SPONSORED: Precision Alignment — Why do it?
EP Editorial Staff | March 24, 2020
By Alan Luedeking, CMRP, CRL – LUDECA, Inc.
Why follow precision maintenance procedures?
If greater reliability and uptime are of any concern to you, then precision alignment is a key component in achieving it as many machine failures and defects can be eliminated up front by correctly installing and aligning shaft and belt-driven equipment.
This means having clear and simple, yet meaningful, procedures in place for the different tasks involved. LUDECA’s 5-Step Procedures for Shaft Alignment and for Sheave/Pulley Alignment will help guide your facility and maintenance staff to achieving precision maintenance.
Why is precision alignment so important? The reasons are clear:
The alignment procedures lay out the basic steps required to align machines safely, reducing risk of injury and increasing likelihood of a quality outcome. Checklists simplify the workflow and serve to remind employees of the processes required to consistently and safely perform the precision maintenance task.
Well-aligned machines run more reliably, with a greatly reduced probability of failure. This allows for better maintenance planning, greatly reduced repair and maintenance expenses, increased uptime and more profits.
A good alignment procedure ensure that machines are aligned to the proper tolerances for the running condition of the machines, taking into account such things as thermal growth and anticipated positional changes. This ensures that the greatest efficiency is achieved in your running machinery, prolonging their health and reducing power consumption. Studies have shown that well-aligned machines result in a 3% to 10% reduction in power consumption. Noise and heat generation is reduced, producing a safer work environment.
4. Production Quality
Good alignment result in better product quality since vibration is minimized, resulting in a more uniform and higher product quality. Unexpected breakdowns in production machinery may lead to costly waste from scrappage and high restart costs for the production line.
5. Training & Procedural Consistency
Once implemented, a procedure ensures all employees involved in the activity face clear and consistent expectations and processes, leading to a better understanding between all staff in the facility. Training expense can be reduced since often only refresher training is required to update understanding of the technology utilized as updates are rolled out. Records should be kept that document employee training.
Other Things to Consider:
The next step in precision maintenance and reliability is the Implementation of formal specifications that detail every step in a task from safety to activity process to documentation, to ensure that anyone involved can follow the procedures and guidelines without confusion, and reach the desired outcome for all machinery types in the plant. Such specifications typically take from two to three months to develop and a further two to three months to roll out and fully implement. LUDECA has written a number of these specifications for customers worldwide. Let us help you as well. For more information, contact me at 305-591-8935 or email Alan.Luedeking@ludeca.com.