In this episode, we covered:
- What is precision alignment
- How it varies to the organization
- What is the precision alignment process?
- What tools required for precision alignment?
- And much more!
Precision alignment plays a vital role in preventing premature failures and keeping the equipment up and running. Precision alignment can be defined as when the rotation with the center-align of the equipment is as collinear as possible. There can be a tolerance in the alignment depending upon the operating conditions. There are different types of tools to measure the misalignment but precision alignment using the laser is becoming trendy in the organizations. They are moving from old tools like straight edge and want to make sure that there is accuracy in the measurement. Even a dial indicator works just fine for alignment.
There are many benefits organizations can gain by using the precision alignment but the top benefit is the increase in uptime of the machines. Then it also results in fewer failures in couplings, bearings, shafts, and seals. Before you start the alignment procedure, it is very important to have a clean workspace. The machines and shafts should be properly cleaned. After that, you can start by checking the equipment base for soft foot. Once that’s done, the person taking the alignment should document everything so that an analysis can be done later on.
The reason why documenting is so important is that there should some accountability of the pre-alignment and after alignment checks. Some of the important tools that you should carry with you while doing the alignment are feeler gauges, wrenches, extension cords, and the rest of the cleaning equipment that is important. The obvious choices for alignment are dial indicator and laser tools. The major difference between the two is that dial indicator’s precision depends upon the person taking the measurements as there are a lot of angles involved for visualizing and inspection. On the other hand, a laser provides accuracy and efficiency. It still needs knowledge and training to use a laser accurately.
Not every technician can successfully do the alignment check and correct the problem by using laser. There needs to be proper training for every technician in the facility so that they would know what to do, how to do it the best way, and how to document what they did. Documentation also helps with finding the reason behind a failure. The laser tools also have the built-in technology to check for soft foot. You can know the exact location for vulnerability and then fix the soft foot with a feeler gauge.
When it comes to alignment, it all starts with the proper and correct installation. If you take care of the alignment while mounting and installing the machines, there are fewer chances of failure later on. You have to make sure that different feet of the equipment are coplanar with each other or at least, they should be parallel. You will only be successful in precision alignment if you do all the pre-checks correctly, follow a procedure, and fix the issue before it becomes a failure. In the end, reporting the analysis and then using the best practices goes a long way.
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