||July 13, 2009
The alignment of rolls in web handling machines is critical to the quality of the final product and the life of the components of the machine. Regularly checking the parallelism of the rolls is the only way to guarantee proper alignment. Misalignment stems from the inescapable settling of foundations as well as everyday wear and tear from running machines. The methods used for checking roll alignment vary in form and technique. Selecting a method suited for a particular application is difficult considering the multitude of options. The production of films, laminated and coated materials, and calendered rubber and plastic materials rely on complex systems requiring multiple rolls. Inspecting a machine to target a problem must be done efficiently and reliably for the machine to remain online and up to speed. An alignment service is discussed along with a look at the results after the machine is started up. This example is from a fabric calender machine used to produce the plies or belting used in the buildup of common passenger car tires. This machine is similar to other calendering and laminating machines that manufacture everything from conveyor belts to kitchen flooring. A problem was occurring, evident as wrinkles in the material, resulting in excess scrap and quality issues. The facility tried several methods and configurations but could not fully correct the problem. After a complete alignment check, it became apparent where the trouble was coming from. Adjustments were then made, and the machine began producing a superior product again, as reported by the engineer overseeing the project.