Rotating equipment such as pumps often includes precision machined components and parts. The design and manufacture of these parts are generally governed by strict tolerances, machining guidelines, material specifications and strength ratings. This overall process is, in part, driven by the desire to produce the best part possible.

With the current difficult trading conditions in some sectors, we are seeing increased pressure on margins, softer sales figures, increased competition from off shore and a relentless march to reduce cost. We have touched on this previously where an initial cost saving may only be short lived. For example, a rotating assembly made up of inferior parts may fail well before its expected life cycle resulting, at the very least, loss in production and damage to reputations.

Often, the sign that things are going wrong shows up as a vibration or balancing issue with your equipment. The initial production cost saving are quickly eroded and invariably it now becomes a problem out on-site.

In more recent times we have seen undersized shafts used in rotating equipment where the bearings became loose during commissioning. The subsequent vibration caused further damage to other parts of the assembly which then needed a partial rebuild. This scenario could have been avoided by specifying the correct raw material then machining the shaft to the correct tolerances and checking it, prior to assembly.

Another assembly involved the use of drive shaft components where the mating parts were machined to a loose tolerance (or perhaps not one at all) and hence had too much play in the assembly. This made balancing the assembly impossible and the shaft had to be rebuilt with newly sourced components from a company that checks the tolerances as part of their quality assurance system.

In our respective engineering and manufacturing fields we must endeavour to adhere to best practice and insist on the selection of the best part most suited to the equipment and its application. All equipment is ultimately the sum of all its parts, and if we cut corners on any one of those parts, we may well pay the price. It just makes sense to get the best part.

Precision Balancing has been offering in house and on site dynamic balancing and vibration analysis services since 1989 and have the equipment, skills and experience to satisfy your industrial balancing requirements. Precision Balancing strictly adhere to the requirements of the relevant ISO standard. ■

For more information on how industrial balancing can assist with machine reliability please visit


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