Two Minute Tips  

Condition Monitoring Expert Tip #10

Paige Haddy | Manager, MI TEST

I use a laser alignment system, so I am performing precision alignment, right?

No, sadly, that is not right. Unless the person has been properly trained, the company has specified precision alignment tolerances, the training is followed and the tolerances are achieved, then you are not performing the precision alignment.

We see this as a very common problem. Laser alignment systems can achieve terrific results. And a precision aligned machine is far more reliable than a machine that has been “roughly” aligned with an alignment system, and far superior to a machine aligned with a straight edge. But if your maintenance technicians do not appreciate why that last shim should be installed, and why the motor must be moved such a small amount to the left or right, then those corrections will not be made – and yes, it does matter.

Research by Tedric A. Harris, in the book “Rolling Element Bearing Analysis” (John Wiley & Sons), showed that just 5 minutes (5/60 of a degree) of angular misalignment can reduce the life of a bearing by half. Yes, precision matters.

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Paige Haddy Manager, MI TEST