Shaft balancing in rotating machinery is a critical operation because it helps prevent premature wear and tear and even the destruction of that piece of equipment. If you have shaft-driven machinery that needs maintenance or repair, we have the tools and expertise to perform static and dynamic balancing here at HI-TEK Balancing as well as in the field.
Our complete shaft balancing services include:
- Dynamic balancing
- Static balancing
- Mass centering
- Accurate material removal and addition with in-house machining
- Trouble-shooting and balancing where others fail
- Predictive maintenance and vibration analysis services
When an unbalanced system is rotating, periodic linear and/or torsional forces are generated which are perpendicular to the axis of rotation. The periodic nature of these forces is commonly experienced as vibration. These off-axis vibration forces may exceed the design limits of individual machine elements, affecting equipment performance as well as reducing the service life of these parts. This is when it becomes crucial to perform shaft balancing, or even on-site at your location, if necessary.
If your rotating machinery is experiencing vibration that you suspect is being caused by an out-of-balance shaft, that could be the result of missing balance weights, broken welds, dirt or paint build-up or even a bent shaft. Shaft balancing becomes necessary any time there is a shift of the shaft’s center of mass relative to the axis of rotation. Whatever the cause, our shaft balancing experts here at HI-TEK have the skills, resources, and experience to quickly and effectively rebalance the shaft, regardless of the size or type of rotating equipment.
How do I know if my driveshaft is out of balance?
There are many indicators of an unbalanced shaft. Premature bearing failure is often a sign of unbalance. Unbalanced shafts develop extra centrifugal forces that repeatedly stress bearings making them fail prematurely. Excessive vibration is also an obvious indicator. The same forces that make bearings fail are the forces that initiate excess vibration. These forces can also cause failure of the supporting structure that supports the rotating shaft.
What are some common shaft balancing challenges?
Hollow shafts and rolls often come to us not straight. Shafts that are not straight develop a jump rope effect when they rotate at operating speeds. This causes excessive unbalance that can not be corrected with the usual methods of material removal or addition. At Hi-Tek, we routinely check for shaft straightness early in the shaft balancing process. If a bend is observed, we will straighten the shaft before moving forward with balancing to ensure that the minimum amount of correction is needed to balance the shaft to tolerance.
Long, narrow, and hollow parts like driveshafts and rolls are challenging for many servicers to balance. There are often only small amounts of material that can be removed or added and in very specific places. Hi-Tek specializes in accurately measuring unbalance so corrections can be made within the narrow specifications that OEMs of the shafts or rolls dictate.
Shafts serviced in the field come with their own unique challenges. In addition to all of the challenges described above, repairs to bearings, the supporting structure, and the shafts themselves may be necessary. In mechanical systems that require near-constant operation such as HVAC systems for large commercial buildings, shafts and rotors are typically operated until significant noise is observed. After the noise is noticed by the building maintenance staff, the damage to the shaft, bearings, or supporting structures is already happening.
In the field, Hi-Tek Balancing are experts at repairing this damage before balancing. We then analyze the vibration, balance the rotor, and make recommendations as to how to improve the mechanical system to prevent future premature failures.
Whether in our shop in Lunenburg, MA, or at your location around the country, Hi-Tek Balancing’s technicians can repair and balance your shafts and rolls quickly to get your mechanical system up and running again.