The accurate alignment of a pump is critical for pump performance. Yet nearly half of all damage to rotating equipment comes from misalignment.
This usually occurs during installation, but the effects of a misaligned pump occur throughout the pump’s now-shorter lifespan. Issues like:
What is (in)accurate alignment (aka misalignment) of a pump?
Misalignment is when the shaft position deviates from the axis rotation when the equipment is running. There are three types of misalignments that can occur: Axial, radial, and angular.
If you need to align your pump correctly, you need to consider which tool or methods will be best for your needs. There are 3 common tools, each with their own pros and cons.
3 tools or methods to ensure accurate alignment of your pump:
1. Straight Edge
This method relies on visual inspection, which we all know can be faulty. To use straight edge as a method, place a straight edge on the pump and motor coupling, then check to see if the components are aligned.
This method uses the relative measurement of the centrelines of the two opposing shafts. Two indicator readings across the coupling are taken and these readings are used to mathematically or graphically determine the required adjustments and shimming for each foot of the driver or moveable unit.
Laser-guided tools consist of two units, each capable of emitting a precise laser beam and detecting a laser beam from the other, plus a hand-held control device. These lasers are used to determine relative shaft positions which are displayed on the handheld device for real-time coupling and feet values during the alignment process.
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