A machinery’s alignment should be checked periodically. This valuable information will help us to find key issues like pipe stress, unstable foundations, weak frames and loose bolts, among many other different causes. All the money and time spent to align our equipment and keep it within tolerance will be worthless if our machinery won’t maintain its optimal position. Henceforth, the accuracy of the alignment check is our best bet to see how the equipment behaves over time.
How often should alignment checks be performed?
There are guidelines for how often the alignment should be checked. According to Mr. John Piotrowski and his Shaft Alignment Handbook, for newly installed machinery the alignment should be checked following 500 to 2000 hours of off and on operation, or 1–3 months of nonstop operation. If there was no found shift in the alignment, then the following check should be made between 4500 and 9000 hours of off and on operation or 6 months to 1 year of nonstop operation. If no found shift occurred at any time, then measurements should be made every 2–3 years. This pace can of course be influenced by factors such as equipment importance etc.
If a mediocre shift in alignment happened at any time, then the equipment should be aligned to within tolerances. If a massive shift happened, then additional research should begin to determine what is causing the movement (root cause analysis). For example, any sign of excessive wear will also be a sign of “inadequate” machinery installation.
The importance of reporting.
To have reports on alignment checks is critical to avoid repeating the same install errors, or to find and follow up on the same problems over and over. As you of course know, there is no precise answer to the headline question. But the reporting will give you a solid understanding of what occurs on the way and help to keep your machinery aligned in optimal conditions as long as possible. We will provide you with an in-depth written report and drawings on every alignment check to compare as the equipment ages.