What are the consequences of misaligned shafts?
The estimate is that we can trace at least a third of all bearing failures to misaligned shafts in rotating machinery. Just about any kind of machine you can imagine will record some sort of downtime. This is inclusive of significant damage caused from any form of misalignment.
This cuts across almost every kind of industrial application imaginable, and includes motors, gearboxes, couplings and pumps of all sizes and functions. If you suspect any of your rotating shafts are misaligned, you should act as early as possible. Allowing these machines to continue in operation will lead to inefficiency and eventually safety problems for the operators and technicians using them.
What does this alignment process mean?
You can avoid vibrations, wear and tear, and complete system failure by achieving alignment. Whether that be angular or offset alignment. But, what is shaft alignment? Shaft alignment or, as other may know it, coupling alignment, is a procedure which aims to make two or more rotating shafts ‘line-up’ or become co-linear, vertically and horizontally.
We can achieve this using various methods and tools such as optics, callipers, and lasers, to name a few. Despite the options, laser shaft alignment is the most preferred method.
Why is laser shaft alignment so popular?
There are many reasons why the more modern approach to shaft alignment is so popular. First and foremost, laser alignment still remains the quickest and most precise alignment method of them all. This is because, with the use of laser technology for shaft alignment, we can ensure that the two coupled shafts will continue to rotate on their perfectly common centerline, for as long as possible. This effectively prevents troublesome misalignment problems within your specialist industrial machinery.
What are the benefits of laser alignment in heavy industry/
- Reduces friction
- The light beams are not affected by gravity
- Increases machinery uptime and efficiency
- Laser systems can measure both vertically and horizontally oriented machines
- Some systems allow the users store the desired alignment values digitally, which is beneficial for maintenance records and referencing at a later stage
- With time, inefficient machines will consume more energy to operate – proper shaft alignment will prevent this problem
- Reduces maintenance costs dramatically
With the obvious benefits of laser systems for shaft alignment, it’s no wonder so many engineers are now adopting this technology in their own industries. You should too.