When building or refurbishing a machine or process unit that incorporates rotating equipment, the importance of properly aligning the components that connect to the motor shaft is understood. But perhaps the many reasons for precision shaft alignment are not. Prüftechnik Alignment Systems (pruftechnik.com) states in a white paper called “Why Alignment” that “reliability starts with precision shaft alignment.” (Prüftechnik‘s U.S. partner is Ludeca, Inc.; ludeca.com).
Rotating machinery is susceptible to misalignment. The white paper states that “machines that are well aligned at the commissioning stage and thereafter regularly maintained will, in the long term, reduce both plant operating and maintenance costs.”
Prüftechnik Systems supplies precision laser-alignment systems. It notes that precision laser alignment extends machine availability as Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) increases. It also protects assets and increases product quality, as vibration is reduced to low levels.
Precision alignment guarantees:
• Reduced energy consumption
• Reduced bearing, seal, shaft and coupling failure
• Reduced bearing and coupling temperatures
• Reduced vibration
• No breaking (or cracking) of shafts
• Secure foundation bolts
Modern laser-alignment systems utilize newer digital technology than the older dial systems, and contain displays that are user-friendly and intuitive to use. They allow quick set-up with fully assembled, ready-to-use sag-free brackets. Further, simple, on-screen guidance helps users enter required machine data. The technology eliminates human reading errors providing error-free, accurate measurements with a resolution of 1 micron and enables quick, on-screen laser beam adjustment.
These systems also provide instant display of the coupling and feet values in both horizontal and vertical directions. The systems evaluate alignment condition according to coupling tolerances. Finally, ISO 9001-required forms are generated directly from the instrument.
In an era where experienced technicians are growing scarce, using technology to help technicians do a better job while saving or avoiding huge costs is essential.