Before any alignment procedure, you should always check the condition and mounting of your coupling. Your laser alignment tools, align the center of rotation of your machine shafts, the laser will not tell you if your coupling is not installed or mounted adequately. The same rules apply for bent shafts. The above pictures, illustrates a common way of installing a dial indicator to check for these conditions.
WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT MACHINE MISALIGNMENT IN 2015
Rotating equipment operating under misaligned conditions seems, still to date, to be the most common factor, in the industrial maintenance manager’s nightmares. Or shall we say, thorn in their side. Again and again, vibration analysts come back with diagnosis of misalignment on rotating equipment. So one would wonder; how is that possible in 2015, when, highly sophisticated methods have been around for over twenty years? Still today, 200+ years after the industrial revolution, misalignment is still the most common cause to premature failure and unplanned stops. And it can so easily be avoided.
Why has the industry not eliminated the problems related to misalignment? The question presents itself with many answers; lack of training, not allowed enough time to do proper alignments, pre-alignment tasks such as soft foot check, thermal growth compensation, dynamic measurement, simple inadequate torqueing of bolts. All these could be reasons as to why, to date, misalignment is still an issue.
Do people really understand the needs and benefits of doing good alignments? Data shows the effects on power consumption, bearing life, and overall mill efficiency.
As mill managers, maintenance managers and business owners, we need to focus on all these points, thus the need and benefits of having a proactive maintenance strategy incorporating skill sets and tools for keeping machines in line and online as well as interactions with your teams, discussing the whys of their misalignment scenarios. Why is training an issue, why is soft foot not checked, why is thermal growth not compensated for?
The health of your equipment in your facility will go as far as having an impact on employment in your community. Can you afford to have misalignment?