Equipment downtime, scheduled or unscheduled, is something that operators try to avoid, or at the very least, minimize. With an eye toward speeding the process of measuring and aligning machine trains, thereby decreasing downtime, Fixturlaser has announced upgrades to its Fixturlaser XA wireless shaft alignment system. “Do F1 mechanics use a tire wrench in the pit? Never! The pit crew uses the top-of-the-line tools, since they need to get the car back on track fast,” said Hans Svensson, managing director of Fixturlaser, Sweden. “The same goes for machines in production — if you want to be a winner you need to use fast tools.” A machine train (power train or multiple drive units) is three or more units with rotating shafts connected to each other.

wireless fixturlaser

Shown is the wireless Fixturlaser XA mounted on a machine train for express alignment. The new Fixturlaser Machine TrainXA expansion kit contains a unique software program that includes 3-D Macromedia Flash animations to guide the user throughout the measurement, step by step.

Aligning such a train can be a cumbersome task, with great risks for making time-consuming errors. In many cases, one or more of the machines are affected by dynamic effects. In order to obtain a precision alignment, one needs to compensate for those. “With Fixturlaser XA we did streamline the shaft alignment procedure and made it faster and self-explanatory,” said Svensson. “Blue-tooth and snap-on fixtures contribute to the fast and easy mounting. Extra-large CCD detectors and line lasers minimize the need for adjustment and for rough alignment.” Fixturlaser XA, the wireless shaft alignment system, can now be upgraded with a function for measurement and precision alignment of machine trains. The Fixturlaser Machine TrainXA expansion kit contains a unique software, which is based upon the characteristic user interface from the Fixturlaser XA shaft alignment programs.

The program includes 3-D Macromedia Flash animations to guide the user throughout the measurement, step-by-step. By inserting the whole machine configuration in advance, including target values to compensate for dynamic effects, the Fixturlaser Machine TrainXA provides for a quick start of the measuring. The machine configuration can be saved for future measurements of the machine. An “Express Mode” can also be used for automatic registering of measurement points and an even faster and more efficient alignment. “Using the Fixturlaser Machine TrainXA, you are in control of the whole measurement procedure,” explained Svensson. “The 3-D Macromedia Flash animations show you exactly what has been done so far and what you need to do next. The large color display of the system helps to get a good overview of the whole machine configuration.”

The screen shows the complete result, both the horizontal and vertical view, at the same time. The unique “Minimal Moves” function automatically chooses the best reference machine, which is illustrated on the screen. The reference machine can also be selected manually.

After performing the alignment, the result screen can be printed out or saved as a jpg-file and transferred to external units via a USB memory stick.
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