The Importance of Proper Installation: Starting with Pulley & Sprocket Alignment with John Lambert
In this episode of the weekly podcast, the guest John lambert is talking about the condition based maintenance which means that you can take maintenance measures based upon the condition of your equipment. In simple words, you can maintain your equipment by analyzing the installation process, alignment of the equipment, and that sort of factors.
In this case, your machines tell you how to perform the routine checks and how to prevent any kind of failure in the first place. But this technique needs a reasonable budget to be implemented successfully. One scenario can’t be fit for all of your purposes so you have to have some alternatives for different kind of equipment problems. If the installation of the machine is done properly and the alignment of the machine belts is correct with the pulleys then the life of the equipment significantly improves which also results in increased productivity and a huge return on investment in your assets.
The belts, chains, and sprockets are important parts of a machine and the alignment of these components really affect the energy saving mechanisms. The offset and angular misalignments are very common mistakes that are made by the operatives and doing this right increase the life of the belt along with the better operating time of the machine itself. Because of the misalignment of belts alone, not only the installation is failed but it also costs the industry in huge amounts. The correct alignment of belts is done by checking up both the horizontal and vertical planes. There can be an angular misalignment in the horizontal plane or offset alignment in both the plans or there can be both types of misalignments in both the planes. No matter what the case is, you have to correct these things. There is no doubt that mistakes occur all the time in the industry while installing and maintaining machines, but these mistakes cost a lot to sensitive operations in the long run. What organizations needs to do is hire skilled people and train them if necessary.
There are also other factors such as belt tension between the outer and inner ones, the heat factor, and twist factor as well. Then there is friction, vibration and breakdown in the machinery too. While installing, you should always correct the angle first and then work on the offset as this is the right way to do it. The process also includes steps as Measure, Analyze, Take Action, and then document it. Having a history of the situations in the field helps you understand the problems easily and solve them in shorter spans in the future.
There are two approaches when aligning the machines such as string and straightedge. Traditional approach sometimes helps a lot but smaller angels are not easily corrected by the naked eye so laser alignment helps in such situations. You should also consider factors such as balancing weights in all the directions because that increases downtime.
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