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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    up in the hizzy
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    1,375

    Shaft alignment methods

    I use the rim and face method,mostly pumps shaft alignments with old fashion dial indicators, fellow co-worker tells me that the "reverse indicator" method is more accurate and faster than rim&face, I did a little bit of research about it and didn't find a comparison between them, anybody here prefers a method over the other and why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Phoenix, Az
    Posts
    1,236
    I prefer subbing it out to an alignment company.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    527
    For coupling drives:Get things in the neighborhood with a credit card(if possible) finish it off with dial indicator. Good thing to remember is to check instructions with each coupling for tolerances. We usually do not go gnats a$$ perfect, just get it tight as possible inside manufacturers specs.
    For belt drives: usually eyeball them, sometimes use a straight edge, one of our guys was setting a laser pen in one of the grooves and aiming it at the corresponding valley on the other sheave(worked great)
    Poly chain drives: roll it by hand watching poly chain track and adjust by hand. (lining up with lasers or straight edges would not work in our experience)
    Look foreword to seeing what others do. Lining things up can be one of those jobs that can take a 1/2hr or 8. Always open to see and try new ways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
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    1,221
    Quote Originally Posted by Freightshaker View Post
    For coupling drives:Get things in the neighborhood with a credit card(if possible) finish it off with dial indicator. Good thing to remember is to check instructions with each coupling for tolerances. We usually do not go gnats a$$ perfect, just get it tight as possible inside manufacturers specs.
    For belt drives: usually eyeball them, sometimes use a straight edge, one of our guys was setting a laser pen in one of the grooves and aiming it at the corresponding valley on the other sheave(worked great)
    Poly chain drives: roll it by hand watching poly chain track and adjust by hand. (lining up with lasers or straight edges would not work in our experience)
    Look foreword to seeing what others do. Lining things up can be one of those jobs that can take a 1/2hr or 8. Always open to see and try new ways.
    On poly chain rolling by hand don't wear gloves go slow and be careful. Very unforgiving.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    850
    I like the lazer pen idea for belt drives, gettn me one tomorow... fun to mess witth the cat too :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,103
    Quote Originally Posted by coolerik View Post
    I like the lazer pen idea for belt drives, gettn me one tomorow... fun to mess witth the cat too :-)
    The problem with laser pointers is that they're made by 5 year olds in a cave on some island in the south pacific. Who knows how straight the laser is inside the housing? By the time you get 3-4 feet out like on some belt drives, the laser dot could be several inches out.

    I do work with a guy who has used a laser level and a smoke detector magnet with marks on it. He claims to have had some success with it. I prefer to use a piece of string or a straightedge for belt drives and face & rim method for pumps. Most pumps you can get really close with a machinists' straightedge, a flashlight, and a feeler gauge. The tolerance for most flexible couplings is around .020" to .030", or about the thickness of a match book cover. You can definitely see that plain as day with even the most crude tools.

    I'd really love to learn the reverse indicator method, or even just to get some OJT with someone who really knew WTF they were doing with face & rim. Alignment is becoming a bit of a lost art as I see it, and there's no training to be found anywhere.
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    new england
    Posts
    612
    My shop has been using a laser alignment tool for years on new pump's and replacements. Also has a laser tool for sheave alignment. I wish I was taught how to use a dial indicator but the electronic trumps it. I really would like to see an affordable laser tool for sheave/pulley alignment. You would think with the technology out there they would be sold at any hvac supply house. I've also used the laser pen before. It's a good, cheap alternative. FITZ
    Chaos equals cash$$$

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
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    2,609
    Quote Originally Posted by fitzyfitta View Post
    My shop has been using a laser alignment tool for years on new pump's and replacements. Also has a laser tool for sheave alignment. I wish I was taught how to use a dial indicator but the electronic trumps it. I really would like to see an affordable laser tool for sheave/pulley alignment. You would think with the technology out there they would be sold at any hvac supply house. I've also used the laser pen before. It's a good, cheap alternative. FITZ
    How can you say that laser trumps dial and that you need to be taught to use a dial, all in the same sentence? I beg to differ that anything is better than a properly used dial setup. Might be as good, but I doubt better. Been using dials for 30 some odd years now and never been let down yet. It just takes far more to do it correctly than most folks are aware of. Use a 6" straight edge and LED flashlight on soft couplings, string on belt drives.

    Only problem with using dials for alignment is that there's far too many techs nowadays, and far too few mechanics left.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    3,103
    Quote Originally Posted by klove View Post
    How can you say that laser trumps dial and that you need to be taught to use a dial, all in the same sentence? I beg to differ that anything is better than a properly used dial setup. Might be as good, but I doubt better. Been using dials for 30 some odd years now and never been let down yet. It just takes far more to do it correctly than most folks are aware of. Use a 6" straight edge and LED flashlight on soft couplings, string on belt drives.

    Only problem with using dials for alignment is that there's far too many techs nowadays, and far too few mechanics left.....
    Maybe I can come work with you for a couple of days so I can see everything I am doing wrong?
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dixiana, AL
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    2,609
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Rob View Post
    Maybe I can come work with you for a couple of days so I can see everything I am doing wrong?
    I could say something really snide like, "I don't think we could cover it all in two days", but I won't (Hey - you opened the door)

    I just think that folks rely too much on technology nowadays. Not that it's bad, but the "old" way of doing things had a chance to get old for only one reason - it worked and was used long enough to get old. I've dealt with large gear for a long time, and remember talking to some guys that were old when I was a kid that used Yankee calipers and feeler gauges to align stuff, and it ran just fine with no premature failures.

    As far as my comment about alignment taking more than most folks are aware of to get it done correctly, if you're competent or better with dial indicators, ask 20 techs if they can do alignment work. They'll all say yes. Then ask them to explain what to do from start to finish and see how many know their butt from third base....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,103
    Quote Originally Posted by klove View Post
    I could say something really snide like, "I don't think we could cover it all in two days", but I won't (Hey - you opened the door)
    You're probably right.
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Houston area
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    1,493
    Quote Originally Posted by klove View Post
    ..........Only problem with using dials for alignment is that there's far too many techs nowadays, and far too few mechanics left.....
    Yup, yup and more yup.

    For shafts, a dial can give you a zero point, a circular run-out interpolation and a true RMS deflection value IF you know how to apply the formulas.

    FWIW my guys use a calibrated Belt Hog with great results.
    The picture in my avatar is of the Houston Ship Channel and was taken from my backyard. I like to sit outside and slap mosquitos while watching countless supertankers, barges and cargo ships of every shape and size carry all sorts of deadly toxins to and fro. It's really beautiful at times.....just don't eat the three eyed fish....

    `. .` .>(((>

    `... `. .` .>(((>

    .` .>(((>

    LMAOSHMSFOAIDMT

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    527
    Started reading about reverse alignment tonight.... I will have to pick it up again tomorrow. Not the most exciting read near bedtime.

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