Categories: Adaptive Alignment

Adaptive alignment: How to solve virtually any shaft alignment challenge

Maintenance leaders are demanding alignment systems that can adapt to their assets, challenges, and teams

From basic alignment jobs to more complex and difficult tasks, maintenance teams regularly face unique alignment challenges. Because machines and their misalignment problems vary greatly, teams today require hardware and software alignment systems that adapt to virtually any situation in the field.

They also need tools that adjust to the experience and skill levels of different team members – especially as veteran employees move on or retire, and newcomers assume their duties.

With adaptive alignment, that’s exactly what they get. Adaptive alignment is a strategic complement of features designed to provide maintenance teams with a complete solution to meet just about any challenge, from an asset, situation, or user skill level.

Alignment systems with adaptive features maximize production time and minimize unplanned downtime, all without sacrificing ease of use.

New levels of accuracy and speed

Adaptive features, such as those in the PRUFTECHNIK line of industry-leading alignment systems, eliminate human error while delivering new levels of accuracy and speed. The next-generation laser shaft alignment technology in PRUFTECHNIK tools is made possible by two essential underlying innovations: Single-Laser Technology and Active Situational Intelligence.

Here’s a look at both:

  • Single-Laser Technology. With a single-laser system, users have just one sensor and one laser to set up. Not only is this faster, but it eliminates the many frustrations and risk of inaccuracies that occur when working with two lasers firing in opposite directions. Single-Laser Technology enables rapid completion of alignment tasks and improves precision.
  • Active Situational Intelligence (ASI). This software provides maintenance teams with real-time, actionable intelligence. It’s situationally aware and delivered as work is being done. It dynamically reacts to everything involved in the alignment process and uses predictive intelligence to enable technicians to evaluate different possible courses of action before embarking on the time-consuming task of moving a machine.

By leveraging these two advanced technologies, maintenance teams can deliver on the promise of adaptive alignment in all three critical areas common to every alignment task: the asset, the situation, and the maintenance team.

  • Adapting to the asset. Basic laser alignment systems are not engineered to support the broad range of critical rotating asset types and can be difficult to use with them. This makes for a costly and time-consuming problem for plants that rely on those assets or on certain specialized but common asset configurations. When laser alignment systems support the widest range of assets and configurations—as adaptive alignment systems do—they eliminate manual workarounds and inaccuracy problems common to non-adaptive systems.
  • Adapting to the situation. Perhaps the strongest attribute of adaptive alignment is Active Situational Intelligence software, with its ability to adjust to many different variables – including degree of rotation angle, speed, and evenness — while delivering a smooth, rapid, and accurate alignment experience. That enables technicians of all skill levels to take high-quality measurements just by following the steps and tips displayed on the screen. ASI evaluates many quality factors simultaneously in real time and provides instantaneous feedback. Included among those factors are common issues such as instant coupling backlash filtering and environmental vibration.
  • Adapting to the team. Adaptive alignment has the intelligence to discard many errors a technician may inadvertently make. It utilizes analytics in real time, removing the incorrect data. With basic laser alignment systems, both experienced and inexperienced technicians often obtain different results. Adaptive systems unlock team capacity: even if an inexperienced technician is doing the alignment, the system corrects common errors to enable the technician to obtain the same high-quality results as a more experienced engineer.

Shaft alignment is one of the most important factors in asset life, cost of operation, and ultimate value to the business. That’s why maintenance leaders are demanding alignment systems that are more complete and can adapt to their assets, their alignment challenges, and their team capacity. This is the thinking behind the PRUFTECHNIK adaptive alignment systems from Fluke Reliability.

Learn more about the Adaptive Alignment concept and feature set in PRUFTECHNIK systems in this white paper.

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