Five Minute Facts  

Recognizing 5 Common Types of Misalignment

Mike Olszewski | President, Reliability Concepts

Recognizing 5 Common Types of Misalignment

There are five main types of misalignment that can plague belts and sheaves on your equipment.

Parallel Misalignment

This occurs when one of the sheaves is not on a parallel plane – also known as “offset” – with the other sheave.

Vertical Angle Misalignment

Misalignment formed when the slope of one sheave is different than the slope of the other on the vertical plane.

Horizontal Angle Misalignment

This form of misalignment occurs as the sheave slope differs from the other on the horizontal plane.

Vertical Angular and Offset Misalignment

A compound misalignment, this takes place when the sheave is both offset and sloped differently on the vertical plane in comparison to the other sheave.

Horizontal Angular and Offset Misalignment

This form of compound misalignment develops when the sheave is both offset and sloped differently on the horizontal plane than the other sheave.


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Joseph Safary
Joseph Safary
3 years ago

Good workout

About the Author

Mike Olszewski President, Reliability Concepts

During my many years as a vibration analyst and reliability expert & have witnessed belt driven machines that are “Bad Actors” which are unreliable and have chronic failures.  Misalignment issues like this case are why the B.A.T. Belt Alignment Tool® was invented. 

This blower has a base mounted the motor on the fan pedestal and it was a chronic “Bad Actor” which frequently tore up belts & showed high vibration readings indicating that there were belt problems. When the alignment was checked with a single laser belt alignment tool it did not show a misalignment condition. However, the blower still mysteriously destroyed belts & other system components. Over 8 years it destroyed 28 sets of Belts (84 Belts), 3 Sets of Bearings & 2 Drive Shafts. When the alignment was finally checked with a B.A.T. Belt Alignment Tool® it showed the “TRUE” severe misalignment. It was so far out of alignment that it required .200” shims on the outboard motor feet for the correction. After shims were installed, Vibration was reduced to acceptable levels, efficiency and reliability were restored. The B.A.T. Belt Alignment Tool® showed the true misalignment and made the correction moves obvious, fast and easy the first time.