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Is Your Machine Suffering from Alignment?

HOW CAN WE DEFINE ALIGNMENT AND MISALIGNMENT?

Alignment and misalignment are defined by visualizing the shaft centerlines of rotation of two connected machineries as two straight lines in space. Alignment aims to get them to coincide, as close as possible, so as to form one straight line. If they do not, then there exists offset misalignment, angular misalignment, or a combination of the two.

The problem for most facilities is that alignment of machinery is a task that requires a great deal of time and resources. Furthermore, it also requires a lot of consideration and care. The fact is that alignment is extremely important for high speed or any large machinery in particular. Leaving a machine misaligned can cause it to have unnecessary vibration along with bearing wear & tear. We’ll focus our attention here on alignment for machineries and rotating equipment as well as the consequences of misalignment when it comes to machinery safety and reliability.

The ultimate goal of alignment is to increase the overall life and reliability of rotating machinery. This in turn allows the machine to become more productive and efficient. This can be done through the use of advanced technology and equipment. SkyTek specializes in alignment services and we are number 01 in Sri Lanka for Laser Alignment. What product do we use to perform this service? We use the E710 by Easy Laser for the majority of our alignment services.

A very efficient way to perform alignment is through the use of laser measurement systems. Laser measurement systems are extremely famous and effective; however, they are quite costly. The benefit of this system is that it is generally much faster and simpler. Many laser systems can perform some or all of the calculations required to obtain the horizontal and vertical movements (or X-Y movements).

IMPORTANCE OF SOFT FOOT WHEN IT COMES TO ALIGNMENT

You probably read our blog which goes into detail about soft foot, if you have not, we strongly advise you do so. Soft foot is the condition when all four of machinery’s feet do not support the weight of the machinery. Before starting the alignment procedure, any soft foot must be detected and corrected. Dial indicator readings taken as part of the alignment procedure can be different each time the hold-down nuts are tightened, loosened, or retightened. This can be extremely frustrating because each attempted correction can cause a soft-foot condition in another location. If the nuts securing the feet to the base loosen, machinery looseness or misalignment can result. Either of these conditions can cause high vibration and damages. Therefore, correction of soft foot must be the first priority.

MISALIGNMENT AND LIMITS

The limit of misalignment is that it is quite difficult to detect while machineries are running. In most situations, engineers may resort to the vibration signature to access the misalignment. Overtime, assessing a misalignment becomes more easy since it starts to be visible to the naked eye. I.E, the bearing starts emitting high temperatures, starts getting damaged, loose and lubricant starts leaking in excessive amounts.

IMPORTANCE OF PERIODIC ALIGNMENT CHECKS

Periodic alignment checks on all coupled machinery are considered one of the best tools in a maintenance program. Such checks are important because the vibration and reliability effects of misalignment can seriously damage a piece of machinery. As a rough indication, misalignment of more than 40 microns can cause vibration and will significantly reduce equipment life.

Indications of misalignment in rotating machinery are shaft wobbling, excessive vibration (in radial and axial directions), excessive bearing temperature (even if adequate lubrication is present), noise, bearing wear, and coupling wear. Misalignment can be detrimental in particular to rolling-element bearings. The misalignment can introduce considerable changes into the contact load and the pressure between rolling elements and raceways of such bearings, and thus it can greatly reduce rolling-element bearing life.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOUR MACHINE IS HAVING ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS?

If the symptoms of misalignment sound familiar to you, we strongly advise you to contact us on 0766906699 or 0766906700. Our expertise and specialization will garauntee that your machine will be aligned in the shortest time possible.

Contact us now! We are waiting to help you!