Where can I expect to find alignment problems?
Wherever you have rotating shafts there is a need for alignment. The higher speed the more accurate alignment is required. If an application is generating vibrations, you should always check the alignment.
Do misaligned machines consume more power?
Misaligned machines generate forces to the bearings and the coupling. This force is converted to heat and can easily be recognised using a thermo sensitive camera.
Do I need to align when I use flexible couplings?
Flexible couplings are necessary. They reduce the detrimental forces, due to misalignment, during the start up until the machines have reached the operating temperature. A flexible
coupling can only absorb a very small amount of misalignment. Even then the components are exposed to stress and wear quicker. It is therefore important to align the machines for running conditions and not cold conditions.
I have new machines: do I really need to care about alignment?
A machine, such as motor and pump, is often delivered on a frame or baseplate. Plug and play, sort of. Even if the machine is perfectly aligned from the supplier it does not mean it is perfectly aligned when bolted down and connected to the pipes in your factory. Always check the alignment before starting the new machine.
Why can’t I refit the overhauled machine in the same position as it was before without doing an alignment check?
Even if you mark up the position before you remove the machine you cannot know if it will be positioned correctly. The alignment requirements for a standard motor/pump installation is 0,03 mm/m or better. It is impossible to replace a machine within the tolerance without performing an alignment.