Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

It’s All About That Base!

Maintenance & Reliability
Base millwright

It’s All About That Base!

BaseOne of the “foundations” (pun intended) of good millwright work is the machine is only as good as the base it sits on. When I started out as a millwright, the accepted practice was:

  • The base should have sufficient mass to dampen vibration, absorb shock, and stabilize any forces from piping, duct, conveyors, or any other accessory components.
  • The mass of the base should be at least 3 times the mass of the machine that it supports. In other words, if the machine weighs 1000 pounds, there should be 3000 pounds of base, to include base, frame, soleplate, grout/concrete.
  • Unless the base sits upon isolators per design criteria, the base should be anchored with steel J-hook bolting, or some other attaching mechanism, to the floor.

If you see a machine with this kind of base today, odds are good that it was installed 30+ years ago. There are many various specifications for bases from organizations like API. Many companies use specifications given by their engineering design groups. But the actual installers may not know what the specifications are, and the commissioning engineer may not check it. Shortcuts are sometimes taken.

So that’s that got to do with alignment? A lot! Because you can’t align a moving target!

If the frame is not sufficiently rigid to prevent movement of the machine components during operation, the relative positions of the driving and driven machines can change. If the base has insufficient mass, the machines can move. If the base isn’t lagged into the floor, it can move. If piping and duct isn’t supported with suitable hangers, the machines must support their loads.

Simply stated, may not be able to perform a precision alignment on machines that sit on bad bases. And even if you get a great alignment, it could change.

Related Articles

Sulzer Cost effective sustainable fuel production

Cost effective sustainable fuel production

Benchmarking Market Report highlights cost-leadership of Sulzer Chemtech BioFlux Process Technology for Renewable Fuels production BioFlux® process technology for renewable fuel…

Related Whitepapers

Expansion Joint Expertise Improves Industrial Wastewater System Reliability

The majority of industries have wastewater treatment plants. Government agencies and local governments require these facilities to meet pretreatment requirements. Pretreatment rules were enacted to prevent…

How to Decrease Oil Changes with Bearing Isolators [Inforgraphic]

Learning how to decrease oil changes can be time- and money-saving. Oil life can be long if contamination is eliminated, which is easier said than…

Synchronous Machines Are The Optimal Choice For Heavy Industry

TECO-Westinghouse experience assures superior performance and reliability For over a century, Westinghouse has been the pacesetter in the design and production of electric machines for heavy…

Why FLEXXORs Are Designed Differently

J. Hilbert Anderson, President of Coupling Corporation of America, discusses some of the reasons why FLEXXORs are designed differently from all other flexible couplings, and…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the #PumpTalk Community

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Empowering Pumps & Equipment, 2205-C 7th Street, Tuscaloosa, AL, 35401, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact