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Prepared By

TAUFEEQ
Contents
Introduction/Definition
Types of Alignment
Alignment States
Pre Alignment Checks
Alignment Methods
Thermal Growth
Centering
Reciprocating Machines Alignment
Alignment of V Belts, Pulleys, Sprocket & Gears.
Effects of Misalignment.
Case Histories
Introduction
To bring the rotating members of driver and driven machines
in the desired line.
Example
In case of shafts, bringing the two shafts in a straight line / desired
line.
In case of pulleys, bringing the neutral axis or the faces of two
pulleys in a straight line.
In case of gears, achieving the rolling contact between the gears.
In case of sprockets, bringing the faces in a straight line.
Types of Alignment

In case of shafts, there are two types of alignment.

Radial alignment means to check the relative position of
rotating members in the vertical and horizontal planes.
In other words, it must be checked that the axis of
rotation of the members are in line / desired line.
Radial alignment can be further classified as
Types of Alignment (Cont.)

Axial Alignment
Axial alignment means to check the relative position
between the axis perpendicular to the axis of rotation of
the two members to be coupled. In other words, it must
be checked that the said axis are parallel or have the
required divergence.
Axial alignment can also be classified as
Axial Vertical alignment
Axial Horizontal alignment
Alignment States
Cold Alignment
Alignment which is carried out when the machine is at cold
state.
Hot Alignment
Alignment which is carried out when the machine is at hot
state.
In Situ Alignment
Alignment which is carried out when the machine is in
operation.
Pre Alignment Checks
Before undertaking an alignment job, it is
prudent to check for other deficiencies which
would largely nullify the benefits or prevent the
attainment and retention of good alignment.
Below is the List of factors to be considered
before checking the alignment:
Pre Alignment Checks (Contd.)
Foundation
Adequate size and good condition. A rule of thumb
calls for concrete weight equal to three times
machine weight for rotating machines and five
times for reciprocating machines.
Grout
Suitable material, good condition, with no voids
remaining beneath base plate. Tapping with a
small hammer can detect hollow spots, which can
then be filled by epoxy injection or other means.
Pre Alignment Checks (Contd.)
Baseplate
should be flat, parallel and clean. Shims should be made
from corrosion and crush-resistant material. If commercial
pre-cut shims are used, check for actual versus marked
thickness to avoid a soft foot condition. Machine hold-down
bolts should be of adequate size, with clearance to permit
alignment corrective movement. Pad height should have at
least 2 in. jacking clearance beneath center at each end of
machine element to be adjusted for alignment. If
jackscrews are required, they are to be mounted with legs
sufficiently rigid to avoid deflection. Water or oil cooled or
heated pedestals are usually unnecessary, but can in some
cases be used for onstream alignment thermal
compensation.
Pre Alignment Checks (Contd.)
Piping
Check the associated piping is well fitted and supported,
and sufficiently flexible, so that no more than 0.003 in.
vertical and horizontal (measured separately not total)
movement occurs at the flexible coupling when the last
pipe flanges are tightened.
Coupling Installation
Some authorities recommend installation on typical pumps
and drivers with an interference fit, up to .0005 in. per in. of
shaft diameter. This can give problems in subsequent
removal or axial adjustment. If an interference fit is to be
used, we prefer a light one-say 0.0003 in. to 0.0005 in.
overall, regardless of diameter. Coupling cleanliness, and
for some types, lubrication, are important and should be
considered.
Line Diagram

Position of the shaft, when the machine is

in cold state, can be represented
graphically. This is called line diagram of
the machine.

It is a very useful tool for visualizing the

actual position of the shaft, when carrying
out the alignment.
Line Diagram
A typical line diagram of Air Compressor (K-
421) is shown bellow.

Turbine HP LP
Casing Casing
Alignment Methods (Shafts)
There are three methods of aligning the centerline of two
shafts:

Aligning the shafts using with dial indicators.

Alignment Methods (Cont.)
Alignment with feeler gauge and knife edge.
Allowed only on flexible coupling, as precise alignment
can not be achieved.
Radial misalignment is checked / corrected with the help
of straight edge or knife edge.
Axial misalignment is checked / corrected with the help of
feeler gauge.
This method is used only for aligning the shafts of non
critical machines.
On critical machines, this method is used only when
enough space is not available on the rotating members
for clamping the alignment fixtures.
Alignment Methods
Graphical or Reverse method

therefore sometimes referred as reverse method.

Alignment Methods

Graphical or Reverse method

These readings are then plotted on the graph using

suitable scale. How much the rotating members are

misaligned, can then be calculated from the graph.

considered as the loose machine and the pump is

considered as the fixed machine.
Alignment Methods

Graphical or Reverse method

Fix the clamping fixture on the motors shaft and place
the dial indicator on the coupling hub of the pump. Take
readings and record these values (a, b, c & d) on the
cross.
Then fix the clamping fixture on the pump's shaft and
put the dial indicator on the coupling hub of the motor.
Again take the set of readings and record these values
(e, f, g & h) on the cross.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Graphical or Reverse method

Calculate the misalignment in the elevation
with the help of following formula:
c-a e-g
A= and B=
2 2
Plot the two calculated values (A & B) on
the graph paper, using appropriate
scale, if required.
Considering plus and minus signs, plot
plus value above the required line and
minus value below the required line.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Motor (Loose M/C) Pump (Fixed M/C)

Desired Line

B A
Note :
Motor and pump lines to be drawn as per suitable scale
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Graphical or Reverse method

Draw a line through these two points and
determine the thickness of the shims required
at point C and D. Remember to take the scale
(if used) into account.
Remove shims if the value is plus.
Add shims if the value is minus.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Motor (Loose M/C) Pump (Fixed M/C)

Value measured

y Desired Line
x

D C B A
Actions required :
Remove shims of thickness x from motor rear feet
Remove Shims of thickness y from motor front feet
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Graphical or Reverse method

Similarly misalignment in the plan can be calculated
with the help of following formulae :
d-b f-h
A= and B=
2 2

While noting down the measured values ,i.e. b, d, f & h,

also note down the description of these points as
follows:
b & f = Tool room side
d & h = Elect. Shop side
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Graphical or Reverse method

Plot the two calculated values (A & B) on the
graph paper, using appropriate scale, if required.
Considering plus and minus signs, plot plus value
above the required line and minus value below
the required line.
Move motor feet towards Elect. shop if the value
is plus.
Move motor feet towards tool room if the value is
minus.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Motor (Loose M/C) Pump (Fixed M/C)

x
y
Value measured
Desired Line

D C B A
Actions required :
Move motor rear side towards Elect. Shop by x
Move motor front side towards Elect. Shop by y
Reverse Method
Following are the advantages of this method:
Accuracy is not affected by axial movement of shafts
in sleeve bearings.
Both shafts turn together, either coupled or with
match marks, so coupling eccentricity and surface
irregularities do not reduce accuracy of alignment
Face alignment, if desired, can be derived quite
easily without direct measurement.
Reverse Method (Contd.)

Rim measurements are easy to calibrate for bracket

sag.
Geometric accuracy is usually better with reverse
method in process plants, where most couplings
have spacers.
With suitable clamp-on jigs, the reverse-indicator
method can be used quite easily for measuring
without disconnecting the coupling or removing its
spacer. This saves time, and for gear couplings,
reduces the chance for lubricant contamination.
Reverse Method (Contd.)

For more complex alignment situations, where

thermal growth and / or multi-element trains are
involved, reverse method can be used quite readily
to draw graphical plots showing alignment conditions
and moves. It is also useful for calculating optimum
moves of two or more machine elements, when
physical limits do not allow full correction to be made
by moving a single element.
When used with jigs and posts, single-axis leveling is
sufficient for ball-bearing machines, and two-axis
leveling for sleeve-bearing machines.
Reverse Method (Contd.)

For long spans, adjustable clamp-on jigs are

available for reverse-indicator application,
without requiring coupling spacer removal.
With the reverse-indicator setup, we mount
only one indicator per bracket, thus reducing
sag as compared to face-and-rim, which
mounts two indicators per bracket.
Reverse Method (Contd.)

Both coupled shafts must be rotate able,
preferably by hand, and preferably while
coupled together.
If the coupling diameter exceeds available
axial measurement span, geometric accuracy
will be poorer with reverse method.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Alignment with dial indicators.

For using dial indicators, it is necessary to
prepare a suitable outfit, which can hold three dial
indicators simultaneously. One dial indicators (R),
with the axis in the radial direction, will measure
the radial misalignment of the shafts. The two dial
indicators (A1 and A2), with the axis in the axial
direction, will measure the axial misalignment of
the shafts.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Note :
For having accurate readings, ensure dial indicator rod
remains perpendicular to the face while taking readings.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Alignment with dial indicators

Alignment data can be measured
By rotating one of the shafts, allowing the dial indicator slide
on the flange of the other shaft which remains fixed.
By rotating both the shafts at the same time.
If possible, proceed in the later manner because in this case
the collected alignment data will be independent of the
machining and shape of the coupling flanges.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Dial Indicator
Dial Indicator works with the index of mm scale.
Before rotating the shaft and collecting the
misalignment data, ensure that all the three dial
indicators are set to zero. Also make sure that
traveling margin is available in these indicators.
When recording the data, the plus sign shall be given
when the rod of the dial indicator goes back into its
seat or move inward. Minus sign shall be given when
the rod comes out.
When the dial indicator main pointer rotates by 3600,
the dial indicator small pointer will show 1mm
displacement of the rod
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Place the dial indicator on the rim of the
coupling hub and secure it with the help of
suitable outfit.
Measure the data during a rotation of 360 0. The
algebraic sum of the values read on the
horizontal plane (900 & 2700) will be equal to
the values read on the vertical plane (0 0 and
1800).
When noting down the alignment values,
always specify the hub (Driver or Driven) on
which the dial indicator moves.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

A
0 B
A
-y -y
B
-x
-y -y = -x
x Side View
2

Action required :
Place shims of thickness x/2 mm under all the feet of machine B
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

B
0 A
B A

-y -y

+x
(-y -y = +x)
x Side View
2
Action required :
Remove shims of thickness x/2 mm from all the feet of machine B
Alignment Methods (Cont.)
0 B
A
B
+x -x
A
0
(x -x = 0)
x Plan View
2
Action required :
Move the motor (A) upward by distance x/2. During movement,
ensure that axial alignment may not get disturbed.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment
Place the two dial indicators at 180 0 by the
vertical axis.
The necessity to use two dial indicators is due
to the fact that axial displacement of the two
shafts to be coupled may occur during the
rotation of the two flanges.
By the use of two dial indicators the possible
displacements along the axis are annulled,
where the face displacements of the two hubs
to be coupled remain unattended.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

A1 a=0 A2 e

b f h
d

c g=0

The value of axial misalignment on the vertical plan will be the

algebraic half difference of the reading (consider with their
signs) made on the dial indicators A1 and A2 after a rotation of
1800 i.e.
c-e
Axial vertical Misalignment =
2
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment (Vertical Plane) Case 01

A2 = +e
A1 a=0 A2 +e A1

b d f h

-c g=0 A2

c-e
Axial vertical misalignment = A1= -c
2 A2 = 0

Side view
Whenever misalignment result has minus
sign, the flanges are open downwards.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment (Vertical Plane) Case 02

A1= 0
A1 a=0 A2 e = 0 A2 = 0
A1

b d f h

c=0 g=0 A2

c-e
Axial vertical misalignment = A1= 0
2 A2 = 0

Side View
Whenever misalignment result is 0, there
is no axial misalignment in vertical plane.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment (Vertical Plane) Case 03

A1= 0
A2 = -e A1
A1 a=0 A2 -e

b d f h

A2
+c g=0
c-e
Axial vertical misalignment = A1= +c
2 A2 = 0

Whenever misalignment result has plus Side view

sign, the flanges are open upwards.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment (Horizontal Plane)

Measure the data during a complete rotation of 360 0.

A1 a=0 A2 e

b d f h

c g=0

The value of axial misalignment on the horizontal plan will be the algebraic half
difference of the reading (considered with their signs) made on the dial indicators
(b d) (h - f)
A1 and A2 after a rotation of 900 and 2700 c.e.

Axial Horizontal Misalignment = 2

Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment (Horizontal Plane) Case 01

Dial Indicators readings: A1 = + d Right
A1 a=0 A2 e A2 = + h
A1
-b +d -f +h

c g=0
A2
(b - d) - (h - f) A1 = - b
Axial horizontal misalignment =
2 A2 = - f
Left

Plan view
Whenever misalignment result has minus
sign, the flanges are open to the left.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment (Horizontal Plane) Case 02

a=0 e A1= - d Right
A1 A2 A2 = -h A
1

+b -d +f -h

c g=0
A2
(b d) (h - f)
Axial horizontal misalignment =
2 A1= +b
A2 = + f Left

Whenever misalignment result has plus Plan view

sign, the flanges are open to the right.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Alignment (Horizontal Plane) Case 03

Dial Indicators readings: A1 = d Right
A1 a=0 A2 e A2 = h
A1
b d f h

c g=0
A2
(b d) (h - f)
Axial horizontal misalignment = =0
2
A1 = b
A2 = f
Left
Misalignment result is o, the flanges are
axially aligned in horizontal plane. Plan view
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Alignment Correction Procedure

After taking the complete alignment data, draw
the line diagram. This helps in visualizing the
actual physical condition of the machine. It thus
helps in deciding the actions to be taken in
order to get the desired alignment readings.
Always correct the axial alignment in the
vertical plane first. One performs the correction
by changing the height of the shims placed
underneath the feet of the machine.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Misalignment in the Vertical plane

a=0 e

b A1 d f A2 h

c g=0
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Misalignment in the Vertical plane

Thickness of the shim to be removed from the rear feet, in order to align
the shafts, can be obtained from the formula
X.L
S=

C-E
Where X= (Consider the sign)
2
L = Distance b/w the feet.

If the correction to be made is noticeable, it is recommended to adjust

the shim placed between the grouted plates and the bedplates.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Alignment Correction Procedure

After correcting the axial alignment in the vertical plane,
correct the radial alignment in the vertical plane. Raise
or Lower the machine by adding or removing the shims
from all the feet of the machine. By doing such, axial
alignment of the machine in both the planes would not
change.
Best method to carry out the above action is to tight the
bolts of both the feet of one side first and than add /
remove the shims from the feet of another side. Repeat
the same process for removing / adding the shims from
the feet of first side.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Alignment Correction Procedure

After correcting the axial and radial alignment
in the vertical plane, correct the axial alignment
in the horizontal plane.
As per alignment readings, make any foot of
the machine a pivot. This can be done by
tightening the bolt of that particular machine
foot. After that, move the machine in a
horizontal plane about the pivot to get the
In the last, correct the radial alignment in the
horizontal plane.
Alignment Methods (Cont.)

Axial Misalignment in the Horizontal Plan

(Viewing from the Top)
Foot to be pivoted
Face & Rim Method
Following are the advantages of this method:
It can be used on large, heavy machines
whose shafts cannot be turned.
It has better geometric accuracy than reverse-
indicator, for large diameter couplings with
short spans.
It is easier to apply on short-span and small
machines.
Face & Rim Method (Contd.)

If used on a machine in which one or both shafts
cannot be turned, some run out error may occur, due
to shaft or coupling eccentricity.
If used on a sleeve bearing machine, axial float error
may occur. One method of avoiding this is to bump
the turned shaft against the axial stop each time
before reading. Another way is to use a second face
indicator 180 around from the first.
If used with jigs and posts, two or three axis leveling
is required, for ball and sleeve bearing machines
respectively.
Face & Rim Method (Contd.)

Face-and-rim has lower geometric accuracy than

reverse-indicator, for spans exceeding coupling or jig
diameter.
Face sag is often insignificant, but it can occur on
some setups, and result in errors if not accounted
for. Calibration for face sag is considerably complex.
For long spans, face-and-rim jigs are usually custom-
built brackets requiring spacer removal to permit face
mounting.
Graphing the results of face-and-rim measurements
is more complex than with reverse-indicator
measurements.
Leveling Curved Surfaces
It is common practice to set up the rim dial indicators
so their contact tips rest directly on the surface of
coupling rims or shafts. If gross misalignment is not
present, and if coupling and/or shaft diameters are
large, which is usually the case, accuracy will often be
If, however, major misalignment exists, and/or rim or
shaft diameters are small, a significant error is likely to
be present. It occurs due to the measurement surface
curvature.
This error can usually be recognized by repeated
failure of top-plus-bottom (T+B) readings to equal
side-plus-side (S+S).
Jig Posts
Jig post is a rudimentary auxiliary surface,
used for squaring the circle. Another reason
for using jig posts is to permit measurement
without removing the spacer on a concealed
hub gear coupling. If jig posts are used, it is
important that they be used properly. In effect,
we must ensure that the surfaces contacted by
the indicators meet these criteria:
They must be leveled in coordination at top and
bottom dead centers, to avoid inclined plane error.
Jig Posts
If any axial shaft movement can occur, as with sleeve
bearings, the surfaces should also be made parallel to their
shafts. This can be done by leveling axially at the top, rotating
to the bottom, and rechecking. If bubble is not still level, tilt the
surface back toward level for a half correction.
If face readings are to be taken on posts, the post face
surfaces should be machined perpendicular to their rim
surfaces. In addition to this, and to previous steps just
described, rotate shafts so posts are horizontal. Using a level,
adjust face surfaces so they are vertical. Rotate 180o and
recheck with level. If not still vertical, tilt back toward vertical to
make a half correction on the bubble. This will accomplish our
desired objective of getting the face surface perpendicular to
the shaft in all measurement planes.
Thermal Growth
Thermal growth of machines may or may not be
significant for alignment purposes.
In addition, movement due to pipe effects, hydraulic
forces and torque reactions may enter the picture.
Vibration, as measured by seismic or proximity probe
instrumentation, can give an indication of whether
thermal growth is causing misalignment problems
due to differences between ambient and operating
temperatures.
Thermal Growth (contd.)

If no problem exists, then a zero-zero ambient

alignment should be sufficient. Through experience it
has been learnt that such zero-zero alignment is
adequate for majority of electric motor driven pumps.
Zero-zero has the further advantage of simplicity, and
of being the best starting point when direction of
growth is unknown.
For these reasons, zero-zero is preferable unless we
have other data that appear more trustworthy, or un-
less we are truly dealing with a predictable hot pump
thermal expansion situation.
Thermal Growth (Contd.)

If due to vibration or other reasons it is decided that

thermal growth correction should be applied, several
approaches are available, as follows:
Pure guesswork, or guesswork based on experience.
Trial-and-error.
Manufacturers recommendations.
Calculations based on measured or assumed metal
temperatures, machine dimensions, and handbook
coefficient of thermal expansion.
Thermal Growth (Contd.)

Calculations based on rules-of-thumb, which

incorporate the basic data of previous approach.
Shut down, break the coupling, and measure
before machine gets cool down.
Same as the previous approach, except use
clamp-on jigs to get faster measurements without
having to break the coupling.
Make mechanical measurements of machine
housing growth during operation, referenced to
base plate or foundation, or between machine
elements.
Thermal Growth (Contd.)

Measure the growth using precise optical

instrumentation.
Make machine and / or piping adjustments while
running, using vibration as the primary reference.
Laser measurement represents another possibility.
Same as the previous approach, except use eddy
current shaft proximity probes as the measuring
elements, with electronic indication and / or
recording.
Centering
(Machine Internal Alignment)
Centering refers to the alignment of the machine
internals. It is carried out with the help of dummy
shaft. Dummy shaft has adjustable legs. With the
help of dummy shaft and two dial indicators,
which run on extreme casing ends (Machine front
& exhaust sealing areas), casing central axis is
achieved. Length of the adjustable legs is then
locked. Dummy shaft is then removed and all the
machine internals are installed. All these internals
are then aligned with the help of dummy shaft.
Centering
Centering can be classified into two types.
Internal Centering
Centering of the machine internals, carried out when the
machine is in dismantled form is called internal
centering.

External Centering
External Centering refers to the checking of machine
rotor center when the machine is in assembled form.
Reciprocating M/cs Alignment
Perform the following operations in order to
align and to couple the machine which then
form the unit.
Install the flywheel in the compressor shaft
end.
Record the shaft deflections as follows.
Put on inside micrometer in the crank nearest the
driver as shown in figure.
Slowly rotate the shaft and read the shaft deflection
in a complete turn.
Reciprocating M/cs Alignment
Detect the mean oscillation of the flywheel during a
complete revolution of the compressor shaft and stop
the shaft at this point.

The new centre line assumed by the compressor

shaft due to flywheel weight will be the reference
centre line for the subsequent alignment.

Align the slow shaft of the speed reduce to the

compressor shaft in this position, then align the
speedy shaft of the speed reduce to the driver.
Reciprocating M/cs Alignment

Tighten the bolts which lock the speed reducer and

the driver to the bedplate.

Couple the compressor shaft and check again the

compressor shaft deflection which shall be the
same those read before the coupling.
Important Tips
If the machine has more than four feet, then it is
better to carry out the alignment of the machine
by reverse / graphical method.
Always carry out the alignment job in the early
day time. This will help in precluding the error
which can occur due to sunlight.
Shims should be kink free. Also try to keep the
no. of shim as less as possible.
Before alignment, always ensure that there is no
soft footing in the machine. If it exists, remove it
prior to align.
Important Tips
Do not expect symmetrical thermal growth in
unsymmetrical machines.
Before decoupling the machine, take alignment
reading, if time permits. It serves as a reference
reading, as some time it becomes difficult to get
Associated piping / supports have a tendency to
induce stresses in the machine during operation if
they are not properly designed. If machine gets
misaligned during operation, review the same
Gear Alignment

Gear is a very costly element of the

machine. If the two gears are not fitted and
aligned properly, they will definitely get
worm out rapidly. Moreover in the aftermath
of gear failure, major machine damage can
also be happened.
It is therefore imperative to take extra care
while fitting any gear.
Gear Alignment

Following are the ways of checking the alignment

of the gears.
Check the tooth flank contact pattern by applying
prussian blue, using a piece of felt.
Place two lead wire on the marked tooth (One on
the left and the other on the right) of the pinion.
Rotate the gear so that the wires are flattened.
Measure the thickness of the wires. The
maximum variation in flank clearance measure
not exceed 0.02mm.
Gear Alignment
Pulley & Sprocket Alignment

V Belt pulleys or sprockets can be aligned

with straight edge bars or with strings. Both
axial and redial misalignments can be
corrected.
Sprockets Alignment
Pulleys Alignment
Effects of Misalignment
Misalignment can cause the following problems
on the running machine.
Vibration occurs due to misalignment in the
machine and associated / linked equipments.
Excessive wear and temperature rise in the
bearings.
It causes coupling failure.
Abnormal noise arises because of misalignment