Not everyone relishes doing difficult jobs at work. But Matt Joinson, owner-operator of Jaffray Millwright and Welding located in Jaffray, British Columbia, enjoys projects that may seem daunting.
“I like them all to be a little bit challenging—something different, something interesting,” he says.
Joinson works on a range of machinery across several industries, including lumber and mining. When every job offers new challenges and settings, it’s crucial to have reliable, consistent, easy-to-use tools.
One of Joinson’s go-to tools is the RotAlign Touch laser shaft alignment system from Prüftechnik. Leveraging its Adaptive Alignment features, such as single-laser technology and Active Situational Intelligence, Joinson can work on multiple machinery types—even in rugged environments.
He appreciates that the RotAlign Touch is designed for maximum durability in even the harshest conditions. He often labors in workplaces where the system’s waterproof, dustproof, and scratch- and temperature-resistant features may be put to the test.
“It’s reliable,” Joinson says. “I just know when I go in there and turn that thing on, it’s going to work. I trust it isn’t going to break on me when I’m using it. Everything is made well. This tool is not going to let me down.”
The biggest machines that Joinson services are not always the most difficult of his jobs. Sometimes small machines come with big problems.
“The most challenging ones, I find, are the smaller 75-horsepower units. The bases are in bad condition; you’re in a tight area,” He continued. “Those are probably the most difficult—they tend to have funny little issues you wouldn’t normally run into.”
Adaptive Alignment: ‘Move Simulator saved us a ton of effort’
When working in multiple industries and at various sites, your tools need to offer consistency and repeatability. The RotAlign Touch does, says Joinson.
“It’s accurate. It has repeatability. You have to have that.”
One of the distinguishing features of the RotAlign Touch is Virtual Move Simulator, or VMS. VMS simulates horizontal and vertical movements to calculate the moves needed to precisely align shaft couplings—it can even simulate the alignment of multiple couplings at once.
To use VMS, a millwright measures the alignment of the assets, enters an estimated amount of change or shimming, and gets predicted results on the screen. If the virtual moves will precisely align the couplings, the screen displays a smiley face.
VMS helped Joinson on a recent job. “The Move Simulator helped us make decisions on the most efficient and effective moves,” he says. “Having that helped us power through a job on a big conveyor drive. We were doing a pretty unconventional thing at the customer’s request. The RotAlign Touch made it easier.”
The RotAlign Touch can address almost any alignment situation and a wide range of asset types. Adaptive Alignment, a term used by Pruftechnik to describe specific features in alignment products, helps users make as few movements as possible while increasing the accuracy of alignment—regardless of the location, team, or other unique environmental factors.
“I did a reasonably large machine earlier this year, and the measurement features were able to deal with the backlash and the rough surfaces. The good-quality sliding bracket really made my job a lot easier when I had a fixed machine to deal with. It worked seamlessly, and I had repeatable measurements. On the same job, they asked me if I could do a machine train.”
Machine trains are more complex to align, but the RotAlign Touch kept it straightforward.
“I had good luck doing a machine train, and it was kind of an unconventional process they wanted me to do. It all worked out really well,” he continued. “There were two gearboxes, around 40,000 pounds apiece. The couplings were really large in diameter. The RotAlign Touch made that job go a lot smoother—everything was straight and true. It was quite a long process, and the battery held out all day.”
RotAlign Touch is a value from every angle
Joinson values his RotAlign Touch for reasons big and small. Prüftechnik goes to lengths to ensure build quality, customer value of features, and other such details. The goal being a product that customers will rely on for decades to come.
“The touch interface is good, even wearing gloves. The slide caps over the safety lenses—the Prüftechnik ones are robust compared to other brands. It’s those little things that really bring it over the top. And it’s easy to clean at the end of a job.”
According to Joinson, “When you work in mining, a clean tool matters.”
Matt Joinson can be reached at [email protected]