A Comprehensive Guide To Shaft Alignment: Common Types & Mistakes

Shaft Alignment is the process of setting the position of a shaft in relation to another shaft. This is especially important when dealing with rotating shafts. In this case, alignment refers to the shaft being set in a position that allows for the smooth operation of the machine or other apparatus.

The most common types of shaft alignment are:

  • Camber Alignment – Camber alignment is used for aligning multiple shafts at a single point on the machine. This is helpful when you need to ensure that multiple parts are aligned at the same point.
  • Tilt Alignment – Tilt alignment refers to tilting one shaft relative to another to ensure that they move smoothly without binding or rubbing against each other.
  • Inclination Alignment – Inclination alignment is used when there is an angle between two shafts that need to be taken into consideration when setting up your equipment.

Why Does Shaft Alignment Matter?

If you have been working with machinery for some time, you probably know that shaft alignment is important. However, if you are just starting out or are new to this industry, you might be wondering why it matters so much. Here are some reasons why proper shaft alignment is vital:

Minimize Power Consumption

When shafts are misaligned, power consumption increases because more energy is required to move parts through their cycles smoothly. This happens because friction between moving parts adds resistance to motion, which requires more force than necessary at times. As a result, your machine will consume more energy than it should be using if everything is properly aligned.

Extend Machine Life

A poorly aligned shaft will have an adverse effect on the performance of the entire machine. Poorly aligned shafts can cause uneven wear on bearings and other parts, which will lead to premature failure of critical components such as bearings, gears and seals. In addition, poorly aligned shafts can lead to excessive wear on the surface of materials being processed by the machine. This unnecessary wear can increase maintenance costs and shorten the life span of your machines.

Minimize Vibration And Noise

Shaft alignment is important to minimize vibration and noise. As the shaft rotates, it will vibrate in all directions. This vibration can cause a variety of problems, including premature failure of bearings and other components. It can also cause audible noise. Proper shaft alignment minimizes both vibration and noise throughout the life of your machine.

Reduce Maintenance Cost

Properly aligned parts also contribute to lower maintenance costs over time because they reduce friction which reduces wear on mechanical parts (see above). Less friction means less work required from your maintenance team to keep your machine running smoothly and efficiently over time!

Shaft Alignment Mistakes You Need to Avoid

When it comes to shaft alignment, there are many things that can go wrong. It’s important that you understand these mistakes and avoid them at all costs. Here are some of the most common shaft alignment mistakes that you need to avoid:

Not Planning The Job

The first mistake is not planning the job. The best way to avoid mistakes is to plan ahead. If you think through each step of your machining process, you’ll be less likely to miss something important or overlook a critical detail. Take time to understand your tooling, equipment and materials before you begin. It’s also important to know how long it will take for one part or component because this will help you determine how many parts can be made in a given time period.

Mishandling The Alignment Tool

In order to get proper alignment, you need to use the right tool for the job. If you’re not using a Level Tool and Leveling Gauge, then you’re missing out on some important features and benefits. For example, these tools are designed specifically for levelling tasks, and they include features that make them easier to use. The best part is that they’re also less expensive than other options like laser levels or dial indicators.

Failing To Account For Runout

Runout is an issue that can affect your accuracy in many different ways. It’s something that many people overlook because they believe it isn’t relevant to their particular situation, but this isn’t true at all! Runout can have an impact on everything from cutting tools to bearings; therefore, it’s important to understand how it works and how it might impact your work if left unchecked or ignored altogether!

Neglecting Systematic Training

A trained operator is more likely to be able to detect problems before they become critical. It’s also easier for them to remember how each machine should be aligned and what settings should be used for different materials and processes. Even if they don’t have any formal training, an experienced machinist will know where problems are likely to occur and what symptoms they might see if something goes wrong. That knowledge helps them avoid mistakes in the first place and make quicker diagnoses when something does go wrong.


In conclusion, it is recommended that you pay special attention to the shaft alignment and their contact points with the main gears. Proper adjustment of these factors will result in lower wear of bearings and an extended lifespan for your gearboxes.