Easy Reliability: The Reliability Bonus of Accurate Laser Belt Alignment.

Easy Reliability: The Reliability Bonus of Accurate Laser Belt Alignment.
As explained in previous blogs the benefits of accurate machinery belt alignment are great. But in the quest for reliability there is a bonus associated with true and accurate belt alignment.
During my career as a vibration analyst for a large company and as a consultant, belt misalignment is a common condition and diagnosis for the source of vibration problems. If the belt alignment process is not a defined procedure. The scenario can go as follows:

1. A corrective action or work order for “Align Belts” is issued.
2. The work is performed.
3. When a follow up vibration test is performed, the high belt vibration is still present.
4. The technician verifies that the belt alignment was completed.
5. The technician verifies the belts are in a good state of alignment.
6. As a corrective action, other sources for the high vibration are researched.
7. As the vibration source is elusive and not eliminated, the high vibration continues.
8. The machine continues to run in a costly and unreliable state.
9. This scenario results in credibility issues with reliability programs.

The actual root cause is that the belts are still misaligned, the belt alignment process is the root cause. In many cases belt alignment is considered a simple task and there is no need for a belt alignment standard or procedure. This leaves an undefinable variance as to what constitutes an acceptable belt alignment tolerance.
In closing, where Reliability and Best Practices are deployed it is imperative that all corrective procedures are defined, this includes belt alignment. In facilities where belt alignment procedures and best practices are in place, reliability increases while costs and downtime decrease.