If you follow the OASIS Industry Blog, you have no doubt read an article or two about how precision machine alignment can improve operating efficiency, lower scrap rates, increase machine speeds and production rates, and reduce downtime – as well as, in some cases, even improve employee morale.
However, even though improving machine performance is a goal for most manufacturers, it can be difficult to know where to begin. An alignment audit (check-up) is a great way to get started.
Machine Alignment Audits
Whether you currently have a successful preventive maintenance program in place or are just interested in seeking ways to get more out of your equipment, a machine alignment “check-up” is a quick and inexpensive way to gather beneficial data that will provide you with an overview of the alignment “health” of your machine or process line.
Alignment audits benefit all manufacturing lines and based on industry and machine configuration, can be completed in as little as 8 hours.
Top Reasons for a Machine Alignment Audit
1 – Generates baseline of current machine alignment condition
- Documenting the existing alignment condition of your machine is extremely valuable when changes to the line occur due to mechanical failure, building settlement, component rebuilds, roll changes and capital improvements
2 – Helps to identify the possible causes of
- High scrap rates
- Premature bearing failures
- Excessive fabric/wire wear
3 – Assists with outage planning
- If the alignment audit reveals an issue that requires a corrective action, this can be planned for in advance
Real Life Alignment Audit Success
Many OASIS customers have seen impressive outcomes after an alignment audit was performed at their facility. Below are just two examples.
A tissue converter was convinced that the embosser unit of one of their paper towel lines was causing tracking issues leading to severe wrinkles and baggy edges. The mill team was so convinced, that they submitted a capital expenditure request to replace the embosser unit in order to improve overall machine speed and solve the wrinkling and baggy edge issues. OASIS was hired to provide and alignment audit in order to document the current alignment condition of the machine prior to the install of the new unit. After performing the audit, it was discovered that the issues were not with the embosser unit at all, but were as a result of misalignment of the idler rolls. OASIS was then asked to perform the corrective adjustments to the rolls. By performing the alignment audit, the tissue converter was able to not only eliminate the wrinkles and baggy edges and improve machine speed; they were able to cancel the capital improvement request of a new embosser unit!
A large paper mill was struggling with poor product quality, constant unplanned downtime and regular web breaks on two of their paper machines. The mill had attempted to make improvements over many months to no avail and was losing customers due to the poor product quality. When one of their top customers gave them a deadline to resolve the issue or they were going to pull their business as well, the mill turned to OASIS for help. OASIS performed an alignment audit, provided recommendations for improvement, and then performed the corrective alignment adjustments. Following the corrective alignment actions, this facility was not only able to exceed the product quality demands of their top customer – and keep their business, but they regained the business of previously lost customers.
So, “Is it Time for YOUR Machine Alignment Check-up”?
Please contact us for more information or to schedule a machine alignment audit at your facility. To receive educational and informative updates containing industry news, reviews of measurement tools and technologies, case studies, and more, please subscribe to the OASIS Industry Blog.