Laser shaft alignment tool eliminates vibration

March 23, 2000
Connecting wires quickly and without stripping

Using the Rotalign Pro laser shaft/coupling alignment system from Ludeca Inc., Miami, maintenance technicians can now align the power-transmission shafts of machine trains with up to six components. Specified tolerances, targets, names, and icons are displayed for each on a large LCD. The system aligns horizontal and vertical machine shafts, coupled and uncoupled shafts, and features an optional program for measuring the straightness of such components as machine ways and beds in a single pass.
Rotalign Pro displays alignment results of up to six components. The handheld unit features RS-232 serial and parallel ports for PC communication and a printer connection for outputting reports containing text and graphics.
A job setup screen displays detailed diagrams of the machines to be aligned. The same screen lets technicians add machines to new or existing trains and specify coupling types and dimensions, rpm, and amount of thermal growth. Rotalign Pro measures alignment by tracking laser beam displacement over the position detector's surface to the nearest 1/1000 mm as the shafts are turned. To begin measuring, simply adjust the laser beam on the sensor target crosshairs then rotate the shafts in one continuous sweep. Often less than a quarter turn from the starting position is adequate for precision measurements. Two built-in electronic inclinometers continuously keep track of the shaft rotation angle for each laser beam position measurement. The system then automatically displays the coupling misalignment on the screen, and indicates the amount of movement required at each foot in both vertical and horizontal directions to correct the error. Operators can view the LCD screen while making adjustments and see a "happy face" appear as the errors move into the acceptable tolerance range.

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