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Before going ahead, I want to mention why we need to understand this article thoroughly? We are all engineering professionals and we always face various maintenance issues in our daily industrial life and there is one important term in industrial maintenance is shaft alignment. 

Each industry is focusing over the productivity of their unit these days. Productivity of unit depends on various factors and health of various equipments is one very important factor out of those factors. 

Health of equipments depends on engineering services and maintenance that we are providing to our equipments. Shaft alignment is very important in the field of engineering maintenance for each industry those are using rotating equipments.

We have already discussed “Basics of shaft alignment” and “Shaft alignment terminology” in our previous post. We have also studied in our previous post about the need and advantage of successful shaft alignment for maintaining the healthiness of our equipment.

I will request to all my colleague, friends and readers to read “Basics of shaft alignment” and “Shaft alignment terminology” before this article.

Now it’s time to go ahead without wasting your time to figure out the various consideration and activities that must be carried out before final alignment of shaft. I know very well that you have complete idea about the list of activities before final alignment but i need to just remind you pre alignment activities as these pre alignment activities are equivalent important as final alignment of shaft, so let us consider about the consideration and activities that should be followed before the final alignment of shaft.


Safety is very important than work, so first of all we need to follow all the safety parameters such as PPE, work permit and other safety policy of organization. We need to remove the power supply and we will have to take lock out and tag out certificate from authorized person.

Alignment resources

We will have to find out all the resources those will be required to perform the successful shaft alignment with considering all the desired alignment parameters. Tools and others resources those will be required such as spanners, dial indicators, precut shims of various size, taper gauge, feeler gauge, cotton waste , straight edge etc.


We need to provide training about the precision alignment of shaft to our technicians as skilled technicians will perform the alignment assignment with quality work, within time and with all parameters of shaft alignment.

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Inspection of shafts

We will have to inspect the shafts of driver and driven for runout as if any shaft will be runout then we will never be able to secure the successful shaft alignment. Shaft runout could be inspected with the help of dial indicator and a magnetic base and total indicator reading during inspection of runout of shaft must not be higher than 0.002” or 0.05 mm.

Foundation base plate for driver and driven unit

As we have considered the case of shaft alignment of pump and motor in our previous post, so we will consider the same case here also. We will have to check the foundation of motor and pump before placing the pump or motor over foundation. 

Foundation base plate for motor and pump must be enough strong, good in condition, free from dust, burr and other foreign particles. Foundation base plate must have the holes and slots as specified by the manufacturer of respective equipment.

Preliminary alignment inspection

We will have to inspect the feasibility of movement of pump and motor in vertical and horizontal direction as we will be required to move the pump or motor during the shaft alignment. Pump must be free from all pipe connections during preliminary alignment inspection.

Jacking bolts

Foundation base plates must have jacking bolts as we will move the pump or motor with the help of these jacking bolts. We will have to check the jacking bolts mechanism and it must be in good condition.
In our next post/article of shaft alignment " Shaft alignment techniques"  we will discuss about the next step that we will have to follow to secure the successful shaft alignment.

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