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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

There are many tools considered “accurate”. Dial test indicator can measure to the ten-thousandths and gauge blocks can be certified for even tighter tolerances. Even CNC machines can reach ten-thousandth’s accuracy given the right conditions. However, they are tools and they can’t perform to their maximum potential if not used properly or in the right application.
Laser shaft alignment tools follow the same rules. The sensors by themselves have varying degrees of accuracy but how the sensors are used and what application they are used for can vary this accuracy quite a bit. When searching for a “laser alignment system”, don’t be quick to commoditize the term and think all systems are the same just because it uses a “laser”. The most capable systems will work for their intended primary application— general shaft alignment. Should a specialized application arrive, such as an uncoupled spacer shaft with limited rotation, a system that has more functionality will be able to immediately handle the job over a basic system.
LUDECA can assist you in your decision. We provide a network of local solutions providers who are your highly experienced advisors for navigating all of the choices that a quick internet search can provide. They will make sure you know you are getting the right tool for your needs whatever your budget. We also have a team of engineers that will guide you in your applications. All this is provided for free! This is something to consider when purchasing on price alone. We will be there when you need us the most.
So let’s go back to the dial indicators, gauge blocks and the CNC machine – they are not accurate in use without a trained operator. The same principle applies to laser shaft alignment. Most of our laser shaft alignment systems currently have 1-day free training on site at your facility by your local solutions provider. Our laser shaft alignment tool is designed to improve your reliability and thereby reduce downtime. Avoid costly mistakes and wasted time by ensuring your operators are well trained to use these tools to their maximum potential.

by Daus Studenberg CRL