Laser Gearbox Alignment
Industrial gearboxes require precision alignment to items they are coupled with such as motors and other drives in order to ensure efficient running, low maintenance and extended life.
Alignment as applied to a gearbox refers to positioning of the gearbox in relation to other items in the drive train. These could be the drives (or driven) units and Laser alignment ensures that the gearbox input and output shafts are perfectly aligned and coupled to their respective shafts of any adjoining plant items
Nicol & Andrew use an expert laser-based system for the alignment of gearboxes and other rotating plant equipment.
The system includes cutting edge technology and features to make precision alignment in the field an easy task for operators:
- 6.4 inch back-lit LCD colour touchscreen.
- Icon-driven user interface
- Software and Fixtures for conducting alignment on Horizontal mounted gearboxes
- Software and Fixtures for conducting alignment on Vertically mounted gearboxes
- Software application for measuring Softwood conditions
- CCD Digital Laser Technology for maximum speed and highest quality of measurement results.
- Pre-mounted Fixtures for quick attachment to shafts
- Bluetooth wireless data transfer
- USB interface for exporting measurement data to PC's
Misalignment occurs when a gearbox and adjoining unit are positioned out of line in such a way that a perfect rotational centreline through the coupled shafts is not achieved. A rotating shaft that is not correctly aligned will rotate in an eccentric fashion and create undue forces on the coupling, shafts, units themselves and their components. These stresses lead to accelerated component wear and eventual breakdown.
Misalignment is a leading cause of plant failure, with over 50% of plant breakdowns attributed to shaft misalignment.
Conducting Gearbox Alignment
Gearbox shafts can be quickly and easily aligned by using a Laser shaft alignment system, such as the Fixturlaser NXA system.
The process is straightforward: two laser units are attached to the shafts that require alignment, one either side of the coupling. Measurements are then recorded from 3 points, either by rotating the shaft through 30-40 degree segments, or by use of a special moveable fixture in cases where the shafts themselves will not rotate.
The shaft alignment system automatically measures the alignment of the two shafts, and displays to the user if the shaft is or isn’t aligned and indicating the precise amount of angular or offset misalignment.
Correcting misalignment is also a straightforward process. The Fixturlaser XA System has a 3D animated interface which shows users the exact amount of correction required to re-position the gearbox or motor so that perfect alignment through the centreline of the two shafts is achieved.
This system has a 'live' screen so that any changes made to the position of the motor or gearbox are instantly displayed on the screen. The Laser System indicates the thickness of shims that are required to be added or removed from under the front or rear feet of the unit. Arrows also indicate the amount of horizontal correction required to position the motor or gearbox correctly.
Gearbox Alignment Services
Nicol & Andrew's alignment engineers provide onsite gearbox alignment services across the UK and world-wide. They are experienced and trained in the alignment of horizontally and vertically mounted gearboxes and drives. Nicol & Andrew Engineers hold approved Safety Pass Alliance (SPA) Safe Contractor Safety Passports.
Gearbox Alignment - Alignment of Machine Trains
Machine train alignment (Cardan Shaft) is probably the most difficult and demanding task of all Laser alignment skills. Often a machine train is a critical part of a production line, i.e. the most costly to have out of operation because of the downtime and production loss if it fails.
A machine train (power train or multiple drive units) consists of three or more units with rotating shafts connected to each other. Aligning a machine train can be a complicated task with an associated high large risk of time consuming errors. Thermal growth complicates matters and can affect more than one unit in a train. To obtain a set of precision alignment readings you will need to compensate for such expansion.