alignment standard.  According to the standard:

Shims should be in clean, smooth condition. Used shims should be discarded if the damage is evident.  No more than 5 total shims shall be placed under any machine case foot, excluding the shims to correct angle foot conditions. No more than 1 of those shims shall be less than 0.08 mm (0.003 inches) thickness. The sum of the three thinnest shims shall be 0.25 mm (0.010 inches) or greater.”

Removing the soft foot issues is important and fortunately, there is a field-proven solution to make sure these have resulted in the problem being remedied and documented.  All Easy-Laser E-series and the latest XT-series alignment systems, incorporate a soft foot check program.

Easy-Laser-XT-Displays-Shaft-Movement-Observed-When-Loosening-and-Tightening-Each-Foot

Using .0001” resolution detectors, the shaft movement observed when loosening and tightening each foot can be documented for soft foot analysis and correction.  With soft foot remedied, the alignment can now proceed with peace of mind knowing the corrections will be more precise and that internal frame distortion of the machine is eliminated.

 

by Diana Pereda

There are many reasons why one would perform an uncoupled alignment. We could have a tight tolerance coupling that cannot be installed without getting the alignment of the shafts close. Or simply, we do not have the coupling available at the moment the alignment needs to happen. Uncoupled alignments are performed using the same 5-step alignment procedure as you would use for coupled alignments. However, there are three differences: how the measurements are taken, how live adjustments are made and how soft foot is checked. Below are some easy-to-follow instructions on how to tackle measurements, live adjustments, and soft foot with Easy-Laser shaft alignment tools:

Alignment Measurement:

  1. Attach measurement unit and brackets to each shaft.
  2. Place the S laser on the stationary machine’s shaft and M laser on the movable machine’s shaft.
  3. Make sure the lasers are at the 12 o’clock position using the lasers’ digital display and the same angle for both S and M lasers are displayed (worst case within 1 degree).
  4. Select the Multipoint measure mode, and take your first point.
  5. Rotate each shaft to the next measurement position of your choosing, making sure the digital display shows the same angle on both S and M lasers (within 1 degree) and take the next point.
  6. Repeat step 5 until the quality of your measurement is above 90%.
  7. Take a second set of measurements to ensure repeatability.

Live Adjustments:

  1. Horizontal live adjustment – rotate the lasers to either the 9 o’clock or 3 o’clock position, making sure the lasers’ digital display shows the same angle for both S and M lasers (within 1 degree).
  2. Vertical it is simply a matter of adding or removing shims. However, to perform a vertical live adjustment rotate the lasers to the 12 o’clock position ensuring the lasers’ digital display shows the same angle for both S and M lasers (within 1 degree).
  3. Go on to the live adjustment screen and perform moves as if the machines were coupled.

Soft Foot Measurement:

  1. After the final alignment measurement, return the lasers to the 12 o’clock position again, ensuring the lasers’ digital display shows the same angle for both S and M laser (within 1 degree).
  2. Access the soft foot measurement screen and check the soft foot as if the machines were coupled.

Measuring uncoupled misalignment with Easy-Laser shaft alignment tool

 

Watch our 5-Step Shaft Alignment Procedure motion graphic video which outlines an easy and effective way to align your rotating equipment.

by Diana Pereda

We used to assume that once equipment is installed and aligned, it will remain in the same position forever. But this is not always the case.

The alignment should be checked periodically. This valuable information will help you to find problems like pipe stress, unstable foundations, weak frames and loose bolts, among other problems. All the efforts to align your equipment and keep it within tolerance will be worthless if your machinery can’t keep its position. Therefore, the repeatability of the alignment check is your best ally to see how the equipment behaves.

A Clock Watch to Measure How Long Rotating Machinery Stays Aligned

How often should you check?

There are guidelines for how often the alignment should be checked. According to John Piotrowski in his Shaft Alignment Handbook, for newly installed machinery the alignment should be checked after 500 to 2000 hours of intermittent operation, or 1–3 months of continuous operation. If there was no apparent shift in the alignment, then next check should be made at between 4500 and 9000 hours of intermittent operation or 6 months to 1 year of continuous operation. If no apparent shift occurred at any time, then checks should be made every 2–3 years. This interval can of course be influenced by factors such as equipment criticality etc.

If a moderate shift in alignment occurred at any time, then the equipment should be realigned to within acceptable tolerances. If a radical shift occurred, then additional investigation should begin to determine what is causing the shift – a root cause analysis. For example, any indication of excessive wear and tear will also be an indicator of a “non-healthy” machinery installation.

The importance of documentation.

To have properly documented alignment checks is essential to avoid repeating the same installation errors, or to discover and follow up on recurring problems. Of course, there is no exact answer to the headline question. But the documentation will give you a very good understanding of what happens along the way, and help you keep your machinery aligned as long as possible.

Sample Shaft Alignment Report for Proper Documentation

Thank you Roman Megela with Easy-Laser for sharing this informative article with us!

by Diana Pereda

We previously discussed the Types of Misalignment and Types of Soft Foot as causes of machine failures. In this blog, we will discuss Pipe Strain and how it can result in misalignment and vibration.

Pipe strain is a form of machine frame distortion caused by the piping as opposed to a feet or base condition. The forces from the pipes are transferred through the driven machine on to the driver machine causing vibration and misalignment at the coupling.  Sometimes the forces are not great enough to transfer on to the driver, but will affect the internal misalignment of the driven machine and therefore cause premature failure.  Here are a few causes for pipe strain:

  • A shift in the foundation
  • Incorrect pipe fitting
  • Thermal expansion of the pipes
  • Broken, improper, or lack of hangers and wall mounting hardware

Checking and correcting pipe strain in all alignment jobs will eliminate these forces allowing the machines to run properly.

Watch our Shaft Alignment Know-How video to learn about the effects of running equipment with pipe stress

by Diana Pereda

We previously discussed the Types of Misalignment as a cause of machine failures. In this blog, we will discuss Types of Soft Foot and their impact on machines.

Soft foot means machine frame distortion that occurs when the machine hold down bolts are loosened or tightened. A soft foot condition can lead to internal misalignment of the machine which will add unwanted loads and forces to the bearings. Soft foot will also deflect the shaft as it accommodates for the internal misalignment of the frame of the machine. There are four main types of soft foot:

  • Parallel soft foot: Occurs when one of the feet on the machine does not touch the base while the other three do. This creates a parallel gap between the foot and the base when that foot is loosened.
  • Bent soft foot: Occurs when a foot of the machine is deflected or in an angle with regard to the base. However, this also applies to when the base is in an angle with respect to the foot.
  • Squishy soft foot: Occurs when too many shims are used under the foot. Shims create an accordion effect causing the foot to lift off the ground even when there is no soft foot.
  • Induced soft foot: Occurs when external forces such as piping or electrical conduit pull or push on the machine creating a distortion of the frame.

Soft foot needs be checked and corrected to within 2.0 thousands of an inch to allow the machine’s frame to run free from distortion.

Watch our Shaft Alignment Know-How video to learn about the effects and importance of measuring and correcting Soft Foot when performing shaft alignment.

by Diana Pereda

Misalignment occurs when the driver’s (motor) shaft centerline of rotation is not concentric with the driven shaft’s (pump) centerline of rotation. Even today some professionals assume that the coupling will deal with the misalignment. However, the misalignment tolerance built into the couplings merely show how much misalignment the coupling can handle and still transfer power. They are not designed to magically make machine misalignment disappear. The shaft misalignment will transmit critical loads and forces along the shafts creating high vibration and premature wear on both the driver and driven machine.  Misalignment happens in both the vertical and horizontal planes and is identified as:

  • Offset: The distance between the two shafts’ centerlines at any point along their centerlines, also known as parallel misalignment.
  • Angularity: The angle or rate of change of the offset between the two shafts’ centerlines, also known as gap difference over the coupling diameter, or Rise/Run.

Watch our Shaft Alignment Know-How video to learn about the concepts of Offset & Angularity as they relate to aligning rotating equipment

To ensure your machines run reliably, misalignment needs be checked and corrected to the tolerances provided by the facility or machinery manufacturer.

Watch our Shaft Alignment Know-How video to learn the causes and effects of having misalignment in your rotating equipment

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

Vibration is everywhere! Vibration is a “back and forth” movement of a structure or component. Vibration can also be referred to as a “cyclical” movement. It can be inherent in a piece of equipment or can be induced by another form of energy. The real question is whether the vibration is detrimental to the equipment and its internal components.

Vibration is typically monitored through some form of analyzer, either online or offline such as the VIBWORKS analyzer.

What causes vibration? Here are just a few causes, but there are so more which can lead to elevated vibration levels. More importantly, if caught early enough, they can be corrected and thereby maximize the life of our equipment:

  • Installation of the machines
    • An improperly mounted bearing can cause severe vibration. This can lead to damage of the bearing as well as other components within the machine.
  • Operation of the machine
    • Pushing our machine beyond its recommended maximum output. Our machines respond by vibrating more than the recommended allowable limits and will eventually fail.

Watch our video ‘What’s Misalignment’ to learn more about the causes and effects of having misalignment in your rotating equipment

Some common machine problems that generate mechanical vibration:

  • Misalignment
    • Misalignment is one of the most common issues that leads to high vibration and eventually failure of the machine. It can be easily detected and corrected. Take the time to laser align machines properly to the recommended tolerance.
  • Unbalance
    • Unbalance is another easily missed problem that causes severe damage to our equipment. It can also lead to cracks of the housing itself. If not detected and corrected soon enough it can lead to dangerous catastrophic failure. Unbalance can be easily detected and corrected extending the life of equipment.

We never have enough time to do things right the first time but always find time to do them again.”

These few issues can be easily detected with properly set-up software. Often, the setup is incorrect and inaccurate. Invalid data is captured in the FFT. Please consult an expert to make certain you are utilizing your condition monitoring software to its fullest potential. Remember… If it’s Critical and Rotates it should be Aligned, Balanced and Monitored.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

A couple of months ago, we were hired to perform an alignment on a motor/gearbox setup with a 9-foot spacer coupling in between. The obstacle this time around was that the spacer coupling was going through a steel support beam. The coupling is round but the hole in the beam was square, just big enough for the coupling to go through. With a circle going through a square, only the corners of the hole were open. This meant that line-of-sight between the two lasers was limited. Because of the obstruction there was no way to obtain data with a continuous reading. Using our dual-laser XT660 system, we decided to take readings in each available corner. We could have taken one point at each 45 degree position. However, taking more points is always beneficial. We decided to take three points (close together) in each of the corners. With two rotations, we obtained excellent repeatability. Once we had repeatable readings, we moved the machine according to the calculated alignment results and aligned it to our customer’s customized tolerances.

 

Many times we are faced with awkward alignment situations. It is helpful to have an alignment tool that is very easy to use, yet versatile to adapt to these situations. It helped that the Easy-Laser® XT660 allowed us to change measurement modes (in this case to Multipoint mode). It also helped that the tool allowed us to adjust our tolerances to the customer’s particular needs. The customer did not want to use the built-in Easy-Laser tolerances, nor the ANSI standard tolerances that are included in the system. Instead, they were looking to align the machines to within 0.1 thou/inch (or 1.0 thou/10 inches) of angular misalignment at each flex plane. So we created a custom tolerance instantaneously within the tool for this job. The customer was satisfied with the alignment and the report generated with their tolerances.

Learn more about Precision Alignment from Adam Stredel at our Rethink Maintenance Training Roadshows

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

Mr. Karl-Heinz Bank and Mr. Jürgen Rabe from Bilfinger

As Published by Maintworld March 2018 issue

When it comes to shaft alignment, experts from industrial service provider Bilfinger have relied on the co-operation with Swedish company Easy-Laser for nearly two decades. Now, the company is introducing a new generation of devices, which will greatly simplify the alignment process for clients and employees, especially in potentially explosive environments.

Maintenance Personnel at Bilfinger Maintenance in Höchst have been using laser-based measurement and alignment systems from Easy-Laser since 2001.

In addition to cost factors, the main deciding factor in our collaboration with Easy-Laser was their user interface, which is easy to understand and, there-fore, very user-friendly, explained Karl-Heinz Bank, head of Machine Technology and Service Technicians at Bilfinger Maintenance in Höchst.

In spring this year, the good working relationship strengthened further. After Easy-Laser had officially launched their XT550 EX shaft alignment system at the Hannover trade show, the innovative measurement system was delivered to Bilfinger, who was the first customer.

Without doubt, the old systems that had been in use for a long time were still reliable, as confirmed by Mr. Jurgen Rabe, Head of Pump and Engine Technology at Bilfinger in Höchst. However, the industry had been waiting with great anticipation for a new shaft alignment system.

Read entire article: Bilfinger Maintenance Ensures Innovative Shaft Alignment

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

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 if this means making a horizontal move first. Reason: If you have gross misalignment, you could be binding the coupling, deflecting the shafts and imposing undue load on the bearings. By relieving strain from excess misalignment, a truer picture of the alignment condition emerges, and you eliminate an important outside force that creates machine frame distortion (soft foot). Therefore, the correct sequence of events in any alignment job is:

  • Safety: Lockout & tag out plus clean up
  • Rough Align
  • Find, diagnose and eliminate Soft Foot.
  • Final Alignment: shimming first, then moves.

Download 5-Step Shaft Alignment Procedure

Check out our SS Precut Shims.

by Yolanda Lopez

December 2018 – EFFICIENT PLANT

The recently released Alignment Standard (ANSI/ASA S2.75-2017) from the American National Standards Institute, Washington (ansi.org) 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 (ludeca.com) a member of that committee, has been involved in the development of alignment standards for significantly longer than three years.

Luedeking remembers the “old days” well. Back then, personnel simply aligned components to the best of their abilities with straightedges or dial indicators. “Those alignments,” he said, “usually weren’t that good, due to sag, span limitations, obstructions to rotation, or whatever. But you did the best you could, and that was good enough because it was all you could do.”

In 1982, Ludeca introduced the world’s first computerized dial indicator alignment system (from the now-defunct Industrial Maintenance Systems Inc.), followed in 1984 by the world’s first laser-alignment system. With the improved measurement resolution and accuracy afforded by the laser sensor, a more precise definition of what constituted a good alignment became necessary. So, according to Luedeking, after poring through the sparse alignment literature that existed, Ludeca developed tolerance tables for short and spacer couplings, which, for lack of anything better, end users readily accepted. “Over time,” he noted, “these tolerance values came to be accepted as the U.S. industry standard and were adopted as the official tolerance standard by various corporate and government entities, including NASA and the U.S. Navy.”

So what are alignment tolerances, and why are they important? As Luedeking described them, “Tolerances exist because absolute perfection does not. No matter how hard you try and how long you work, you will never get a shaft alignment absolutely perfect.” He offered the following detailed discussion as to why, along with some expert advice on the meaning of the new standard and how it can help you improve your operations. Read the entire article “Alignment Tolerances Carved in Stone”

Check out the Easy-Laser XT Series, the only laser alignment platform on the market today with the new ANSI alignment tolerances built-in giving the user the freedom to choose between traditional tolerances, the new ANSI standards, or custom tolerances of the user’s own choosing.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

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 will easily be distorted or warped into the hole in the foot upon tightening the anchor bolt. This is particularly true if the difference in shank diameter of the bolt and hole diameter in the foot is significant. This will often be the case when the hole in the foot has been enlarged to overcome a bolt-bound problem. The result of having “dished” washers is that when the anchor bolts are tightened after completing the alignment, the washers will try to center themselves in the hole in the foot and in doing so will pull your machine out of alignment again. This effect is virtually impossible to overcome, resulting in a badly misaligned machine after you just did a good alignment!

Solution: Always discard warped washers and use high quality thick flat washers that will not distort or warp into the hole. This will allow the washers to do their job of supporting the bolt head’s load on the surface of the foot.

Take a look at our Shaft Alignment Tools!

by Yolanda Lopez

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 capability (such as EASY-LASER XT770 with Easy-Trend) is the best way to detect and measure the effects of pipe strain.

Watch and learn more about Soft Foot!

by Yolanda Lopez

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 set the corrections are done on the motor. If there is sufficient room to shim and move, excellent alignment can be achieved regardless of how much pipe stress there is on the pump. Of course, pipe stress is undesirable and should be eliminated prior to the alignment.

Watch and learn more about Pipe Stress

by Yolanda Lopez

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 your connected machines, in terms of the vibration and other forces created. Bearings and seals may wear out and fail faster than a highly misalignment-tolerant coupling. The reason for this “extra misalignment capacity” in flex couplings is that they may need to withstand significant positional changes resulting from thermal growth or dynamic load shifts. This lets you deliberately misalign machines to “cold alignment” targets.

Take a look at our Shaft Alignment Tools

by Yolanda Lopez

We just returned from performing a stern tube bearing carrier alignment on a large container vessel currently in construction at a leading US shipyard. The one-meter diameter bearing carriers needed to be set to specific tolerances with respect to an established datum line along the longitudinal axis of the ship. Historically, this was accomplished using optics, piano wire and depth gauges. The procedure was time consuming and considering the sizes of some of the vessels being fabricated, performing an alignment was tedious and time consuming work. Sunlight on the hull can cause considerable movement; therefore a faster alignment process would be desirable. Therefore, we were asked to bring in the Easy-Laser E950-B bore alignment system. The quick setup and operation of this wireless laser alignment system made taking bore straightness readings a breeze, saving valuable time on a warm sunny morning in dry dock. The client was pleased with the speed with which the job was performed and the ease of understanding results—a testament to the straightforward design of the E-Series software.

 

by Yolanda Lopez

Reposted from People and Processes, written by Jeff Shiver CMRP, CPMM, CRL

Do you find yourself wondering why your employees haven’t taken the initiative and approached you for additional training? Well, they must not want the extra training, right? Wrong! Sometimes, employees do want training, but they just don’t ask. Here’s why:

1THEY HAVE FEAR OF REJECTION
People don’t like to be told no! The majority of employees don’t understand the organization’s vision, goals, brand promise, or key initiatives.

2. THEY FEEL UNSUPPORTED
Employees get worn out from a culture of mediocrity being tolerated, commitments not honored, and requests being ignored.

3. THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO ASK
Operators, Mechanics, Planners, and even Managers may not understand how to equate the returns of training.

4. THEY DON’T KNOW WHEN TO ASK
Many employees don’t know when there is flexibility within the budget.

5. THEY ARE AFRAID OF BEING NEEDY
If no one else is asking for training, then why should they expect to be treated differently?

6. THEY FEEL AWKWARD OR UNCOMFORTABLE
There must be a commitment for development and the line of communication should be open.

7. THEY DON’T FEEL CHALLENGED
They may be topped out and let with nowhere to go from a promotional perspective.

8. THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW
When people have never been exposed to anything else, they don’t know what else is possible.

Keep these things in mind the next time you offer training, or feel that your employees should ask you if they want it. A better approach may be discussing this with your employees individually.

Check out LUDECA training offering for alignment, geometric measurements, vibration analysis, balancing and ultrasound.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

Guest Post by Ricky Smith, CRL, CMRP, CMRT

Pipe stress is caused by misalignment of the mating surfaces of two pipe flanges creating abnormal internal stress of pump bearings, seals, motor bearings, couplings, and can possibly change the displacement of a pump.

General Rules which must be followed by maintenance personnel and contractors: (if you truly want to stop a long term pump problem)

  1. Pipe flanges attached to pumps must be aligned where the gap does not exceed the thickness of two gaskets or tolerance established by your company’s engineering standards.
  2. Pipe flange bolts must drop in without assistance.
  3. Cable pullers, come-a-longs, or long bars should not be used when aligning a flange which is connected to a pump.
  4. Validate the elimination of pipe stress by following the guidelines listed below.

Failure Modes experienced from Pipe Stress on Bearings:

  • Wear caused by seals leaking
  • Wear caused by static vibration
  • Indentations caused by overloading while static
  • Corrosion caused by inadequate lubrication caused by abnormal loading (seal leaking)
  • Flaking caused by misalignment and excessive loading

WARNING: Ensure your contractors follow the same process to eliminate pipe stress. Pipe stress elimination should be validated during commissioning of new pump.

Follow this process if you want to inspect your pumps which may have pipe stress:

  1. Align the two shafts between your pump and driver (typically an electric motor) to tolerance recommended by the equipment vendor or your company’s engineering standards.
  2. Validate misalignment to insure motor and pumps shafts are aligned to specification.
  3. Disconnect the outlet flange on the pump.
  4. Revalidate laser alignment of shafts.
  5. If alignment has moved then you have pipe stress. Do the same for the inlet flange.
  6. Make corrections as stated in the following procedures to eliminate pipe stress.

Elimination of Pipe Stress – “The Ricky Smith Method for Pipe Stress” as learned from Dan Turner (his maintenance and engineering manager at Exxon during his career in the 1970s)

  1. Bolt flanges to pump and insert blind flange gasket along with two regular flanges between pump and mating flanges (cover the hole between welding area and inside the pump).
  2. Attached welding ground to flange. (do not attach ground lead to pump; welding group must always be attached to flange) WARNING: Failure to accomplish this one task properly will cause bearing failure by “electric arcing” which is a failure mode of bearings.
  3. Tack weld flange into place reverse welding each tack.
  4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Reverse stitch weld on opposite sides on the flange similarly used for cast iron welding.
  6. After initial reverse stitch weld then weld normally using electrode recommended by the American Welding Society (typically E-6010 5P or GTAW)
  7. After root pass; weld in any direction you wish.
  8. Allow to cool and then disconnect flange, replace gaskets and;
    Validate bolts will drop into holes without pry bar.
    Validate gap between flanges is no more than two gaskets thick.

Learn more about the effects of running equipment with pipe stress, watch LUDECA Shaft Alignment Know-How Pipe Stress video.

by Yolanda Lopez

Guest Post by Bob Dunn from I&E Central, Inc.

I had the opportunity use the Easy-Laser XT440 to assist a customer aligning a machine that had perpetually given them problems, with bearings always running hot. They had recently aligned the machine with dial indicators, but when we checked, it was off by .007, and this on a 3600 RPM motor. We removed their old shims and did a soft foot check indicating .032 under one of the feet. Further inspection showed an angular gap under one foot. It turns out that when new, someone had ground down the feet on the motor to better align to the pump – obviously not a precision job. We step-shimmed to fill the angular gap, then aligned the machine in a single move. Several of the techniques we used were unfamiliar to these mechanics.

Takeaways:

  1. Do your pre-alignment homework to detect and correct foundation issues.
  2. Be sure mechanics are really trained in alignment – not just how to push the buttons. By the way, Ludeca Inc. and I&E Central provide excellent training.
  3. The Easy-Laser XT-Series is a fast, accurate, and incredibly easy-to-use tool for coupling alignment and more. If you use something else, you should see what you are missing!

 

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

As Published by Solutions Magazine March/April 2018 issue

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL and Shon Isenhour, CMRP CAMA CCMP, Founding Partner at Eruditio LLC

During the many root cause analysis (RCA) investigations we facilitate and coach, we notice some themes that continue to manifest themselves in the findings. Often, they are grouped under the heading of precision maintenance or lack thereof. Let’s take a look at some of them and determine if they are also killing your reliability.

The six killers are grouped into three areas: Lubrication, Misalignment and Undiagnosed Wear.

Click here to read the full article.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

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