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LUDECA is proud to announce the new Easy-Laser® XT660 laser shaft alignment system for the United States market. The XT660 is the next evolution in the award-winning Generation XT platform. It builds on the ground-breaking cross-platform technology that was launched last year with the XT440 SHAFT system. You can use your own iOS/Android phone or tablet as a display unit, or purchase the watertight, shockproof rugged XT11 display unit. Or why not do both? The choice is yours! The Easy-Laser® XT Alignment App is free to download, both now and in the future, making it easy to update your tool to the latest features at any time.

The XT660 now offers dot laser measurement technology. You can perform measurements on larger machines and over longer distances. Advanced measurement capabilities, such as continuous sweep and multi-point are now available. The rugged measuring units with integrated Bluetooth® wireless have very long operating times; up to 24 hours!
Easy-Laser® XT660 paves the way for new features with the Generation XT platform. You can export custom PDF alignment reports to a USB flash drive or via Wi-Fi directly to email for documentation of the alignment work. These new features also apply to the XT440 SHAFT alignment system.

LUDECA is also proud to announce the new Easy-Laser® XT190 BTA digital laser tool for belt drive alignment. It can be used “stand-alone” with its built-in display, as add-on to the XT660 SHAFT system or you can download the free Easy-Laser® XT Alignment App for your phone or tablet. Digital readings allow greater precision and make it easier to meet the alignment tolerances. You can follow the adjustment of the machine in real time with an interactive 3D view displayed in the App, making it easy to track live horizontal and vertical positional adjustments on the machine.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

A customer with a need to monitor machinery remotely and limited to a small budget invested in the VIBCONNECT RF system to keep their machines running. During a routine check of the data, it was noticed that a certain machine was in alarm. The OMNITREND software easily identified the machine that was in alarm by the red indicator (see Fig. 1).

Figure 1
Figure 1

The customer contacted LUDECA to assist in analyzing the issue. The frequency did not match any of the components given for this machine. The waveform data showed extremely high levels of vibration and indicated that something was seriously wrong with this machine (see Fig. 2).
Figure 2
Figure 2

It was suggested that the machine be visually inspected for any abnormalities, including a strobe for the visual inspection. The strobe was locked into the known frequences that were showing in alarm. The customer was able to identify that a broken belt was the cause of the high vibration levels (see Fig. 3).
Figure 3
Figure 3

New belts were installed and the pulleys properly aligned using the DotLine Laser pulley alignment tool to prevent future belt failures due to misaligned pulleys.

by Mickey Harp CRL

How important is belt alignment?
Misalignment can occur between the driver and driven components no matter what mechanism is used to couple them together. This includes belt driven equipment as well.  Unfortunately,  proper alignment of belt driven equipment is frequently considered non-critical and often forgotten about by maintenance departments.  Belt misalignment is one of the main causes of reduced belt life and other equipment reliability issues that result.
Sheave misalignment and many other belt defect conditions can be detected with proper vibration analysis techniques.  Characteristics such as 1×, 2× and other multiples of belt frequency will be evident to the vibration analyst depending upon the specific type of belt defect present.  For example, sheave misalignment usually results in high axial vibration at shaft turning speed in both the driver and driven equipment.
How do you prevent belt misalignment and the unwanted reliability issues that result?  The best method is to use a laser alignment system designed specifically for this type of application.  This technique will provide a very accurate, inexpensive and labor reducing method to ensure the belt driven equipment in your facility is properly aligned.  Maintenance employees can be trained very easily and quickly to incorporate proper belt alignment techniques into their everyday maintenance activities.  The return on investment is very quick with this type of laser alignment system.
How does a laser alignment system designed specifically for belt applications work?  Systems such as the DotLine Laser and SheaveMaster use a special line laser and targets to help you achieve correct belt alignment.  Targets are placed on one sheave and the laser tool is placed on the opposite sheave.  The laser is projected onto the targets.  This permits a quick determination and correction of unwanted angular, offset and twist misalignment conditions that may exist between the sheaves.  One employee can easily and quickly determine and correct belt alignment conditions using this type of process.
Belt related defects can have a great impact on your equipment reliability.  Don’t ignore best practice belt alignment techniques and induce unwanted reliability conditions in you equipment as a result.

by Trent Phillips

When performing a multiple belt – sheave alignment,  it is imperative that all the belts and belt grooves are inspected individually for wear. If any of the belts are slipping,  then all belts must be replaced at the same time. To achieve an accurate alignment between the pulleys one can use a machinist’s straightedge, or place a tightly drawn piece of string, across the faces of the sheaves to see if all four points of contact are made or you can utilize a Laser Pulley Alignment tool. Regardless of which system is used to perform the alignment, it is a good practice to monitor any changes in angularity and/or offset in the sheaves as the hold down bolts of the machine to be moved are being tightened during the belt tensioning procedure, since this will allow the alignment to be maintained true.

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

Our training partners at Pioneer Engineering have created a few tips your organization can implement  aimed at cutting costs without sacrificing quality and productivity.
Tip #1: Establish a Reliability Centered Maintenance Program

  • A well established Reliability Centered Maintenance Program helps identify correct maintenance tasks to increase the reliability of the assets and cut costs by eliminating unnecessary PM tasks.
  • Reliability Centered Maintenance Programs assist in clarifying maintenance responsibility and prevent costly unplanned downtime.

Tip #2: Perform a Criticality Assessment of all Assets

  • Criticality Assessments will determine which components are critical to an operations efficiency and should receive the focus.
  • Criticality Assessments quantify safety, environmental, operation, and repair cost consequences in the event of a functional failure.
  • Perform Criticality Assessments on your spares inventory. Do you have the correct spares and quantity of spares in stock? Do you have unnecessary spares in stock that take up warehouse space and tie up capital that could be used elsewhere?

Tip #3: Avoid Costly Repairs by Analyzing Vibration Data on a Consistent Basis

  • Consistent analysis allows the ability to monitor trends and detect problems before catastrophic failure occurs.
  • Consistent analysis and trending allows flexibility in scheduling maintenance and reduced maintenance costs by preventing unscheduled downtime.

Tip #4: Avoid Fixing Repeat Offenders by Completion of Root Cause Failure Analysis

  • Root Cause Failure Analysis will determine the underlying problem causing the failure to determine the best course of action
  • Many failures are caused by operational issues instead of equipment or maintenance issues. A minor process adjustment may increase reliability and reduce costs.

Tip #5: Ask Questions

  • Vibration analysis and other PdM technologies can help identify a potential issue but sometimes can be difficult to understand. Do not be afraid to seek expert guidance when potential issues are identified.

Need help improving and/or establishing a maintenance program in your company? Don’t hesitate to ask us how.  We are here to help.
Thanks to the entire PIONEER ENGINEERING team for allowing us to share this article with you.

by Yolanda Lopez

Maintenance departments periodically schedule maintenance checks on their belt- or chain-driven equipment in order to confirm that a good alignment exists between the pulleys or sprockets, especially if evidence of premature wear on the belts or sprocket teeth is detected.
For this task a Dotline Laser, Sheavemaster or Sheavemaster Greenline laser pulley alignment tool is ideal. It indicates misalignment in all three degrees of freedom (axial offset, horizontal angularity and twist angle) instantly.
Always mount your laser pulley alignment tool on the smaller pulley and the targets on the larger one, for maximum resolution. Ensure that the mounting surfaces (pulley faces) are free of dirt or rust, and don’t forget to verify the proper tension of the belts (or chains) after the alignment.
Watch laser pulley alignment demo video.

by Mario Rostran CRL

Laser alignment is an essential component of a proactive maintenance strategy for belt-driven machines. This practical guide provides guidelines and information for the implementation of good pulley alignment of belt-driven equipment, including terminology, proper alignment methods, soft foot, and best maintenance practices.
Download your copy now!

by Ana Maria Delgado, CRL

July 2010 · Maintenance Technology Magazine
Belt Pulley Alignment with Green Laser
Properly maintained V-belt drives can be up to 97% efficient. Poorly operating belt drives can waste as much as 10% additional input power. Let’s consider a scenario that ignores motor losses and only considers losses in the belt drive. With electricity costs of seven cents per kWh, a rotor operating three shifts per day, five days per week and requiring 50 horsepower from a belt drive would consume over $16, 000 of power annually. An additional drop in efficiency of only 5% would result in increased costs of over $800 per year. In some industries, such belt drives may comprise more than 50% of the total drive population. This example clearly shows that big savings can be realized by properly maintaining them.
Read entire article: Maintaining Belt Drives For Maximum Savings

by Bill Hillman CMRP