The Effects Of Misaligned Equipment
Industrial operations are losing huge sums of money because the centrelines of the shafts of their rotating equipment (such as pumps and motors) aren’t running on the same axis and are therefore misaligned – with some industry sources going as far as saying that shaft misalignment is to blame for up to 50% of all machine breakdowns.
And when you consider that a survey by a leading rotating equipment service company found that less than 10% of machines that were evaluated were aligned within acceptable tolerances, misalignment is clearly a widespread problem.
Here are some of the costly and damaging effects of equipment that is poorly aligned or misaligned.
Misalignment is one of the leading causes of vibration problems – and as the reliability of the machine corresponds directly with the level of vibration, excessive radial and axial vibrations will impact negatively on performance. All rotating equipment will produce a certain level of noise, but when the shafts are misaligned and the equipment vibrates excessively, noise levels will also escalate correspondingly.
Premature failure of seals and bearings
Accelerated failure of seals and other parts is costly – and even the slightest misalignment can result in excessive force and stress being put onto the bearings and seals. Replacement parts are expensive, plus there’s also the risk of damage and contamination of other components from the leaking fluid from the stressed seals and bearings.
Increased energy costs
Misalignment correlates directly to higher power consumption as the machines are less efficient and therefore draw greater amounts of energy.
In the same way that variations in temperature can cause misalignment, misalignment can cause machines to overheat which results in lubrication issues as well as safety risks.
Misalignment can cause the shafts to break or crack – and this can lead to unplanned downtime and production problems as well as costly equipment repair.
Higher operating costs, loss of production and increased maintenance costs
Misaligned machinery generally has a shorter service lifespan and this premature failure of capital equipment adversely affects outputs as well as negatively impacting the operation’s balance sheet. Higher maintenance costs, costly downtime, unexpected capital costs for equipment replacement, increased inventory for spare parts and even the potential for catastrophic machinery failures are all consequences of misalignment-induced mechanical failures.
Inferior quality outputs
Misaligned machinery can also result in inferior or defective products which can impact on profitability.
Implementing a careful and thorough preventative maintenance programme will go a long way towards minimising the risk – and the associated costs – of misaligned machinery.
Nexxis are one of Australia’s leading suppliers of specialist remote visual inspection (RVI) technology and non destructive testing (NDT) equipment and they have all the answers to your equipment misalignment problems. To find out how a customised solution can ensure that your operation runs at optimum efficiency, contact us today.