Drives and Controls Magazine
Laser instrument simplifies shaft alignments
Published:  18 March, 2013

Schaeffler has announced a handheld instrument that, it says, will allow faster, easier alignment of shafts in rotating equipment such as motors, pumps, gearboxes, fans and compressors.

The FAG Top-Laser Equilign is a robust laser-based device that guides the user step-by-step through the alignment process. Graphical instructions and an autoflow function allow any maintenance technician to use the device, regardless of their skills or experience.

The correct alignment of coupled and uncoupled shafts is critical to achieving high efficiency and reliability in rotating equipment. But about 20% of rotating equipment is incorrectly aligned. A correctly aligned shaft reduces friction and vibration in the drive system, which, in turn, reduces wear on belts, pulleys, bearings and seals. This increases the running time and reliability of the rotating machinery, reduces energy costs and improves plant efficiency.

The instrument, which weighs 800g, shows any horizontal or vertical movements in real time during the alignment process. It can store up to 50 measurement files in metric or imperial units. Even if operation is interrupted, the measurement data is secured automatically and the process can be continued later.

The IP65-protected device is waterproof and contamination-resistant, and can be used in harsh industrial environments. In poor light conditions, a built-in light meter adapts the display brightness automatically to suit the environment.