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A laser shaft alignment system is the most efficient way to align rotating machinery shafts. Using an adaptive alignment system instead of conventional alignment tools saves you time and money, increases machine availability, prolongs service life and maintenance intervals, and lowers power consumption. Alignment tools from PRUFTECHNIK adapt to virtually any asset, situation, or user skill level.

Adapt to every shaft alignment challenge

● = Included
○ = Optional

Horizontal Alignment
Horizontal Alignment
Vertical Alignment
Vertical Alignment
Machine Train Alignment
Machine Train Alignment
14 machines 3 machines 2 machines 6 machines
Cardan shaft alignment
Cardan shaft alignment
In-Situ Standard (Offset) Standard (Offset)
Simultaneous V&H Live Move
Simultaneous V&H Live Move
Move Simulator
Move Simulator
Vibration Check
Vibration Check
Live Trend
Live Trend
Uncoupled PASS mode measurement
Uncoupled PASS mode measurement
Intelligent measurement modes
Intelligent measurement modes
Single laser technology
Single laser technology
Freeze-Frame Measurement
Freeze-Frame Measurement
Active Situational Intelligence
Active Situational Intelligence
Quality Factor measurement qualification
Quality Factor measurement qualification
RFID, WiFi with ARC 4.0 software
RFID, WiFi with ARC 4.0 software
Intrinsically safe product
Intrinsically safe product

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What is Adaptive Alignment?

Learn about the next generation of laser alignment systems

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Laser Shaft Alignment FAQ

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Misaligned belts and pulleys take years off a machine’s useful lifespan, causing problems like coupling and shaft failures, excess power use, and bearing failure.

An estimated 50% of breakdowns in rotating machinery are caused by faulty alignment. Laser shaft alignment tools can help. The tools are highly precise and easy to use, even for less experienced teams.

We’ll talk about shaft alignment and what causes it. We’ll also look at the benefits of using a laser shaft alignment system.

What is a Laser Shaft Alignment System? 

Laser alignment is the most accurate way to check the alignment of two or more rotating shafts, pulleys, or belts. It is the tool of choice for routine maintenance because it surpasses straight edges, feeler gauges, and classic optics on every measurement. The technique is also easy to learn and apply, even without specialized training.

Modern maintenance teams are up against complex alignment problems. So, beyond any one particular shaft alignment tool, teams need a laser alignment system that can cope with virtually any alignment problem. And with expertise shortages, these laser alignment systems need to work regardless of an operator’s experience and skill.

That’s where an adaptive laser shaft alignment system comes in. Thanks to modern software and other features, laser shaft alignment systems need to adapt to any situation and user experience level. A laser shaft alignment system also must maximize productivity as well as return on investment.

Traditional shaft alignment tools let users either diagnose or correct misalignment, but not both. A modern laser shaft alignment system identifies misalignment and can also calculate precise measurements to achieve alignment.

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What is a Single-Laser Alignment System?

A single-laser system eliminates the many frustrations and risks of inaccuracies that occur when working with two lasers firing in opposite directions. Single-laser alignment systems are faster than dual-laser ones, enable rapid completion of alignment tasks, and improve precision.

How does laser shaft alignment work?

Laser shaft alignment which is sometimes referred to as coupling alignment is the process of aligning two or more shafts within defined and tolerated margin. This process can be simplified by using laser shaft alignment tools from PRUFTECHNIK which can complete shaft alignment by analyzing the following:

  • Horizontal Alignment

  • Vertical Alignment

  • Machine Train Alignment

  • Soft Foot

  • Thermal Growth

  • Short Flex & Spacer Coupling

  • Cardan Shaft Alignment

  • Vibration Check

  • Flatness

  • Straightness

What is a laser shaft alignment tool?

Laser shaft alignment tools address correcting the misalignment of rotating machinery. Alignment tools can perform complicated alignment measurements which reduces the amount downtime, repair time, and money spent to replace machines or assets due to improper alignment.

What is Shaft Alignment?

Shaft alignment is the process of lining up two or more pieces of rotating equipment, like a motor and a pump. When shafts are correctly aligned, their rotational centers are arranged in a straight line. There are five common types of misalignment.

It’s a good idea to check for misalignment whenever you install a new asset. It’s also a good idea to re-check shaft alignment regularly. Over time, normal wear-and-tear, among other factors, can create misalignment that can lead to equipment damage and eventual failure over time.

Why is shaft alignment important?

Shaft alignment improves the efficiency in which machines and assets operate. If shafts are not properly aligned, it could reduce the life span of the machine, increase in parts costs, machine downtime, labor, and energy. Once proper shaft alignment is achieved motors run more efficiently, uptime is increased, and overall operating costs decrease. If misaligned shafts aren’t addressed it could lead to vibration, increased temperature or overheating, bearing failure, coupling failure, or shaft failure.

How many types of shaft alignment are there?

There are two types of shaft alignment which are angular and parallel, and both can be further divided into horizontal and vertical. Misaligned shafts could be caused by angular or parallel alignment issues.

What Are the Benefits of Shaft Alignment

It’s hard to overstate the benefits of correct shaft alignment.

Shaft alignment can reduce downtime and increase the life of your assets by preventing unnecessary wear-and-tear on your parts. Over time, incorrect alignment of parts causes excess vibration and friction. That, in turn, leads to premature wear on your equipment parts, decreased performance, and a more frequent need for repairs.

Correct shaft alignment can also create a safer work environment. Faulty alignment can be bad for the environment and dangerous for employees. It can lead to fuel leaks, excess energy use, and unsafe noise levels. Correct alignment puts an end to these hazards. It also boosts your bottom line by saving you money on energy usage.

The Methods and Techniques of Shaft Alignment

There are a few different ways to check for shaft alignment.

Tools like calipers and dial indicators measure the distance between coupling halves. Through a careful process, technicians can bring misaligned shafts back into alignment.

Calipers and dial indicators can work well – but they take time, dedication, and specialized training to do well. They are also not as precise as modern laser alignment tools.

Today, more and more plants are using laser alignment tools because they offer greater precision. They are also fast and easy to use, even for people who don’t have a technical background.

How Does Laser Alignment Work?

Laser alignment tools use laser beams to check whether two components are collinear. Laser beams are the perfect tools for this job since they create straight, sag-free lines, no matter how great a distance they travel. Laser alignment tools can check to see whether your motor is correctly aligned to the driven equipment, and whether the centerlines of two shafts are collinear.

Laser alignment tools allow you to check for misalignments in the machine belt or wheels. You can also perform a pre-alignment screening to correct soft foot. A laser

alignment tool has both a laser emitter and an IoT sensor, which are mounted on two different shafts. The tool also has a user interface.

Using a Laser Alignment Tool

To get started, mount the laser sensor to one shaft and mount the laser emitter to the other. The laser emitter will send a laser beam to the sensor to test whether the two parts share the same line of rotation.

The tool automatically sends the results to the display monitor. Many laser alignment tools use colors or symbols to show the degree of alignment. Once you’ve checked the display, you or your technicians can simply adjust the parts vertically or horizontally, checking the display as you go. Just keep making adjustments until the parts are as well aligned as possible.

Laser alignment tools can measure:

• Horizontal alignment

• Vertical alignment

• Machine train alignment

• Cardan shaft alignment

• Vibration check

• Thermal growth

• Flatness and straightness

Of course, the best tool is the one your team will use regularly. Laser alignment tools are intuitive and easy to use. They’re also highly accurate. In all, they’re a great way to see fast improvements in your asset health, uptime, and productivity.

How to use a laser alignment tool?

• Scan machine with RFID tag

• Attach sensors to machine or asset to be aligned

• Turn on laser sensors and begin measurement procedure

• Listen for audible indication to tell when machine or asset is nearing alignment

• Take a picture using the built-in camera to save as part of work order request and also which machine or asset was aligned.

• Last step is scan the RFID tag to close the work order

What Are the Causes of Shaft Misalignment?

Shaft misalignment is one of the most common machine faults. Here are some of the typical causes:

• Soft foot distorts an asset’s frame and often leads to shaft misalignment

• Pipe strain can cause parallel or angular misalignment.

• Thermal expansion can shift alignment.

• Torsion can cause misalignment during machine start-up

• Human error during the installation process can lead to misalignment.

Human error can also lead to incorrect measurements, and misalignment can be missed. That’s why using the right tools matters, because it allows you to identify and correct misalignment issues before they lead to a bigger problem.

What are problems caused by shaft misalignment?

When shafts are improperly aligned it can lead to the following issues:

• Broken bearings

• Vibration

• Broken seals

• Foundation bolt failure

• Coupling bolt failure

• Shafts break or crack

• Excess generation of heat