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Alignment Advanced

When hands-on training is combined with the famous Mobius Institute 3D animations and simulations, you know that you will enjoy a course that will leave you ready to take on any alignment challenge. You will develop an intuitive feel for the alignment system because you understand the fundamentals and you have had a change to practice and ask questions.

Course description


2-3 days (depends upon the amount of hands-on time)



Machines that have been precision aligned run longer, and cost less to run. Alignment greatly reduces the life of bearings, seals, shafts and couplings.

This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills so that you can use a dial indicator tool or laser alignment system to precisely align two components together. You will learn how to recognize misalignment and successfully set up the alignment job.

After reviewing the important reasons for performing shaft alignment, we will discuss the pre-alignment checks and corrections, including how to identify and correct soft foot.

Next we will discuss the operation of dial indicators, and cover the rim-face method and reverse-dial method. Not only will we explain and demonstrate the process, we will teach you how the calculations must be performed.

Next we explain the laser alignment systems; the benefits, basic theory of operation, and tips and techniques for successful use.

And finally we discuss how to move the machine and deal with all the problems that you are bound to encounter at some stage. We will also review how to deal with thermal growth, and how to approach a larger machine train.

Who should attend?

If you have to align machines, then you need this course. If you own a modern laser alignment system you have two choices: you can just set up the lasers, enter the dimensions, take the readings and do what the equipment tells you to do, or you can understand what you are doing and be prepared when things go wrong – and they will. We will ensure you understand the entire process, and give you the skills to return to the plant and perform precision alignment. Note:

Although we will not have time to explain the operation of every model of laser alignment system, we will provide you with the knowledge so that you will be successful with whatever model you own.

What is unique about this course?

Mobius makes it unique. We use 3D animations and software simulators that completely demystify and demonstrate the alignment process – you need to see them to believe them! You will completely understand the readings and the three-dimensional alignment process. If you have previously performed shaft alignment, you will find that all of those steps and instructions will suddenly make a whole lot of sense – you will find yourself saying 'Ah, now I understand" (and "I wish I took this course years ago").


An Introduction to Shaft Alignment

The benefits of shaft alignment

A quick overview of the alignment process

Shaft Alignment Mathematics - A Primer

Offset, angularity and alignment mathematics

* Introduction

* Equal triangles

* Triangles and alignment

* A triangle from two offsets

* Dealing with negative numbers

Understanding Dial Indicators

Dial indicators

* Introduction

* What can go wrong?

* Zero the dial

* Bar sag

* Total Indicator Readings (TIR)

* Hysteresis

* Clock positions

* Backlash

* Why do we rotate both shafts?

Using dial indicators for shaft alignment

* Using dial indicators for shaft alignment

* Rim measurements

* Face measurements

* Axial end-play and float

* Repeat all tests

* Validity rule

Pre-Alignment Checks and Corrections

Pre-alignment Checks

* Introduction

* Plan and review maintenance history

* Why is the machine not aligned?

* Installing a new machine

* Decide on the required tolerance and coupling gap

* Pipe strain

* Mechanical looseness

* Bent shafts and coupling runout

* General preparations on site: Safety

* General preparations on site: Clean up

* General preparations on site: Shims

* General preparations on site: Jacking bolts

Soft Foot Checks and Corrections

Detecting and Correcting Soft Foot

* Introduction

* Different types of soft foot

* Rocking soft foot

* Short foot - parallel air gap

* Even foot

* High foot

* Bent foot

* Squishy foot

* Induced soft foot

Why is soft foot important?

* Why is soft foot important?

* Shaft fatigue

* Bearing distortion

* Impact on the alignment task

Testing for soft foot

* Testing for soft foot

* Taking soft foot measurements

* Recording results

* Using dial indicators to measure soft foot

Correcting soft foot

* Correcting rocking soft foot

* Short cut number one: The Casanova method

* Short cut number two: The 80% Rule

* Using feeler gauges

* Using a "stair" of shims

* More complex shim patterns

* Detecting and correcting induced soft foot

* Mysterious soft foot

* Summary

The Rim-Face Dial Indicator method

The Rim-Face dial indicator method

* Introduction

* What if only one shaft can be rotated?

* Accuracy issues

* Setup problems

* Axial end-float

* Rim-Face Measurement Procedure

* Compensate for bar sag

* Alternative method

* Determine the alignment corrections

* Performing the calculations

* Computing the offset

* Computing the angularity

* Computing feet movements

* Shim calculations

* Move calculations

* Example calculations

* The graphical method

* Summary

The Reverse-Dial Method

The Reverse Dial method

* Introduction

* Reverse dial procedure

* Compensate for bar sag

* Performing the calculations

* Computing the offset

* Computing the angularity

* Computing feet movements

* Shim and move calculations

* An example

* Example:

* The graphical method

* Summary

* Alternative method

Laser Alignment

Laser alignment systems

* Introduction

* The basic components in a laser alignment system

* Benefits of laser alignment systems over dial indicators

* How do laser alignment systems work?

* Using a Prism - Return Beam Method

* Beam Splitter - Single Beam Method

* Twin Emitter/Detector Pairs - Dual Beam Method

* Using a horizontal beam and a vertical detector

Using the laser alignment system

* Performing the laser alignment

* Pre-alignment

* Preparing the coupling

* Attaching the brackets

* Attach the brackets

* Check the optics

* Mount the laser heads

* Aim the heads

* Zeroing the beam

* Check for repeatability

* Rough alignment ("roughing-in")

* Correcting gross angularity

* Correcting gross parallel offset

* Dealing with gross misalignment

* Rough alignment with a laser system

* Dealing with distance and angularity

* Cones and circles and distance

* Enter the machine dimensions

* How accurate should the dimensions be?

* Entering the coupling diameter

Performing laser alignment measurements

* Performing the measurements

* The 3:00-12:00-9:00 method

* Swept measurements

* Getting the results

* Aligning spacer shafts or jackshafts

* What if you can't rotate one shaft?

* What if the shaft can't be rotated easily?

* What if you can't rotate either shaft?

* Limitations of laser systems

* Backlash

* Vibration

* Heat, steam, sunlight, water vapor

* General comment about commercial systems

Moving the Machine

Moving the machine

* Introduction

* Perform the vertical move first

* Gross misalignment

* Using a laser alignment system

* Moving the machine vertically - shimming

Base bound and bolt bound

* Base bound

* Machine the feet

* Moving the machine horizontally

* Using a dial indicator to measure the horizontal move

* Using shims to measure horizontal machine moves

* Bolt bound

* Turn-down the bolts

* Open the bolt holes of the machine feet

* Moving the stationary machine

* Drill new holes

Dynamic and Thermal Movement

Dynamic and Thermal Movement

* Introduction

* Which machines will be affected?

* Thermal effects

* Manufacturer's supplied offsets

* Sources of heat

* Internal or system sources of heat

* External sources of heat

* Mechanical effects

* Pipe strain

* Oil wedges

* Jacking fluid

* Catenary sag

* Foundation changes

Dealing with dynamic movements

* Dealing with dynamic movements

* Temperature compensation

* Take 'hot' readings

* Monitoring the movement of the shaft or bearings

* Using laser heads to measure relative movement

* Issues to consider

* General issues to consider

* What do you do with the offset data?

* Manufacturer's offset data

* Determining targets graphically

* Summary

Machine Train Alignment

Machine Train Alignment

* Introduction

* Repeat your measurements

* Plan ahead

* Graphical method

* Optimizing the alignment

* Movement limitations

* Move in the vertical direction first

* Summary

In addition to viewing the 3D animations and using the alignment simulator software, time will be spent hands-on performing shaft alignment jobs