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What is Soft Foot and Why is it so Important?

Soft foot occurs when one or more "feet: or rotating machinery are not making good contact. This in most cases is not identifiable to the human eye, hence we need to use highly advanced equipment in order to determine the slightest soft foot. Overtime, even the slightest soft foot can cause a twist in the machine and this can lead to asset failure.

Why should we be bothered by this? We should be bothered by this because two-thirds of all machinery have a soft foot problem which overtime leads to asset failure. But the problem is, companies rarely, if not, ever check for it. Here at SkyTek, we actively promote and try our best to educate the market about the massive importance of checking soft foot.

In layman's terms, soft foot can be compared to a chair with one foot shorter than the other three. I.E, the foot of the machine is not touching the base, causing a misalignment or machine distortion 

What are the problems a machine faces when soft foot goes undiagnosed?

  • Shift of the center line of rotation – This causes the machine to become damaged from the inside out. The biggest issue with this problem is that it is not visible to the human high until a great amount of damage has been done to the machine.
  • Warping – The machine can inevitably warp/twist if the soft goes undiagnosed.
  • Vibration – Residual vibration will undoubtedly loosen the bolts overtime, this is dangerous to machine health.
  • Fretting Corrosion – The possibility of the damage being caused to the machine due to repetitive impact caused by the vibration of loose feet.

As you can see, the above shows the importance of checking soft foot. Over a long period of time, refusal to check soft foot can cause the machine to go into critical condition. In addition, studies have shown that only about 40% of maintenance engineers actually check for soft foot. If you are a maintenance engineer, it is your duty to check for soft foot. SkyTek also regularly performs soft foot checks, therefore do not hesitate to contact us on 0766906699 / 0766906700 to get the service performed. We urge you to do so because this is extremely important when it comes to machine health sustainability.