SKF has introduced the new shaft alignment tool TKSA 11, which features inductive proximity sensors and a mobile app. The tool enables companies to improve uptime and lower maintenance costs.
The new TKSA 11 is the only instrument of its type to feature inductive proximity sensors, and a very innovative and easy to use app for smartphones or tablets. This makes the TKSA 11 an ideal entry-level tool for maintenance or production engineers to carry out shaft alignment quickly, simply and accurately for motor, fan, pump and compressor applications amongst many others.
It is estimated that misaligned shafts can cause up to 50% of all machine failures, affecting the reliability of bearings, seals couplings and belts. Additionally, incorrect alignment adversely affects energy consumption.
Shaft alignment has traditionally been carried out using laser tools, dial gauges or simply by line of sight and a straight edge. Laser tools can be expensive, whilst dial indicators are accurate but difficult to use and line of sight methods are inaccurate. Conversely, the SKF TKSA 11 enables quick, accurate and reliable shaft alignment that suits most budgets and is ideal for small to medium sized applications.
The TKSA 11 incorporates two inductive proximity sensors within a compact and robust electronic measuring unit, which is attached to the moveable machine side, on shafts or coupling sleeves, with a reference bar being attached to the fixed machine side. With an easy to use app, the user is guided through the measurement and correction of shaft misalignment, while a live view of the measuring unit and horizontal machine position facilitates accurate alignment.
The new measurement technology allows the TKSA 11 to be used in bright sunlight and enables constantly high measurement accuracy regardless of the distances between the mounting brackets; this makes it ideal for aligning narrow couplings or for use in confined spaces. Optional extension rods and extension chains are also available to use with large couplings and shafts, further extending the application range of the TKSA 11.
The measuring unit connects to an iOS smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, with the app exploiting the computing and display performance of the mobile device to provide an intuitive alignment process using live view and animations. The easy to use interface, with clear on-screen instructions helps users to perform quick alignment tasks and a final report, with the option of a signature and picture, is available for export in pdf format.
The use of proven inductive proximity sensors, combined with a mobile app, eliminates the need for a built-in display on the alignment system, allowing SKF to introduce the TSKA 11 at a cost that is approximately half that of competing devices. The low cost, plus the simplicity, accuracy and repeatability of the new instrument, means that for the first time precision shaft alignment technology is available to a far wider audience than has previously been possible, enabling companies to benefit from improved uptime, lower maintenance costs and greater productivity.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
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