Shaft Alignment Practitioner

Achieving precision alignment (and eliminating soft foot) are one of the keys to achieving reliable rotating machinery.

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Achieving precision alignment (and eliminating soft foot) is one of the keys to achieving reliable rotating machinery.

With each rotation of the shaft, misalignment puts the shaft, coupling, bearings, seals, and the support structure under undue stress and strain. It sucks the life out of the machine and consumes additional energy.

It is simply not adequate to use a straightedge or dial indicators (unless trained in the precision use of the dial indicators). Precision alignment and the elimination of soft foot (base and foot flatness, pipe strain elimination, etc.) are some of the fundamental skills of an organization seeking to improve reliability.

The course can be delivered at your site, but the most common way to master precision alignment is via the iLearnAlignment™ e-learning course that is included within the iLearnReliability™ Learning Management System or the On-demand learning center. The self-paced e-learning training is filled with animations to make it easier to learn, more understandable, and more interesting.


Unfortunately, it is common around the world for organizations to purchase laser alignment systems without providing the necessary training on how to use the system, or what it means to achieve precision alignment. As a result, maintenance technicians simply follow on-screen prompts and “go through the motions” to align the shafts. It is, therefore, common for machines to be operated with misaligned shafts and strained casings (due to soft foot).

It is critical that the maintenance technicians appreciate the importance of precision alignment and they understand what the measurements are telling them. They must also understand how to overcome the challenges that present themselves due to different machine designs and mounting issues.

It is simply not enough to purchase a laser alignment system and assume that you, therefore, have precision alignment.

Our animations and training method makes the alignment process crystal clear. As a result, alignment technicians become confident and competent.

Course agenda

The course is intended to establish the fundamentals, explain dial-indicator alignment, and then cover laser shaft alignment.

  • An overview of precision alignment
  • A detailed introduction to alignment including the reliability benefits
  • The basics of dial-indicator calculations
  • Rim-and-face and reverse-dial dial-indicator alignment overview
  • Pre-alignment checks
  • Soft foot detection and correction
  • The rim-and-face method in detail
  • The reverse-dial method in detail
  • Laser alignment methods in detail
  • Moving the machine (and how to deal with the bolt bound and base bound situations)
  • Dealing with dynamic and thermal growth
  • Machine train alignment