Alignment Course

Leading Machinery Improvement

A Practical Approach to Precision Alignment Methods


Course Objective

To teach the techniques and skills needed to perform alignment in the shortest time and to increase awareness of its importance to obtaining the smoothest running machinery.



• Five days




Shaft/coupling misalignment is responsible for over half of all excessive vibration in machines. The resulting premature bearing and seal wear has a significant effect on machine life, production availability, and ultimately, your plant’s profitability. Precise and consistent alignment of all your rotating equipment will help you reduce maintenance costs and unscheduled downtime, increase process quality, and extend machine life. This course teaches alignment principles (applicable to all methods and machinery) in practical, easy to understand terms and also provides hands-on experience performing precision alignment.

Reverse dial indicator or laser alignment courses are offered depending on the needs of the client. Subject coverage is similar for both versions and each includes a full overview of all current alignment practices.


Learn the Fundamentals of Precision Alignment


Learn what precision alignment is and why it is so important. Seemingly complex, technical topics are presented in workable, “nuts-and-bolts” language. The common alignment methods are examined, and their relative benefits and limitations are compared. The basic steps for properly setting up an alignment project, ensuring accurate readings, and collecting and interpreting data are presented. Understanding these processes, craftsmen and technicians can achieve desired precision alignment tolerances in a timely and repeatable manner.


Learn Alignment Calculations that Save Time and Eliminate Errors


Alignment calculations are simplified into step-by-step instructions for use with graphical methods or computer programs. Learning the graphical approach reinforces basic alignment concepts and helps the participant “see” the misalignment and the adjustments necessary to correct it. Specially designed graph paper and forms are provided that facilitate accurate results, allowing for offsets that may be required due to machine thermal growth and other environmental factors.


Align Machines Using the Reverse Indicator or Laser Methods


Extensive hands-on alignment training strengthens understanding of the methods and concepts presented in the course. Exercises include the proper placement of shims, soft foot compensation, techniques for machine moves, and handling shaft problems. Alignment tolerances and the elements of an effective alignment program are stressed: enabling your technicians to make the right moves the first time.


Course Content

Why the Most Precise Alignment is so Important

Overview of Alignment Methods

• Comparisons and evaluations of current alignment methods

• Alignment tolerances


• Base preparation

• Checks and procedures

• Procedures and precautions for taking accurate readings and measurements

• Machinery soft foot — measurement, analysis and correction

Calculating with a Graph, Calculator, or Computer

• Alignment correction for machines not subject to thermal growth.

• Determining final desired alignment reading for machines subject to thermal growth

• Alignment correction for machines subject to thermal growth

• Finding the optimum moves when bolt-bound or base-bound

Hands-on Training with Laser or Reverse Indicator and Demonstration Units

• Pre-alignment checks

• Soft foot determination and correction

• Fixture assembly

• Taking and recording accurate readings

• Compensating for thermal growth in one or both machines

• Precision movement of machinery

Solutions to Special Alignment Problems

• Alignment when one shaft cannot be rotated

• Aligning machine trains

• Aligning machines with long shafts or jackshafts


“For my first time ever working with precision alignment, Update made my week an enjoyable and challenging experience. I’ve learned a lot, and my confidence is building in working with alignment. This really will help me to be a more skilled mechanic.”

St. John River Power Park