Using Laser Trackers for Quick and Accurate Wire Strander Alignment

In order to remain competitive, wire rope and cable manufacturers must keep their wire stranders – whether tubular, rigid or planetary – running at maximum production levels with minimal surges in energy consumption and raw material waste.

This can prove an extremely difficult task at times due to the large size and high-energy loads of stranding equipment – some of which can measure almost ten feet in width and over sixty feet in length.

One of the issues that can lead to big headaches for the team tasked with maintaining production levels, is mis-alignment of components within the strander. Some of the symptoms of mis-alignment include:

  • Increased energy consumption
  • Excessive vibration
  • Inability to run at OEM rated rotational speeds
  • Accelerated wear of rotating components:
    • Bearings
    • Trunnions
    • Tires
    • Power transmission
(3) wire strander cropped

OASIS Metrology Engineer uses a laser tracker to accurately measure data points for wire strander installation

Because of their size, structure and tight trunnion and tire tolerances, wire strander alignment presented a tough and time consuming challenge in the past. However, with advanced 3-dimensional metrology tools such as laser trackers, wire stranders can now be inspected very quickly and with the precision and accuracy required. Using a laser tracker, a 3D metrology engineer can:

  • Verify concentricity of all tires with the axis connecting the drive bearing to the die
  • Verify parallelism of all trunnions with the same axis of reference
  • Inspect bearing mounted tubular machines
  • Inspect auxiliary equipment alignment

Wire strander alignment inspections are highly recommended after a crash repair or during equipment overhaul such as trunnion changes or tire machining. Additionally, alignment inspections should be included as part of a preventive maintenance program.

In a future post, we will discuss coated wire and cable production and the precision alignment of the coating line, coating head and extruder. If you would like an OASIS representative to visit your wire stranding facility, please email to

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