I have been a field vibration analyst with Condition Monitoring Services since 2013. CMS is a reliability resource company that provides full-service Predictive Maintenance support. In my more than 15 years in the field, I have seen and used lots of alignment equipment. The S-680* from Hamar Laser is the best shaft alignment system I have ever used, and I have used it to align everything from extremely small pumps to large pumps for power plants, as well as in mills and mines.
There’s a lot I like about Hamar’s S-680* compared to other systems: First, you can leave the heads in one position and make the vertical and horizontal moves, a big time-saving feature. It’s extremely accurate, transmits alignment data wirelessly using Bluetooth and has a very intuitive, easy-to-use software package [Couple6]. It incorporates ambient lighting correction and has a sun filter that’s great for outdoor jobs. I can pop the filter on and not have any issues with light sources interfering with accuracy. That filter has saved me a lot of grief! Also, it uses a PC tablet instead of a dedicated display so if you have a problem with the tablet you don’t need a whole new system.
The S-680* makes us shine as reliability pros. Our new customers are often experiencing high failure rates due to misaligned equipment, but they see those go down significantly after starting a PM program with us. For example, a gypsum plant in Las Vegas was seeing continual failures on their mills, often due to losing bearings, even on the larger 300 hp units. They used to call us for alignments after failures two times per quarter. After we began aligning their equipment and getting it set up properly, that fell to two calls per year―roughly a 75%-reduction.
Another good example: A gold mine in Laughlin, Nevada had been running a very small, high-speed pump that was essential for their processing operation. The unit had a coupling failure about once every three to five weeks. After we corrected a number of issues with the pump and got it aligned properly, the last coupler has been running well for 18 months.
Compared to other companies, the service behind the product is superior. Hamar Laser’s customer support people are always extremely helpful with any operator issues, and their field sales reps are very supportive. We’ve been very happy with Hamar Laser and the S-680*!
[For information on Hamar Laser’s shaft alignment products, visit shaftalignment.hamarlaser.com/.]