What Is In-Situ Balancing?
A piece of machinery, however simple or complex, relies on all of its components to work together in harmony and balance. To keep the machine running smoothly, and therefore at optimum output, it is essential to have the balance of its parts and as a whole regularly monitored.
The most efficient method of monitoring and, if necessary, correcting a machine’s balance is while it is in its usual operational site. This reduces downtime by removing the need to dismantle and transport parts for investigation. Also, a machine may need to be almost completely stripped down to reach parts that may need balance correction, but this process is much more simplified by checking or repairing the machine in its desired location. It is not unknown for parts to return from off-site balancing in a damaged condition.
In-situ balancing can be carried out at a time to suit the company’s operational schedule, day or night. This eliminates unnecessary downtime and disruption to other processes running in the same plant. Some moving parts of machines will naturally go out of balance more often than others – lighter components such as fans are often more susceptible to running out of balance. In-situ balancing offers the luxury of having these parts checked regularly and re-balanced where necessary, without the need to disrupt any other parts of the machine. This concentrates the engineer’s time solely on the parts in question without disrupting the whole machine.
One more advantage of in-situ balancing is the opportunity to check other parts of the machine at the same time, for instance using laser alignment. These other operations are only able to be carried out while the machine is running at normal speed, which of course would be impossible while it was dismantled and its parts taken elsewhere.