ICTD International Centre for Training and Development

Machinery Alignment and Balancing

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About the course

This course teaches you how to perform corrective field balancing. It is based on understanding rotor response theory, the accurate acquisition and analysis of data, and applying the best field methods for a given machine design. We thoroughly explain the nature of machinery unbalance and teach how to balance without just "throwing a weight in." And we strive for maximum interaction between instructors and students to insure each gets the best possible value from the training.

We cover Single Plane, Multi-Plane, and Overhung Rotors. Discussions focus on the diagnostic techniques for each machine application. We teach graphical and numerical techniques, and emphasize understanding and utilizing influence vector data. Case Histories are also presented to review common and unique field experiences, recommended field balancing procedures, cautions and site expectations.

We also emphasize that attendees have extensive Hands-On experience in our Workshops to practice on the supplied Rotor Kits, all while using the latest diagnostic instruments. In our seminars, you will not just sit there and listen to lectures and pre-conceived experiments. You will conduct your own experiments, generate your own data, and produce your own results!! That is how you learn effectively.

Optional fourth and fifth days are available during in-plant seminars to balance equipment at your facility. This immediately reinforces the training, while resolving problematic machines at your site. M&B will provide the analysis instrumentation, balancing instruction and oversight while attendees field balance one or more machines.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, the delegates will be able to:

  • Learn rotor response theory & predict phase response
  • Distinguish unbalance from other problems
  • Avoid “just throwing a weight in
  • Learn Single Plane, Multi-Plane, and Overhung Rotor balancing techniques both graphical and numerical
  • Complete hands-on lab workstation exercises
  • Analyze Case Histories - learn from others
  • Learn balancing Best Practices - avoid mistakes

Course Outline

Day 1

Understanding Rotating Unbalance

  • Static, Couple, & Dynamic Unbalance
  • Mechanical vs. Electrical Unbalance
  • Causes of unbalance

Understanding Phase Angles & VECTORS

  • Absolute vs. Relative Phase
  • Phase Measurement Techniques
  • Transferring Phase Measurements to a Rotor
  • Vector Plotting, Addition & Subtraction
  • Splitting & Combining Balance Correction Weights


Day 2

Essential Rotor Dynamics

  • Rigid vs. Flexible Rotors
  • Fundamental Synchronous Rotor Response
  • Resonances vs. Critical
  • Rotor Mode Shapes

Essential Vibration Diagnostics

  • Unbalance Characteristics
  • Spectra & Orbital Data
  • Phase Response Data
  • Startup / Shutdown Data
  • Slow-roll Runout Compensation


Day 3

Balancing Single Plane Rotor Systems

  • Data Acquisition & Analysis
  • Estimating Modal Response
  • Determining the “Heavy Spot”
  • Determining Trial Weight Amount & Location
  • Graphical Results Analysis
  • Numerical Results Analysis
  • Influence Vector Calculation
  • Trim Shot Predictions
  • Assessing Measurement Errors
  • ‘One Shot’ Balancing Using Influence Vectors


Balancing Multi-Plane Rotor Systems

  • Data Acquisition & Analysis
  • Analyzing Modal Responses
  • Static & Couple Unbalance Review
  • Choosing the Best Approach
  • Graphical & Results Analysis


Balancing Overhung Rotor Systems

  • Data Acquisition & Analysis
  • Static & Couple Unbalance
  • Graphical Results Analysis
  • Numerical Results Analysis


Day 4

Balancing Best Practices

  • Documentation Requirements
  • Transducer & Measurement Selection
  • Transducer Mounting Locations
  • Handling Resonances
  • Dealing with Shaft Runout (proximity probe use)
  • Thermal Vectors

Vibration and Balance Tolerances

  • Vibration Tolerances & Recommended Specifications
  • Balance Quality Grades: ISO; API; Navy
  • Residual Unbalance Tolerances
  • Determining Residual Unbalance after Balancing


  • Primary Air Fan (Balanced)
  • Induced Draft Fan (Balanced)
  • Main Turbine – Exciter (Balanced)
  • Boiler Feed Pump (Realigned!)
  • Gland Steam Exhauster Fan (Incorrect Flow!)

Day 5



One (1) piece of plant machinery can be balanced as a group exercise, with M&B providing oversight, analysis & recommendations. This requires one (1) full additional day, and coordination between site and M&B personnel for scheduling and efficient execution

## Course Methodology

A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:

  • (30%) Based on Case Studies
  • (30%) Techniques
  • (30%) Role Play
  • (10%) Concepts
  • Pre-test and Post-test
  • Variety of Learning Methods
  • Lectures
  • Case Studies and Self Questionaires
  • Group Work
  • Discussion
  • Presentation

Who should attend

This course is intended for rotating equipment engineers, OEM service engineers, vibration analysts and technicians, supervisors, and managers who are involved with machinery maintenance and reliability.

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