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Old 11-06-2003, 07:44 PM
engatwork's Avatar
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Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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Tools of the trade - shaft alignment

I have been attending a seminar on a piece of equipment that we use a lot around the plant called a Rotalign PRO. It is a $22k laser alignment system. Really neat little item. I have attached a link.

http://www.laseralignment.net/pages/2/index.htm

If any of ya'll ever get to wondering why bearings fail you will find there are many causes. Over/under lubrication and water or trash getting into the unit are just a couple of the items that can cause bearing issues. In addition to these items shaft misalignment can also cause premature failure. My mechanics use equipment such as what is shown at the link to insure that the equipment is properly aligned. I was very impressed with this laser alignment tool which is to me, a very high tech, fine piece of equipment. Take a look at the sensor, it is as complex as all get out and to think that it spends a lot of time in a very "electronic" hostile environment. Too bad MB can't build electronics like this. Anyway, when doing alignments the higher the rpm the more critical the alignment.

Now to go into it a little deeper, once a piece of rotating equipment is started up and placed into service the predictive maintenance crew takes vibration readings and can then determine if the alignment is within spec and/or if the unit has been balanced properly. In addition, they can provide me with months notice of a bearing starting to fail. Unplanned equipment failures are few and far between thank goodness but the days that that baby is "in the shop" for it's scheduled service are a *****. I guess that is why I enjoy it so much.
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Old 11-06-2003, 11:47 PM
sfloriII's Avatar
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Location: Northern VA
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Re: Tools of the trade - shaft alignment

Quote:
Originally posted by engatwork
http://www.laseralignment.net/pages/2/index.htm

....shaft misalignment can also cause premature failure. My mechanics use equipment such as what is shown at the link to insure that the equipment is properly aligned. I was very impressed with this laser alignment tool which is to me, a very high tech, fine piece of equipment.
Neat link, Jim!

Hey, maybe you should post this over on Dan's "erectile disfunction" thread to help his friend out...
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:19 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Posts: 221
Gotta love the cool toys. I understand that now the ultra sonic vibration analysis tools can also be used to help keep your wrench spinners from over lubing critical bearings...or so the vendor claims, I'm happy if my monkeys even know where to find the grease guns, let alone whether the right amount is getting in.

I need to find a shaft alignment laser too, but mines not a rotary application, I have to line up 20 or so shaft shoulders over a 20 feet to a couple of thou', or pay a guy $7000 a year to come up and do it for me.
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:17 AM
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Friend of mine invented a method for measuring torque using magnets. Pretty darn cool.
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:33 PM
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We have our CNC milling machines calibrated with a laser system. Used to cost like $5k to have it done several years ago, but now it's only $500 a machine. Gotta love advances in technology
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