In today’s modern machines, shaft alignment is a vital component of daily maintenance. Machines and equipments have to be permanently in working order, with a minimum of production shutdowns. Failure of a machine causes significant production losses. An easy and extremely accurate way is to use laser-based alignment systems, which provide accurate and reliable results.
Misalignment is the deviation from shaft coaxiality when an equipment is operating under normal operating conditions. HOW CAN MISALIGNMENT BE DETECTED? There are several symptoms that indicate misalignment. Through careful observation it can be detected without special equipments:
– premature failure of bearings, seals, couplings and shafts;
– maximum levels of radial and axial vibrations;
– high temperature of lubricating oil and housing in the bearing area;
– losses of lubricants during bearing seals;
– high temperature of the coupling during operation and after stopping (rubber dust may appear in the area of the elastic coupling),
– loosening of the fixing screws on the pedestal;
– loosening, cracking or even breaking of the coupling bolts;
– grease losses from the toothed couplings;
– similar machines have lower vibration levels and appear to have a longer service life;
– cracking or even breaking of shafts in the area of bearings or couplings.
Shaft alignment means:
- increasing operational safety;
- increase productivity;
- increasing quality;
- profit increase;
MISALIGNMENT AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Misalignments have a direct impact on energy consumption, with studies showing that correct alignments can save between 2 and 17%. The thermograms below show the heat generated due to misalignment at two different couplings.
EFFECTS OF MISALIGNMENT ON BEARINGS AND SEALS
The service life of the bearings is directly affected by the applied loads. A slightest misalignment can generate excessive forces on the bearings and seals. A misaligned machine induces loads on both bearings and shafts. As a side effect, the seals are opening, allowing lubricant to exit from the bearing and contaminants to enter. All this leads to a dramatic reduction in the life of the bearings.
P = Fr ÷ Fa = bearing load
C = constant value that depends on the type of bearing
L10 = service life in millions of revolutions