Condition Monitoring Expert Tip #10 by Mobius Institute
No, sadly, that is not right. Unless the person has been properly trained, and unless the company has specified precision alignment tolerances, and unless the training is followed and the tolerances are achieved, then you are not performing precision alignment.
We see this as a very common problem. Laser alignment systems can achieve terrific results. And a precision aligned machine is far more reliable than a machine that has been “roughly” aligned with an alignment system, and far superior to a machine aligned with a straight edge. But if your maintenance technicians do not appreciate why that last shim should be installed, and why the motor must be moved such a small amount to the left or right, then those corrections will not be made – and yes, it does matter.
Research by Tedric A. Harris, in the book “Rolling Element Bearing Analysis” (John Wiley & Sons) showed that just 5 minutes (5/60 of a degree) of angular misalignment can reduce the life of a bearing by half. Yes, precision matters!

by Yolanda Lopez

Doing correct machine alignment avoids costly breakdowns and unexpected downtime
Doing correct machine alignment avoids costly breakdowns and unexpected downtime

Reposted from EASY-LASER® blog

    Laser alignment can be done ten times faster and much more accurately compared than with dial gauges or straight edge methods (depending on the user’s skill). A dial setup will not measure down to 0.001 mm – but a laser can!
    A laser alignment system is quick to set up, easy to use and much more reliable than old technology. The latter often requires extensive experience and sometimes complicated calculations to be used. For example, fixtures for dial gauges always sag a little, which affects the accuracy of the gauge’s displayed value. This does not occur with laser alignment.
    With a laser alignment system it is possible to generate PDF reports directly from the instrument. The computer handles targets and tolerances and makes it is easy to interpret the results. The possibility of documenting the results gives better control over the machines and greater assurance. Reports can be generated for “before” and “after” alignment.
    For soft foot issues, regardless of what is going on at the feet, you get a true representation of the movement between the rotating axes of the shafts you are aligning. Dial readings only tell you what’s happening at the feet—not a true representation of soft foot!
    The speed of use and the precision in alignment mean that investing in a laser-based shaft alignment system usually pays for itself within 3-6 months.
    Laser alignment systems make the process of measurement and correction much more disciplined and repeatable. Straightedges and dial gauges are not sufficiently accurate for today’s modern machines. Using laser alignment always gives the same results regardless of who takes the measurements.
    You don’t have to be a specialist to get the correct result. With a wireless display unit, you can follow the machine movement with live values at the points where you adjust the machine, not just where the dial gauges are mounted.image2
    With the best laser alignment systems you can expand the types of alignments and measurements you can do. You will then be able to take care of all important steps of machine setup, for example base flatness and twist, and also measure straightness.
    With laser alignment it is possible to measure even with a small shaft rotation, for example only 70 degrees. This solves the problem when piping and machine parts are in the way preventing a greater rotation.
    Laser alignment allows precise measurements that reduce your energy consumption in the long term. Poorly aligned machines require more energy to achieve the same results than well-aligned ones. Reduced energy consumption is not only good for your electricity bill, but of course also for the environment.
    Old technology may have too low a resolution to measure accurately enough and may be subject to reading errors or sticking dial hands. Laser alignment systems are based on high-resolution non-contact technology and are free from such errors.
    With laser alignment you eliminate errors associated with old technologies such as bar sag, substandard dial bar and mistakes when installing up the indicator clamps.


by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

As Published by BIC Magazine December 2013 issue
“LUDECA’s staff is always cheerful,  friendly, professional and extremely knowledgeable. Without a doubt, LUDECA provides the greatest service and products.” — A training professional at a fertilizer company
For those companies considering laser alignment, LUDECA Inc. is offering the “why” and “who” to help you make an informed decision.
Why laser alignment? There are three main benefits of precision alignment:

  • Reduced energy consumption: Significant power savings can be made through accurate alignment. Precise alignment eliminates reaction forces and reduces energy consumption by 10 percent.
  • Reduced incidence of repairs: Mechanical seal repairs decline by up to 65 percent when precision alignment is carried out on a regular basis.
  • Longer machine life: The smaller the offset misalignment, the greater the expected bearing life cycle.

Why LUDECA? There are three main benefits of “The LUDECA difference”:

  • Industry leading systems and services: LUDECA is a leading supplier of laser shaft and geometric alignment systems, laser sheave alignment tools, and vibration and condition monitoring systems to industry.
  • Expert on-site and off-site training: Identifying and correcting high vibration, misalignment and unbalance, and what causes a bearing to fail prematurely is valuable knowledge for your employees, saving you money in the long run.
  • Free product and application support: LUDECA offers the highest quality system at the most affordable price — and with no additional support agreements — when compared to others.

“After attending a training course at LUDECA and witnessing the passion they have for their products and services, it was very clear to me they were leaders in their industry,” said a training professional at a fertilizer company. “I began to use their products in the 1990s with great success.
“I rely on LUDECA to provide the most accurate instruments and great technical support. I have called on them on weekends, nights and holidays and have received the finest responses. Other companies have to think about the request and get back to you with an answer. LUDECA always has an immediate answer when a request is made.”
With LUDECA, the training professional feels like he is getting more than he pays for.
“LUDECA’s pricing is very competitive, and I know their products perform with excellent precision,” he said. “At one of our sites, a laser alignment system was purchased from another company and it stayed in the closet most of the time as it would not function, giving the mechanics headaches. With LUDECA, I know I am receiving the best.”
“Our customers are our No. 1 priority, and they understand we will take care of them,” said Frank Seidenthal, president, LUDECA. “We want to make an emotional connection with our clients. It isn’t just the product purchase. We are here for anything they need after the purchase.”

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

1. Reduced Energy Consumption
Significant power savings can be made through accurate alignment. Precise alignment eliminates reaction forces and reduces energy consumption by up to 10%.

Reduced Energy Consumption
Courtesy of ©ICI PLC

2. Reduced Incidence of Repairs
Mechanical seal repairs decline by up to 65% when precision alignment is carried out on a regular basis.
The rate of repairs declines by up to 30% when precision laser alignment becomes an integral part of the pump repair schedule. Maintenance costs are also reduced through lower parts expense and inventory levels.
Reduced Repairs
Courtesy of ©HOECHST AG Gendorf/Germany

3. Longer Machine Life
Relation between offset and bearing life cycle: The smaller the offset misalignment,  the greater the expected bearing life cycle.
Longer Machine Life
Courtesy of ©The University of Tennessee

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

Every asset-intensive organization understands that the greater the uptime of machines, the more efficient and cost effective operations will be. Keeping your assets in optimal working order is easier and more cost efficient when advanced technology such as laser shaft alignment is used to increase machine reliability.
The Machine Maintenance Goal
One of the goals of every production oriented operation is to keep their machines operating at the lowest cost yet highest productivity levels. In order to do so, proper maintenance must be performed on machines. The level of maintenance care of machines can be broken down into four major categories:

  1. Purely reactive or run to failure
  2. Basic preventive maintenance and inspections
  3. Combination of predictive maintenance methodologies and preventive maintenance
  4. Organizations making use of preventive and predictive maintenance as well as advanced technologies such as laser shaft alignment, vibration analysis, infrared thermography etc.

At the heart of most good maintenance operations is a CMMS system that records and tracks all asset detail and maintenance work information. The premise of a CMMS is that the more asset and historical work information you have, the more efficient and effective your maintenance planning will be.
Why Shaft Alignment Technology is Necessary
A natural extension to using a CMMS is the use of advanced shaft alignment technology because it adds valuable information regarding the condition of the machines that might otherwise go undetected until machine failure occurs.
Typical signs of misalignment include:

  • Abnormally hot components, smell of burning insulation
  • Bearing issues or grinding noises
  • Higher energy usage
  • Load imbalances
  • Rotor bar problems
  • Excessive vibration

One proven method for machinery alignment is laser shaft alignment. With up to 50% of damage to rotating machinery directly related to misalignment, correcting this problem in machines is critical to production as well as operating budgets. But these are not the only reasons:
Top 7 Reasons to use Laser Shaft Alignment
Laser shaft alignment can lower your operating costs through:

  1. Early identification of problems enabling machine maintenance to be proactive.
  2. Reduced maintenance cost as a result of sharp reductions in bearing, seal, shaft and coupling failures.
  3. Reduced vibration lengthening the useful lifecycle of the machine as well as increasing quality of output.
  4. Less unplanned downtime so production can be optimized.
  5. Fewer emergency repairs lowering labor costs.
  6. Error-free and accurate measurements to 0.0001″.
  7. Reduced energy consumption. Poorly aligned machines require more energy to achieve the same results as a well aligned asset.

Who Can Benefit from Laser Shaft Alignment
Laser shaft alignment can be used in any industry ranging from manufacturing to the wind power industry that depends on machinery to function. Machinery alignment is a cost effective solution whenever critical functions are at risk. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Processing and centrifugal pumps used by the petrochemical industry
  • Boiler feed pumps found in every power plant and also in general industry
  • Vertical turbine pumps found at water treatment plants
  • Refrigeration compressors used for food processing and cold storage

Why laser shaft alignmentProtecting your machines through precision shaft alignment is not an option, it is a must in today’s competitive environment. Old dial indicator technology may have too low a resolution to measure accurately enough, and are subject to reading errors and hysteresis or sticking dial hands. On the other hand, laser shaft alignment is error free with reports generated directly from the instrument in conformity with ISO 9001 requirements.
“7 Reasons Why Machines Need Laser Shaft Alignment” was written for us by Stuart Smith, MBA, MS. He is an avid writer about CMMS and EAM software solutions for Mintek Mobile Data Solutions. Stuart has over 25 years experience running operations in multiple industries.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL