Shaft Laser Alignment in Preventive Maintenance of Pumps and Motors

08 August 2023

Proper shaft laser alignment is a vital aspect of preventive maintenance of pumps and motors to ensure they can perform optimally and last for a long time. The emergence of this preventive maintenance method has allowed industries to use the said machines without any compromises on accuracy, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency.

One problem of pumps and motors, after all, is shaft misalignment. Shaft misalignment occurs when the centrelines of the driving and driven components of the machines do not align properly. The occurrence of this issue leads to excessive vibration, increased wear and tear, reduced efficiency, and premature failure of the equipment. Mitigating these issues can only be done by detecting and correcting shaft misalignment.

The Working Principles of Shaft Alignment

Preventive maintenance of pumps and motors is vital to identify and rectify potential issues before they fail during operations. Through regular inspections and adjustments, industries can optimise their performance, minimise downtime, and extend their service life. One popular method of maintaining them is shaft alignment.

Shaft alignment is done by using a laser alignment tool. It is used to measure the relative positions of the driving and driven components. The laser emits a beam that reflects off targets attached to the shafts, giving real-time data on their alignment. The measurements then help identify any angular misalignment, offset misalignment, and other alignment issues. The data is subsequently used to make precise adjustments and bring the shafts into proper alignment.

The procedures involved in shaft alignment are straightforward, as long as they are conducted by trained personnel and technicians. They should understand the principles of alignment and have hands-on experience with laser alignment equipment.

Shaft Laser Alignment Primary Advantages

Shaft laser alignment offers numerous advantages over traditional alignment methods.

For one, this method can provide high accuracy and precision, which results in more reliable alignment outcomes. It eliminates human error, reduces the time needed for alignment, and allows adjustments to be made while the equipment is running. Shaft laser alignment is likewise non-intrusive, which cuts the need for disassembly and reduces damage to components.

Upon detecting misalignment, corrective actions to the pumps or motors can be done to restore proper alignment. Some of these actions include adjusting the mounting bolts, shimming, or making other necessary changes.

Aligning the pumps or motors can help reduce forces that act on the bearings, minimise vibration, and boost energy efficiency. It can likewise extend the service life of the seals, couplings, and other components.

All the advantages of shaft laser alignment allow it to be utilised with condition monitoring systems, which allow continuous monitoring of the alignment status. Real-time data can be collected and analysed, providing insights into the alignment condition and helping pinpoint any changes or deviations in the pumps and motors.

Shaft laser alignment plays a significant role in the preventive maintenance of pumps and motors. By ensuring accurate alignment, this method can minimise wear and tear, reduce vibration, and enhance the overall reliability and efficiency of the equipment. Its accuracy, efficiency, and ability to integrate with condition monitoring systems can likewise make it become a valuable tool for maintaining optimal performance and extending the service life of pumps and motors in industrial applications.

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