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Murphy on Coupling alignment

By: Murphy [21] 4 Stars
Date: Monday, June 26, 2017
Time: 10:15:00 AM

Today a laser alignment tooling would be the correct choice because of data logging and collection for a software program to process using the multi-point method. What seems great about some of the software today is getting standard deviations calculated. But, even lasers can be set up wrong. So, this should never be done by anyone other than very experience turbine generator repair or alignment people or a turbine generator manufacture.

A good reason to use very experienced people is this old link showing example of a coupling failure that was posted here a number of years ago. http://www.steamforum.com/steamforum_tree.asp?master12875 very destructive.

I think it can be said that in general, alignment methods are principally the same for all machinery where we are concerned with off-set and angular misalignments or the combination of the 2, which seems more likely. Ideally, a solid coupling should glue the shaft together or mimic a one piece shaft from the generator exciter to the turbine front standard.

To prepare for an alignment we ensure the turbine and generator base plates and concrete structures are proper. Anchor bolting must be sound and secure, and no improper steam piping strain which has to be addressed including thermal expansion of the bearing pedestals and other major STG components.

Shaft movements are extremely difficult to handle because you and I cant rotate the shafting by hand, so we use what is available, which can be an external means like the overhead crane and a sling or pin method, which in the case of the pin method a chain-fall maybe used to rotate the shafting or some other means. But the sling method tends to unload the shaft from the bearings and can make a mess of things because it basically lifts the shaft. They all have there problems because if the mass of the rotors, so, continuous sweeps or continuous sweep method of readings are impractical and create questionable data when trying to turn the coupling halves by any other mean except a well maintained turning gear. To over come these issues, when the turning gear is not usable or equipped then in the past only a very experienced overhaul project engineer with highly skilled millwrights accomplished the big solid coupling alignment such that they could over come the issue of high friction at the shafting and bearing interface and the initial standing rotor inertia. So, continuous sweeps to grab the measurements by triple checking required a degree of judgment that only the best people should make.

A new method is the multipoint method is seems to be the solution for large rotating machinery like a gas turbine or steam turbine were accessibility are an issue because you and I can start measurements any where in a turn and only need a handful of points. But, you still need to rotate, but not a 100 percent turn. It doesnt eliminate the need for a highly skilled millwrights, but does eliminate the judgement or minimizes errors and shortens the time needed to align the coupling halves.

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