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Alignment Tolerances

 

First off let’s give credit where credit is due on these universally accepted Alignment Tolerances - Ludeca, Inc. and Ken Brook the developer who was the Ludeca Chief Engineer at the time - 1986! If someone else has told you that they came up with the tolerances shown below do not believe them as we were there when Ken did his great work! This Alignment Tolerance table did not exist before Ludeca developed it - period!

Ludeca felt that as the leader in laser alignment that they needed Alignment Tolerances that could be given to their customers. In comparing the various Equipment Manufacturers tolerances (notice we did not say Coupling Manufacturers) Ken Brook saw that they pretty much fell in line, with each other, when compared on the operational RPM.


Tolerance Card (click)
Tolerance Card (click)

 

Before we go further - ya’ll know it is RPM not RPM’s as you may have seen or heard elsewhere. RPM is both singular and plural, for example: 1 RPM and 1,775 RPM - that’s right Revolution or Revolutions Per Minute depending on how many! If you have been hearing RPM’s the person is actually saying Revolutions Per Minute’s and there are not many places that would apply on planet Earth - even in racing engines!

Back to Ken Brook’s work. Ken decided to look deeper into the Equipment Manufacturers (Pump, Gearbox, Motor etc.) tolerances by actually calculating what it would take to get the full rated life out of the Bearings! (Notice we did not say Couplings as we need to align for the Bearings and if you do not know that your program is in serious trouble!) Ken found that we needed to align a little better than what was previously thought and calculated what is now the Excellent column on our “Tolerances For Shaft Alignment” card. By the way, the Manufacturer’s tolerances evolved into the Acceptable tolerance column.

Note: These Alignment Tolerances are an integral part of the alignment program on the Prüftechnik AG, the German Manufacturer's, Rotalign® Ultra, Rotalign® Pro, Rotalign®, Optalign® smart, Optalign® Plus, Aligneo®, ShaftAlign®, smartAlign®, smartScanner® and PocketALIGN® Laser Shaft Alignment systems! These laser system use the RPM you entered by comparing your actual alignment to the built in Tolerances For Shaft Alignment and gives you an on screen indicator if your alignment is Excellent, Acceptable or poor! Yes we show a Smiley face and you would be smiling too if you were using one of these Prüftechnik AG systems!

 


New Rotalign® Ultra is Unequaled!
New Rotalign® Ultra is Unequaled!
New Optalign® smart with Bluetooth
New Optalign® smart with Bluetooth
New Aligneo® like an Optalign® Plus
New Aligneo®
Optalign® Plus Series
Optalign® Plus Series
Rotalign® Pro EX Intrinsically Safe
Rotalign® Pro EX Intrinsically Safe

 

Recently we were asked what we thought of “Alignment at the Feet”! Well that makes about as much sense as “eating with your feet”! When you have done an alignment using the Alignment Tolerances shown above, whether you are “short coupled” and using Gap/Offset or have a Spacer Shaft, you should not have any alignment related vibration! That was Ken’s point - when he looked at what a bearing needed to last the rated life - he created the Excellent column in the table!

On large machines you may end up with some large numbers at the feet but that can be explained with a simple Rise over Run example. Do you worry where a trailer’s wheels are when you hitch it to your car or truck? We doubt it - as you are very concerned about the hitch (or in our case the coupling)! If you have been convinced that you need to align at the feet then you need a class taught by someone who has done alignment and YOU need to get out there and do some alignments! To be completely honest with you, if you have not done any alignments (and understandably some of you haven’t as it is not your job) then you do not have the full picture!


"The only correct way to express shaft alignment tolerances is in terms of alignment conditions at the coupling" per Heinz P. Bloch, a top Alignment Authority, as published in the December issue of PUMPS & SYSTEMS.


Download Alignment Update Article

What's wrong with using "coupling" tolerances?


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© Copyright 2003 Voelzow & Company, Inc. Wingate, North Carolina


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