Thanks to modern technology, we’ve got lasers to align pulleys to ensure machines work well. But in the old days, pulleys had to be aligned in a different way. And, even now, some companies do not utilize modern laser alignment tools for their machines.
Ways to Align a Pulley
How do you align a pulley without a laser? You can do so with the naked eye or a straight edge.
When it comes to the naked eye, you can look at the wheel and belt of a pulley and approximate it. If and when the belt seems to be slipping, it’s pulled back around the wheel and lined up with grooves– or pulled tight along the center of the wheel. Doing this, though, leaves the most room for error.
What about using a straight edge? While it’s more exact than the naked eye method, it’s not as good as laser alignment. If and when the pulley itself is misaligned (not the belt), then the straight edge method involves holding the straight edge up to the pulley wheels and turning them around, slowly. If and when the grooves for the belt (or rope) don’t match up on each of the wheels, they’ll get evened out thanks to the straight edge as a reference point. Again, there’s room for error with this option.
Ideally, if you’re trying to align your pulley(s), laser tools are the way to go. Lasers can determine the misalignment, providing useful measurements that allow the repairer to use lateral and axial jackscrews to properly realign the pulley.
One thing’s for sure: you don’t want a misaligned pulley. If you’ve got one, expect the belt to slide off the wheel and then a heavy object falls down– hitting someone or something.
Ready to learn more about laser tools for precision pulley alignment? Call Seiffert Industrial at 1-800-856-0129 for more information.