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Don’t Forget Alignment Checks During Preventive Maintenance

Aligning a vibrating machine

Preventive maintenance is a crucial part of facilities management and has significant benefits if it is carried out in a systematic way.

  • Reduces equipment downtime
  • Increases life expectancy of assets
  • Prevents premature wear and tear of parts
  • Reduces costs (labour, unplanned breakdowns, unscheduled downtime, repairs etc)
  • Improves reliability of equipment
  • Maintains equipment performance at optimal levels
  • Enhances personnel safety and improves working conditions

A well-constructed and timely preventive maintenance routine will make sure your equipment runs smoothly and will maintain the performance and safety of your equipment at optimal levels.  Routine proactive maintenance can also prevent larger-scale, costly repairs and if you believe the experts, can cost three or four times LESS than reactive maintenance.

What about rotating machinery?

When it comes to rotating machinery, a routine maintenance programme will include general checks for oil levels, wear and tear of bearings, greasing where necessary, checking the reservoir levels in automatic lubrication systems as well as more specific tests for specific items of equipment.

Surprisingly – and to their detriment – many operations which use rotating machinery such as hydraulic systems, HVAC equipment, generators, turbines, pumps and transformers don’t include alignment checks as a standard item of their regular preventive maintenance programme.  Yet this simple step is absolutely vital and regular alignment can produce big benefits.

Incorrect alignment:

  • damages machinery
  • increases friction resulting in excessive wear
  • slows down production
  • costs money
  • causes excessive energy consumption, and therefore higher bills
  • causes premature breakdowns, shaft and coupling failure
  • can reduce the life of your rotating machinery

In fact, shaft misalignment is responsible for 50 – 70% of breakdowns of rotating machinery.  So why not make a precision shaft alignment check part of your routine preventive maintenance programme?

Modern equipment makes simple work of alignment checks – and the checks can be done in a matter of minutes.   It’s a step that could save your operation thousands of dollars in unplanned downtime, production losses and equipment repairs or replacement and the new equipment for shaft alignment is surprisingly affordable.

Many technicians will admit that they only do shaft alignment checks on their rotating machinery once or twice a year.  Many also admit that they only do shaft alignment checks when the equipment fails, or when there are visible signs of misalignment such as increased vibration or noise, oil leakage, premature bearing failure and excessive temperatures.  Many technicians simply replace the coupling inserts, pump seals or rubber inserts continually, presuming these are ‘normal’ procedures for rotating machinery.

It’s not ‘normal’.  Nor is it acceptable.  And with high quality, high performance laser alignment tools available at a very reasonable price – plus the fact that the actual process of shaft alignment only takes a few minutes – it’s a job that should be done as part of every routine preventive maintenance programme.

Whether your operation runs a small 20HP motor or a massive engine room, shaft alignment should be a non-negotiable item on your preventive maintenance schedule.

Today’s challenging environment means most operations are focused on cost reduction and asset optimisation – and a simple procedure like shaft alignment can be a major contributor to achieving those objectives.

If you’d like to learn more about laser shaft alignment and discover the best equipment for your particular application, get in touch with the technical equipment specialists in Australia, Nexxis.  We carry an extensive range of world-class devices and solutions for non-destructive testing and remote visual inspection, including Easy Laser and Rotalign Ultra IS tools.  Contact our experienced team or check out our extensive range of laser alignment tools at on the website.

Easy Laser E920


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