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Dial gauge and Alignment

Taking dial gauge reading for calculation of “TIR” (Total indication run out) is not an easy job. When it comes to practical many EXPERTS get confused. In order to understand alignment /TIR it is essential to know about dial gauge and its working.

Dial gauge A dial gauge or indicator consists of components such as bezel, indicating pointers, tool post and clamp, magnetic tool holder and sensor button. Dial indicators are available in many physical sizes and ranges. For most alignment applications the smaller sized indicators should be used to reduce indicator bar sag. Dial indicators should be chosen that have a range of 0.100 inch and accurate to 0.001 inch. Indicator readings, and many other types of readings, are expressed in several units. A reading of 1/1000" is equivalent to 0.001 inch and is commonly expressed as 1 mil.

The dial gauge have two scales. One outer scale marked (0-100) and second inner scale marked (1000).The outer scale (0-100) is to be used when dial gauge needle moves clockwise and inner scale (100-0) when dial gauge needle moves anticlockwise. When sensor of dial gauge is pushed upwards towards dial then needle on the dial moves clockwise and when sensor is moved downwards away from the dial then needle on dial gauge moves in anticlockwise direction. The dial gauge readings when needle moves clockwise are +ve where as when needle moves anticlockwise are - ve (Fig.-2). The movement of the needle should be watched for clockwise or anticlockwise rotation through out the move to avoid any confusion of +ve or—ve sign. All readings should be recorded as viewed from the stationary machine side to define right and left direction at the time of data entry. Backlash Error Check the indicator for backlash error. Press the sensor and then release and note down the dial gauge reading.. Repeat this process two three times. Every time dial gauge reading should be same. If readings differ then change the dial gauge. SAG calculation Dial gauges are coming with standard mounting systems. · For single gauge mounting. · For double gauge mounting. Some time depending on the equipment to be aligned some modification or extension is required in mounting system to carry out the alignment. If length of the tool mounting holder is more or any extension for mounting magnetic tool holder is there then there is more possibility of sagging due to weight. Mounting of the dial gauge on the bracket should be performed carefully so that dial gauge sensor axis is perpendicular to the pipe axis to ensure accuracy. Otherwise it will lead to large errors. It is essential to calculate the sag always before alignment and to be considered during calculation. For calculation of sag mount firmly the magnetic tool holder with gauge on a pipe. Adjust the dial gauge reading to zero with dial gauge sensor tip touching to pipe surface as shown in (figure-4). Now turn the pipe 180 degree and take the dial gauge reading. The difference between these two readings will give you the double of the sag value. So sag=dial reading/2

Taking the readings

Remember.value of sag must be taken in to account. Let us take the case of Fig. In this case when dial gauge is mounted on stationary machine and readings are taken on machine to be moved then change the sign of readings so obtained. Bottom and Left locations. +ve sign to be made –ve and –ve sign to be made + ve. Remember to observe the signs of the indicator readings closely to prevent errors in these calculations. This is known as TIR (Total indication run out) Thus. These Four locations are at 90 degree rotation of shaft(12. and 9 “O” clock positions) as shown in Fig. This is achieved by Adding or subtracting the value equivalent to the value of right hand side reading on both sides ( in left side reading and right side reading ) so that right side reading becomes zero.-5. This is because of the reason that one side does not start at zero. which is attached to the bezel. Horizontal offset calculations have always remained a point of confusion. Actual dial gauge reading at the bottom of the coupling (6 “o” clock position) = dial gauge reading -{-(2*sag)} Assuming sag=0 Top+ Bottom reading =0+10 = +10 Right + Left reading =-12+22= +10 Calculations As the dial indicator is moved around the circumference of a coupling or shaft it displays twice the difference between the projected centerline of the indicator's attachment point and the measured shaft centerline. This is true for both the vertical and horizontal readings.-6 (All readings are in mil) Vertical TIR = 0+10=10 Horizontal right hand side reading is –12 . one set representing the readings while the bracket is installed on the shaft of the machine to be moved and another set representing the readings while the bracket is installed on the shaft of stationary machine. that all readings should be collected while observing from the stationary machine to the moveable machine to maintain right and left consistency. While taking dial gauge reading at the bottom portion of the shaft or coupling . Thus actual difference in shaft centre lines (offset) in vertical plane = TIR (vertical)/2 Thus actual difference in shaft centre lines (offset) in horizontal plane= TIR (horizontal)/2 Two vertical offset numbers and two horizontal offset numbers will be obtained. shows "0" under the needle. Adjust the dial gauge in such a way that sensor of the dial gauge is slightly pressed against the circumference of the coupling.-6). Correct the problem and start again. Collect the data by rotating the machine shaft in 90 degree increments and noting the dial indicator readings with their signs (+ or -) at Top. Rotate the machine shaft through an entire 360 degree and verify that the indicator sensor tip is in complete contact with the shaft. This is achieved by rotating the outer bezel of the indicator until the dial face. Right. (See fig. the sum of the vertical and sum of the horizontal readings must be divided by two to represent the actual differences in the two shaft centerlines. Mostly people do mistake in calculating this.After the dial gauge is firmly mounted on the shaft of the machine to be rotated then four locations at the circumference of the shaft or coupling of the stationary machine are required for taking the readings for alignment.Please note that left right directions are marked as seen from the stationary machine side Before any readings to be taken the dial indicators must be set. is to verify that the sum of the top and the bottom readings should equal the sum of the left and right readings. which can be performed as the data is collected. 6. Another test. the dial gauge mounting arrangement must be relocated to the other coupling or shaft of stationary machine and the sweep should be repeated. Accuracy Verification Each time the dial indicator is rotated to the top location it should display a reading of zero. If it does not then something has moved during the rotation. Now When indicator is at the top location reset the indicator to display zero. If only one dial indicator setup is available. Now horizontal right hand side reading is =-12+12=0 And horizontal left hand side reading is =+22+12=+34 Therefore horizontal TIR = 0+34=34 So offset in vertical plane is =10/2=5 And offset in horizontal plane is =34/2=17 For more details · Methods of alignment · Target alignment and angular tolerance · Alignment check without removing coupling . 3. Horizontal left hand side reading is +22 In order to make right hand side reading zero we shall add +12 on both sides.

Zero D. For vertical alignment. (mm) Always align angular misalignment first in both vertical and horizontal alignment.C .D.Note the reading and sign minus or plus. zero dial indicator at T.2 X 2= 0.D1 & D3 are required. Positions D.I.Zero DI and rotate through 180°.R = 0. For a plus indicator reading remove shims under machine to be moved equal to that of the indicator reading. Face and Perif method: vertical Alignment (Angular) Fixed machine D1 F1 Machine to be moved F2 Fig.I. following method can be used Ratio between D1 & D2. but should be used in conjunction with Face and Perif method.8mm at F2 When T.1mm or less.R = o.I) and rotate through 180°.4mm at F1 0.I position at feet of m/c to be moved and mov machine until both D.2X 4 =0. equal amounts of shims can be removed or added as calculated below.Rotate through 180˚ and note total indicator reading (T. 2 F1 F2 Once angular alignment has been achieved. 3 D2 D3 Method Zero dial indicators (D. Zero dial indicators positioned at feet of m/c to be moved and move machine until indicators read calculated dimensions when T. HORIZANTAL ALIGNMENT(ANGULAR) Three dial indicators are required.calculate distances to move m/c at D2 and D3 . Using fig.I indicate error previously recorded.I as shown in Fig 3 . horizontal alignment can be checked. Positions are shown in fig 3 F1 Fixed machine D1 F2 Machine to be moved F1 F2 Fig. zero dial indicator at T. (2) REVERSE ALIGNMENT A D1 .(mm) D3=Distance from pointer of dial indicator to second holding down bolt F2.I.add shims under m/c to be moved equal to that of the indicator reading.2mm Then distance between coupling faces are greater at the top than bottom Add 0.I.Rotate through 180˚ and note total indicator reading (T. Example Say: D1 = 50mm D2 = 100mm D3 = 200mm R1=100 /50=2 and R2=200/50=4 If dial indicator reading = +0. For a minus dial indicator reading . To calculate the amount of shims required under F1 and F2.Note indicat or eading and sign. 1 D2 D3 F1=First hold down bolt F2=Second hold down bolt D1=Diameter of the circle made by dial indicator tip when coupling of the fixed machine is rotated 360 deg.R) and sign. as per the fig 2 Fixed machine Machine to be moved Fig.R) and sign.C .SAAS Enterprise Blg powered We are your team members BACK ALIGNMENT There are two types of alignment methods: · Face and perif · Reverse alignment Reverse alignment is the most accurate method. 1 find ratio R1 and R2. (mm) D2=Distance from Pointer of dial indicator to first holding down bolt F1.D.1 or less check for height alignment.

I.0 — 0.R of the “B” dial indicator to the same scale .Note the T.The “B” dial will now be back at the bottom of the hub. MORE . (2) When aligning Multistage Centrifugal pumps. and m/c to be moved on your right hand side.Placing dial indicators at the feet of the m/c to be moved. Note the T.2 B=— 0.I.Fixed machine F1 B D2 P Machine to be moved F2 Fig. (3) Always rotate both couplings together to eliminate coupling run out. HORIZONTAL READINGS A F1 Fixed machine F2 Machine to be moved F1 B F2 Fig. Make a note on the graph which way a minus or plus has to be moved in the horizontal position i.R “B” dial reading of -0. (3) Set the “B” dial indicator to the top and turn both coupling hubs through 180°.R of the “A” dial indicator and if the reading was plus or minus. Please note the following rules: (1) Always check that you have the correct distance between coupling ends. Plot point below center line of graph. Place a straight edge through the two points and draw a straight line passing through points F1 and F2. This is very important as the wear plate faces can pick up if this is not done.2 0. If the plotted line is above the center line. as shown in Fig 5.but in this case you must reverse the sign.14 Reverse sign Example: “A” dial reading of +0. (1) Position the dial indicators as shown in the fig 4. an alignment Graph must be made-see attached graph 1 Install clock dial indicators as in Fig 4 2 With Marker pen mark of the positions of dial indicators on the coupling hubs. Plot point on graph above center line.I.28/2 =0.R of the “A” dial indicator to pre-determined scale. As the reading was plus. plot half the T.R On the A line of the graph. Note:If the reading “B” dial was plus. the mark has to go above the pump center line.15 D1 D2 D3 Subtract shim =0.R of the “B” dial indicator and if the reading was plus or minus PLOTTING READINGS ONTO GRAPH A 0. fill pump casing with water push pump shaft into pump body to separate wear plate faces. In the horizontal position the m/c to be moved is physically moved on the base frame. move m/c in accordance with plotted graph. plot half the T.05 mm Add shim = 0.e Away or Towards you. 4 D3 A=clock dial indicator on coupling hub (fixed m/c) B=clock dial indicator on Coupling hub (machine to be removed) F1=First holding down bolt F2=Second holding down bolt D1=Distance between dial indicators D2=Distance from p to first holding down bolt D3=Distance from P to second holding down bolt Before starting the alignment. METHODS FOR VERTICAL ALIGNMET Always stand with the fixed m/c on your left hand side.28mm T.05 0. reverse sign to minus.4 /2 =0.14 0. (2) Set the indicator to zero and turn both coupling hubs through 180°. with the “A” dial on the top of the Fixed m/c coupling hub. Ensure that you are moving m/c in the correct direction. Only the dial indicators are set in plan view. subtract shims—and below add shims.I.I. and the “B” Dial indicator at the bottom of the m/c to be moved.4 mm T.Te distance from the center line to the plotted line will be the amount of shims to be added or subtracted from F1 and F2 respectively. 5 Horizontal readings are taken the same way as for vertical readings. In the Example from minus to plus “This is very Important”. On the “B” line of the graph.15 B F1 F2 A= + 0.I.

Sag must be measured and algebraically subtracted from the dial indicator readings to determine the actual shaft relative positions. or near. This deviation usually consists of a parallel offset and an angle that can be resolved into a single angle that the flexible element sees. Absolute reference allows you to check for sufficient hold-down bolt clearance in all bodies in a train to effect an alignment without disturbing the fixed body. spider.-2. results are shown in Vertical and Horizontal plots in the Graphic Plot .Left side Figure 1). Flexible couplings allow equipment shafts to operate with some deviation from perfect alignment by distorting the flexible elements.SAAS Enterprise Blg powered We are your team members BACK Relative reference displays the current body's centerline referenced to the previous body. weight. or flexes. and gravity. It is the relative position of both bodies at the temperature at which they are being aligned. Example of Target alignment Flexible coupling Figure-2 (centre line of all bodies during operation) 5 Take the case of a Turbine driven Compressor with Gear box as shown in the figure-2. Figure 1 Flexible coupling Since physical adjustments are in the vertical (shim changes) and horizontal (side to side). The centerline of a shaft (or coupling spacer) that operates within this conical region is deemed to be in tolerance. the dial indicators will render false readings. Useful for initial installations. corrected for expected thermal movements. The same two views of the cone appear as triangles on these plots.Right side Figure 1). defines a cone with its apex (point) at the center of each flexible element ( Right side -Figure 1). A coupling Flexible Element can be a disk pack. See example below (Fig. In other words. diaphragm. when rotated through 360 degrees. Because of sag. This angle. Assumptions Ambient temperature=25 deg C . the centerline will lie outside the cone when the two projections are resolved to the true position (Blue line . Relative reference allows you to determine if your alignment is within the desired coupling angular tolerance at Ambient and Operating temperatures. In reality. etc. See example below ( figure-2) Fixture Sag is the measured bending of the alignment fixture due to its stiffness. Angular Tolerance is the maximum angle that the flexible elements are allowed to distort during operation.3) Absolute reference shows the current body's position referenced to the leftmost (fixed) body. the outer edge of both triangles may at first appear acceptable (Red lines . A centerline lying on. the bit that bends. This resolved angle is called the Angular Tolerance. gear. Thermal Movement is the vertical and horizontal shift in the centerline of a body due to the change in temperature from when it was aligned to operating temperature Target alignment is the alignment to which all the shim change and horizontal movement calculations are referenced.

during operation = 55deg.162 mm COMPRESSOR 0.09 . during operation = 70 deg C Gear box shaft height from base =450 mm Gear box shaft brearing area temp. 0.252-0. Green dotted line indicate the shaft centre lines of Compressor .27 mm GEAR BOX 0. C Compressor shaft height from base= 800 mm Compressor shaft brearing area temp.2*450*(55-25)]/ 100000 =0.162 =0.432 mm Increase in height of Gear box shaft during operation =[1.Gear box and Turbine under operating condition .27 0.09 TURBINE Figure-3 (shaft height cold alignment) 0. C Increaseshaft in height of compressor shaft during operation = [1.432-0.2*800*(70-25)] /100000 =0. Gear box and Turbine at ambient temperature.2*700*(55-25)]/ 100000 =0. during operation =55 deg C Calculations for shaft height increase during operation Turbine shaft height from base =700 mm Turbine brearing area temp. Black dotted lines indicate the shaft centre lines of Compressor.162 mm Increase in height of Turbine shaft during operation =[1.2*10¯ per deg.252 mm Based on above calculations the Relative reference of all the three bodies at ambient temperature will be as shown below.Thermal expansion = 1.162 =0.

Rotate both machines.9 o’clock and 12 o’clock reading doesn’t repeat zero. If the readings are taken immediately after the machine is stopped then misalignment figures will be very near to operating conditions.R)<D* tan (1/3)˚ =0. Coupling shall not be installed or operated at misalignments greater than those figures. Coupling “A” Coupling “B” L 0. Y) = larger of X or Y.0043* D Please check the name plate mark and series number mark on your flexi-unit and review the T.R = Total indicator Run out Calculation for the alignment accuracy: Alignment Accuracy = Maximum (X.I. It does not speak of equipment safety. Therefore. Clamp or place the indicator base on the tube. They design couplings that will not wear out with that much misalignment. BE CAREFUL of your SIGNS (+. must be aligned to within a few thousands of an inch TIR (Total Indicator Run out) if the bearings are to last for their full life.003 0. Badly aligned shafts will ruin the bearings on the equipment in short time. calculated above. Remember a POSITIVE reading occurs when the tip moves towards the indicators. it should be noted that the checked figures are based on the static conditions. Take reading at 3’o clock. at the power transmission point (coupling Flanges) on the moveable machine.I.I.-) when adding and subtracting. vertically and horizontally. Place the indicator tip on the face of the guard near the OD.R readings taken by dial gauge against the figures above. flexible coupling and indicator at the same time.R)<D* tan (½) ˚ =0.R)<D* tan (¼)˚ =0. The supplier who sells the couplings says that the coupling can take up to one degree of misalignment and not hurt anything. alignment should be done as precisely as possible. Plotting the resultant alignment accuracy on the chart will determine whether the existing alignment condition is acceptable or not. For example… For 200 Series flexible coupling (T.SAAS Enterprise Blg powered We are your team members Alignment Check Without removing coupling BACK Many maintenance departments in smaller plants still think that alignment is only needed for large. Record the readings on the data sheet.001 X Y .6 o’clock. However.002 0. Maximum (X.I. Calculate total indicator run out. high-speed shafts.0058* D 400 Series (T. All shafts. Take the second set of readings at the other end of the couplings. vertically and horizontally. The flexible diaphragm coupling can accommodate misalignment by both end diaphragms angular deflection. Where” D” = Diameter of the coupling flange T. Many have no idea how to align two shafts beyond using a straight edge to get them close. It is recommended to check the machine alignment when the machines are shut down for schedule shut down.I. L Flexible coupling A=Fixed machine side coupling B=Movable machine side Coupling D=diameter of the coupling L=Distance between two couplings Fixed machine coupling Coupling of machine to be moved A B Actual Relative position of the driving Machine and the Driven machine can be checked by using the coupling as installed.0087* D 300 Series (T. These diaphragm couplings are classified by allowable angular deflection. BV and BH = amount of offset. The alignment of the machines may be readily checked with a dial indicator clamped to the center of the tube. Zero the indicator at 12’O clock.Y)/L where offset readings at “A”=X and at “B”=Y X = ( AV​ + AH​ )½ Y = (BV​ + BH​ )½ AV and AH = amount of offset. at the power transmission point (coupling Flanges) on the stationary machine. even low speed ones. the misalignment figures may vary with temperature and other factors. re zero the indicators and retake the readings.

0.002 -0.0 -0.001 -0.003 .

which is normally the preferred method. The error caused by coupling hub run-out is entirely eliminated since both shafts turn as a unit (with spacer installed). This method employs indicator readings taken on the outside diameter of the coupling hubs or shaft only.” readings.Radial clearances of the bearings. Since face readings are eliminated. Some of them are 1. the steam end will rise more than the exhaust end due to higher temperatures. which can lead to improper alignments.SAAS Enterprise Blg powered We are your team members BACK TURBINE ALIGNMENT Home About Us Contact Us General Engineering Service Detail Related Links Response Form Membership Form Women’s corner Members News Article Woman of Substance B2B Many methods can be utilized to perform cold alignment of Turbine. 4. The calculated shaft rise for both the steam and exhaust end can be found on the outline drawing for the turbine.” method as illustrated in Figure1.Sag in the brackets used for holding dial indicators. and angular misalignment is greatly magnified and more precisely diagnosed. there is no concern about axial float. Figure 3 shows a simple turbine-compressor to be aligned. This reduces the wear and tear on the coupling.Difference between exhaust end shaft rise and steam end shaft rise 5. it is not without problems. The single problem that carries over to the “Reverse Indicator” method which was present in the “Face O. The alignment bracket is clamped to the turbine shaft with the indicator stem resting upon the compressor shaft (or . turning of both shafts simultaneously such that the indicator readings are taken always at the same place on the hub will give more precision. Use of the “Reverse Indicator” method eliminates the requirement for removing the coupling spacer in a majority of cases. One bracket could be utilized by switching back and forth for each set of readings but this is far less convenient. Dial indicators are affixed to this bracket with the stem of one indicator resting on the face of the coupling hub and the stem of the other indicator resting on the outside diameter of the same hub. Especially when the spans between the shafts are quite long. Similarly during horizontal alignment of the turbine the off set (equivalent to the radial clearance in the input bearing of the gear box installed between driven equipment and turbine) should be kept between centre line of the turbine shaft and the centre line of the gear box due to the tendency of the gear box shaft movement out side under load condition. As shown in the figure. One additional element that must be accounted for is the difference between the exhaust end shaft rise and the steam end shaft rise. For the purpose of example. while angularity of the shafts is determined by the “face” readings.Axial float of the two shafts 3.008” higher than the turbine to accommodate for calculated thermal growth of the two machines.O. The sketch indicates two brackets used simultaneously. “Universal” or makeshift brackets contrived on the spur of the moment can give inaccurate readings. It is suggested that the proper distance between the shafts be established before any alignment method is used in order to fix the coupling without disturbing the alignment. a bracket is attached to one shaft and extends to the proximity of the coupling hub on the adjacent shaft. (Small machinery utilizing ball bearings will not encounter any axial float. Axial movement must be taken into account when turning the shafts on equipment with hydrodynamic thrust bearings or no thrust bearings.) The shafts must have axial positions rechecked each time a reading is taken. Care must also be taken in the brackets that are used to hold the dial indicators. Face measurements taken by this method must have the axial float of the two shafts accounted for. The method described below is that of using dial indicators.D. This problem can be readily handled by building the bracket with substantial material to prevent droop or by determining the deflection in the alignment fixture and making the appropriate corrections in the alignment data. It is desired to place the compressor shaft .D. The offset of the shafts is determined by the “O. 2. This will result in the desire to have the coupling face “open” at the top.Inaccuracies in the geometry of the coupling hubs. The most widely used of the traditional alignment methods is commonly referred to as the “Face.” would be to utilize the “Reverse Indicator” method as illustrated in Figure 2. A step up in accuracy and the elimination of some of the problems mentioned above with the “Face O.D. care must be taken to assure that the bracket being utilized is stiff enough that it will not deflect under its own weight. To eliminate inaccuracies in geometry of the coupling hub. While the method of employing dial indicators is an old and well established technique. This spacing dimension can be found on the coupling drawing.” method is that of deflection in the alignment bracket. Typically. This precaution can be difficult on larger equipment and may not be possible.D.

Record the readings and indicate precisely what they represent. Since diametrically opposed numbers represent only a deviation from an arbitrary reference.004” TIR deflection. it can be seen that the centerline of the compressor shaft is . the readings shown as “Turbine to Compressor” indicates the alignment bracket is on the turbine shaft and the indicator stem rests upon the compressor shaft. Alignment in the horizontal plane is obtained in the same manner. the vertical plane has been plotted. simply add the TIR reading (in mils) to the bottom number in each set. In this example. Turbine to Compressor and Compressor to Turbine For ease of plotting. the points shown above have been plotted on a scaled sketch of the turbo machinery train. change each pair of numbers to “zero” and a positive number. the position of the compressor shaft relative to the turbine shaft is fixed. From the “Turbine to Compressor” data. it is assumed the turbine will remain stationary and the compressor will be shimmed to achieve the desired alignment. In Figure 4. The absence of negative numbers reduces errors in plotting. To make the correction for this error. Make any corrections for the deflection of the alignment bracket. 10 is added to the vertical pair of numbers while 8 is added to the horizontal pair. we will assume .005” (one half of the TIR reading) above the centerline of the turbine shaft for the point at which the indicator readings were taken. It is also at this point in the alignment procedure that the offset required due to the steam end rise be greater than the exhaust end rise must also be taken into consideration.the rigid portion of the coupling hub). In this example. The other sets are handled in a similar manner. An extension of a line through these two points gives a graphical representation of the alignment situation and indicates the shimming necessary to achieve the desired alignment. For this example. Any convenient scale may be used. for example. The indicator is “zeroed” on top and the following readings are observed as the shafts are rotated at 90-degree intervals. With these two points determined. a given amount may be added to both sides without affecting the meaning. it can be seen the centerline of the turbine shaft is . As they are shown above.012” below the centerline of the compressor shaft for the point at which the indicator readings were taken. On the “Turbine to Compressor” readings. A similar procedure is used with the complementary bracket and the indicator yields to following: This data obtained is adequate to determine relative shaft positions. Now referring to the “Compressor to Turbine” data. On next page more .

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