Industrial Millwright Services Can Help Restore Pump System Alignment

Industrial Millwright Services Can Help Restore Pump System Alignment

Like humans, machines have hearts, too. Just as the human body can’t function without the heart pumping blood into its system, a machine, particularly one that comes with a hydraulic system, will fail to work properly without a pump. Machineries and large industrial facilities need fluid power to start and continue operation, and hydraulic pumps can provide just that. Little wonder then that the pump is considered to be the heart of industry.

The pump used in manufacturing and other industrial purposes is a complex assembly of various essential components. Their functionality lies in their correct alignment and configuration. A slight inaccuracy in their assembly could mean significant decrease in efficiency or, worse, damage to the system. In an article for WaterWorld.com, independent consulting engineer Allan R. Budris discusses the importance of maintaining alignment in pumps and motors.

Good alignment has been demonstrated to lead to:

  • Lower energy losses due to friction and vibration

  • Increased productivity through time savings and repair avoidance

  • Reduced parts expense and lower inventory requirements

There are many different factors that influence a pump system’s alignment, which include wear, material buildup, and thermal distortion. Problems with alignment are generally difficult to fix considering a pump system’s limited alignment tolerance. They have to be carefully inspected and fixed by trusted industrial millwright services like Central Machine and Marine. Professional millwrights usually check the system for the following damage:

  • Coupling overheating and resulting component degradation

  • Extreme wear in gear couplings and component fatigue in dry element couplings

  • Pump and driver shaft fatigue failure

  • Pump and driver bearing overload, leading to failure or short bearing life

  • Destructive vibration events. Harmful machinery vibration is created whenever misalignment exists. Excessive pump vibration can shorten bearing and mechanical seal life.

Machine manufacturers continue to improve pump systems to minimize the potential for misalignment. Part of this advancement is the addition of alignment monitoring devices, including straight edge and feeler gauges, dial indicators, and laser-optic devices. However, these devices can only do so much. Alignment issues may still arise due to mechanical breakdown, natural disaster, and system failure.

Pump alignment problems are often encountered by companies dealing with huge amounts of fluid, such as the petrochemical industry. They are the ones that greatly need the service of experienced millwrights whenever industrial pump repair is necessary. They are experts in assembling pump system components and sealing them for optimum functionality. They also perform maintenance of the system to keep it in shape under extreme conditions.

(Source: Benefits, Methods of Proper Pump to Motor Alignment, WaterWorld.com)