At VibrAlign, we are often asked, “Should we check alignment as part of our PM tasks”? And we resoundingly answer, “Yes”. The reasons? Some machines simply refuse to be still.
• Concrete cures for years. As such, it shrinks for years. If your machines are mounted to a concrete or grouted base, they could still be moving.
• Pipe strain can move machines, even very large ones, over a period of time.
• If you are going to the trouble to lock and tag the machine out, and remove the guard for a coupling inspection, why not? It only takes a few minutes to confirm a good alignment. It also allows you to do some other good things, like check the coupling for wear, lubricate it if needed, check the set screws, keyways, and other components of the coupling.
• Bolts sometimes work loose.
• Soft foot sometimes causes unintended movement of the driving or driven machines.
• While you may shudder at the thought, it may not have been aligned correctly to start with!
You may find that the alignment on certain machines never changes from year to year. And you may decide to remove alignment checks as part of their PM. However, you may find on some machines that shaft alignment is different each time you perform the PM, in which case you may want to investigate further, to determine the cause.
Checking for proper shaft alignment as part of a PM process requires little time, but can pay huge dividends!
For more information, please visit www.vibralign.com.