Correcting Shaft Misalignment with Optical Alignment
No matter how diligent you are with your maintenance plan, almost all captains or crew will experience misalignment at one point or another. Misalignment presents itself in a multitude of ways, including vibration, loss of performance, and increased fuel consumption. In more serious cases, it also accounts for premature wear of shaft line components such as seals and bearings, and, if severe enough, mechanical outages or failures. Laser and/or optical alignments are the most precise methods for correcting shaft misalignment.
Optical alignments utilize optical scopes and precision machined wire targets to align the strut, stern tube, and reduction gear to each other. This type of alignment must be performed on the hard after the running gear has been removed.
AME recently made a trip to Tampa, Florida to perform an optical alignment on a 50-meter passenger ship with four shaft lines. We performed the OA on four reduction gears to their respective drivelines and performed a laser alignment between the main engines and reduction gears.
AME technicians corrected the reduction gear angularity in the vertical plane to a line of sight formed by the aft stern tube bore center and the reduction gear output flange center. After this correction, the strut cutless bearings were aligned to a line of sight formed by the aft stern tube bore center and the reduction gear output flange center.
Contact Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AME to schedule your next optical alignment.
Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AME is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We have technicians and engineers ready to mobilize worldwide.