Maintenance made easier by using the correct tools
Shaft misalignment is identified as the root cause for up to 50 percent of all costs related to rotating machinery breakdowns and unplanned downtime while industries face challenging demands of increased machine reliability and reduced energy consumption to optimize machinery.
Traditional methods of dial indicators and straight edges can provide good alignment, however these methods can require a high level of skill and training to achieve good alignment. The introduction of laser alignment tools with intuitive user interfaces has made accurate alignment of shafts quicker and easier for maintenance staff to use and achieve. Where downtime costs are high, every minute of maintenance can be costly. However, failing to properly align equipment can be equally costly through inefficiency, increased bearing loading and premature failures.
What is shaft misalignment? Machinery alignment needs to be checked in both the horizontal and vertical plane as misalignment can be a result of parallel or angular misalignment, or a combination of both. Machinery can be easily positioned vertically using precision shims, however positioning in the horizontal direction is less controllable and can take time.
The SKF horizontal adjustment tool, TMAH series, helps achieve a precise and controllable horizontal adjustment using a special eccentric socket arrangement that enables rotary movement to be translated to linear movement at the motor foot. This makes the use of heavy hammers, pry or crow bars no longer necessary to move the motor, making the adjustment easier and safer. Welded jack-bolt assemblies are a common feature on many industrial sites however they can become easily damaged, rusted or seized.
The use of the TMAH adjustment tool is available to suit a wide range of metric bolt head sizes, making it suitable for many different types of electric motors and provides quick and easy operation with accuracy of 25 microns or less, suitable for laser alignment equipment accuracy, virtually eliminating the risk of damaging the motor feet.
Accurate machine adjustment is an essential element of any alignment process as well as eliminating soft foot which can lead to distorted bearing housings and fracture of machinery. SKF single slot pre-cut shims are available in five different dimensions and in ten different thicknesses with close tolerances for accurate alignment with the thickness clearly marked on each shim to make vertical positioning easy. Made of high quality stainless steel (grade 304S31), the SKF shims can be re-used and are easy to fit and to remove.
SKF have released two new devices using mobile devices to intuitively guide the user through the whole alignment process. With a focus on the core alignment tasks, the TKSA 11 is designed to be a compact and easy-to-use instrument that results in accurate alignment.
The SKF TKSA 11 is the first instrument on the market that uses inductive proximity sensors, enabling accurate and reliable shaft alignment to be affordable for every budget. Live view of the instrument and motor position makes the measurement and horizontal alignment intuitive and easy.
The TKSA 51 shaft alignment tool provides high measurement f lexibility and performance suitable for entry-level to expert alignment jobs. Designed to work with the shaft alignment for TKSA 51 app on a tablet or smart phone, this intuitive tool is easy to use and requires no special training. The included accessories enable use of the TKSA 51 for a wide range of alignment applications, such as motors, drives, fans, pumps, gearboxes and more. The tool’s mobile app includes tutorial videos to show operators how to perform accurate measurements.