Plant & Works Engineering
Why does misalignment add to energy consumption in industrial fans?
Published:  07 August, 2014

The root causes of misalignment in fans are bent or incorrectly installed shafts and worn bearings. These result in vibration, noise and heat, which effectively wastes energy. Misaligned shafts also increase the load on motors, requiring increased power consumption from the motor to generate the additional turning effort required to rotate the shaft.

The results of misalignment are at best wasteful but, at worst, the consequences can be far more damaging; should the symptoms of misalignment trigger a failure, a shutdown could cost the business thousands of pounds in lost revenue as the clock ticks by while idle machinery awaits repair.

To prevent misalignment from increasing energy consumption and risking a major equipment failure, it is vital to operate a regular programme of predictive maintenance, a task that can be very effectively carried out using the latest condition monitoring tools. The current range of portable devices, such as thermal imaging cameras, are both easy to use and extremely accurate, while in-line tools, such as vibration sensors, can be mounted in a number of key positions on the equipment, offering the potential for continuous monitoring and analysis. These condition monitoring tools are inexpensive, particularly when balanced against the potential cost of a shut down, and significantly increase efficiency by enabling engineers to carry out equipment repairs and replacements as part of a planned maintenance schedule.