Sunday, January 17, 2010
BENEFITS OF GOOD MACHINERY ALIGNMENT
Industry worldwide is losing billions of dollars a year due to misalignment of machinery. Theheart and soul of virtually every industrial operation pivots on keeping rotating machinery ingood working order. Countless processes are dependent on the successful operation ofrotating machines that produce electric power, fuels, paper, steel, glass, pharmaceuticals,the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the buildings we live and work in, and the vehicles thattransport us across the surface of the Earth. Just about everything you see around hassomehow been influenced by rotating machinery of some kind.The primary objective of accurate alignment is to increase the operating life span ofrotating machinery. To achieve this goal, machinery components that are most likely to failmust operate well within their design limits. As the parts that are most likely to fail are thebearings, seals, coupling, and shafts, the accurately aligned machinery will reduce excessiveaxial and radial forces on the bearings to insure longer bearing life and rotor stability underdynamic operating conditions. Precise alignment will reduce the possibility of shaft failurefrom cyclic fatigue; it will minimize the amount of wear in the coupling components, alleviatethe amount of shaft bending from the point of power transmission in the coupling to thecoupling end bearing, and it will maintain proper internal rotor clearances.In a nutshell, accurate alignment will do nothing, but the good things and the key part of making this happen centers on the people who are responsible for installing, troubleshooting,maintaining, and operating this machinery.