The Silent Killer of Rotating Machinery – Softfoot with Daus Studenberg
It is my pleasure to welcome Daus Studenberg to the podcast, the product manager, a national product manager of the alignment with Lu DACA.
In this episode we covered:
- How many ways can we?
- What is soft foot?
- If we’re going to perform a proper installation, we got to consider soft foot. Is that before or after we do an alignment?
How many ways can we?
It can go from installation to operations, to how it’s used, the duration, many ways that that can happen with that. What I’d like to focus on is an underappreciated one. We focus on misalignment. I am a firm believer that 50% machinery has been failed due to misalignment. I often see in specifications, misalignment, the coupling and so on, but soft foot is what I think is the silent killer of our machines.
What is soft foot?
Soft foot basically is a machine frame distortion. It’s when you install a piece of machinery and you bolt it down onto a base, a foundation, whatever happens to be it’s the unintentional twisting of it.
If we’re going to perform a proper installation, we got to consider soft foot. Is that before or after we do an alignment?
You need check out lock and tag outs, safety, clean the base, and inspect your foundation. You then need to do a rough, soft foot rough alignment, because you don’t want to start out 200 thousand out and try to force the shafts into it. Throw a coaster, sugar packet, napkin, etc. Then you do an initial alignment within 10 or 15 thousands that gets rid of the coupling streak. And then you do a final soft foot. After that, you do your final alignment to go with that.
Do we need have to have a nice flat machine base to begin with?
The first thing is realignment check. You’re going to check to see if there’s any cracks or voids in the foundation. You need to have a very solid foundation. If it isn’t flat and completely machined well, you’re going to have an easier alignment. Then fill in the obvious gaps with your shims. If they’re all, even with that, then you can go move on/
What is pipe strain?
What I give in my training classes on alignment is identifying what comes first, aligning the pipes to the machine or the machine to the pipes. Pipe stresses a as is something that needs to be addressed. If you try to unbolt a pump to try to move it, you’re going to be fighting a pipe at the same time.
What is bolt binding?
It is basically when you’re trying to move a motor or any type of machine if it’s specifically in the horizontal direction, and you cannot get enough movement to go to it that you are bound onto the bolt. You’re hitting right up against the bolt. The way you get out of that ideally is that you can make an optimized move where you can possibly move the stationary, the least amount possible to do that. You should not have bolt bound in a new installation.
You mentioned crinkled shrimps, should we be using new shrimps every time?
Yes, absolutely. They’re not that expensive considering what could be the overtime involved in the installation and the hassle. No more than three to five, per foot. You don’t want to be throwing in your own soft foot essentially, as you start adding in shrimps.
How does that factor into all of this that we’re doing here?
If we have a condition where we must worry about thermal growth, the process is still the same. We’re still addressing soft foot early on. We’re still doing the rough alignment. We’re just offsetting the final alignment by whatever that specification is.
What’s the one thing you want our listeners to take away from the silent killer of rotating equipment?
Follow the procedures we have talked about.
Daus Studenberg Links:
- Daus Studenberg Linkedin
- 5 Step Alignment Procedure
- Ludeca Knowledge Center
- Past Episodes on Thermal Growth
- Past Episodes on Alignment
- Book: Tool & Manufacturing Engineering Handbook
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