WHY IS SHAFT ALIGNMENT IMPORTANT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT SERVICE LIFE OF ROTATING EQUIPMENT?

By Matt Crankshaw

Shaft alignment is an important step in the setup of new or repaired pumps and gearboxes.

Some of the potential problems that may arise from not properly aligning rotating equipment includes:

• Excessive vibration and noise
• High overhung loads on bearings, which can lead to premature failure
• Non-uniform wear on mechanical seals or packing
• Accelerated wear to shaft couplings

Shafts may be misaligned in three separate ways; parallel, angular and axial. Misalignments can occur during shipping, after new installations or from vibrations during equipment run time.

To ensure the highest level of accuracy when performing shaft alignments, OTP technicians use lasers. The lasers are mounted on the shafts of the equipment to be aligned. As the shafts are rotated, the lasers measure the deflection of the shafts and calculate how many shims to add to get the correct alignment. This method of alignment is the most accurate and repeatable.

Protect your pumps and rotating equipment by aligning them properly and you will be rewarded with increased uptime and lower overall maintenance costs. Please contact OTP Industrial Solutions to experience our precise shaft alignment and other rotating equipment repair services.