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Laser Shaft Alignment
Or Traditional Methods?

Laser Shaft Alignment


The shaft alignment process (or procedure) which is often also called “coupling alignment”, is a method (frequently adopted by maintenance departments) to ensure two or more rotating shafts are co-linear. I.e. the shaft centrelines are on the same straight line, both vertically and horizontally.

co linear shaftsCo-linear Shafts

Why is alignment important?

It's a known fact that all rotating machinery is susceptible to (and frequently suffers from) misalignment. So this is important because couplings that are misaligned cost industry millions of pounds in (mostly unnecessary) maintenance and downtime every year.

types of shaft misalignment


How can coupling alignment (especially Laser shaft alignment) save costs?

Studies have shown that incorrect alignment is the cause for up to 50% of machine breakdowns.

So it follows that correctly (and regularly) aligned equipment significantly reduces operating and maintenance costs.

Where coupling misalignment exists, the two shafts are forced to rotate in an eccentric way and so cause a number of problems e.g.: -

(Even in circumstances where flexible couplings are used it has been shown that the same stresses occur in the bearings and shafts either side.)

The above problems in turn lead inevitably to increased costs when you have to pay for: -


What can be done to avoid this?

Quite simply what you need to do is to make sure your shafts and couplings are in close alignment (i.e. co-linear).

This can be achieved by using a few different methods.

The simplest method is to use a straight edge and your eyesight. This is quick and easy but is not very accurate at all and for most situations it is not good enough.

The next choice for many years and the best way to align couplings until recently was using dial gauges (the Rim & Face or the Reverse Dial method). This is a fairly accurate method if used by a competent trained engineer but it is time consuming and has some drawbacks when compared to the latest method involving Lasers.


Why are shaft alignment Lasers better?

Unlike using the straightedge and feeler method or using dial indicators, Laser shaft alignment systems have graphical user interfaces and software packages that do all the complicated alignment calculations for you.


Laser systems can offer many advantages:

All of this means that with the most modern alignment systems you'll get the answers you need quickly and efficiently and therefore help you to align your coupling and get your plant back up and running really quickly.

More can be read on the benefits of laser shaft alignment systems here.

Please contact us if you need more information.