Some staff of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) have undergone training in the use of laser technology to be able to quickly diagnose and improve the running condition and reliability of machines.
Laser technology in alignment helps to ensure that pumps are aligned cost effectively and quickly to save cost on badly aligned couplings.
The use of the laser technology on a wider scale by the GWCL will mean that with the help of a laser kit, technicians will be able to align two or more rotating shafts in the same straight line, both vertically and horizontally, measure straightness profiles of machine bases and turbine casings to ensure maximum efficiency and longer lifespan for machinery.
When a shaft in a pump, for example, is not aligned properly, it increases wear on bearings and seals, increases vibration levels, maintenance costs and reduces productivity and shaft life.
Jual Group Ghana Limited, authorised distributors for KSB Pumps in Ghana, organised the training for the GWCL staff. It was facilitated by Benjamin Oliver of Nicol and Andrew Plc from the United Kingdom.
Shaft alignment can be done utilising several methods and tools such as straightedges, calipers, dial indicators, optics but the use of the laser systems helps to ensure more precision, according to Mr Benjamin Oliver who facilitated the training.
The GWCL staff were trained in laser straightness measurement, laser shaft alignment, laser bore alignment and laser circular flatness measurement.
One of the trainees, Abubakar Sani Mohammed, an assistant technician from the GWCL Kumasi maintenance unit, expressed appreciation for the training and said it was the first time he was using such a technology.
He said it would help to speed their work at the workshop and ensure accuracy.
The Sales Manager of Jual Group, Mr Francis Owusu-Ansah, said mis-alignments caused wear and tear and created problems in industry.
He, therefore, expressed the hope that “this new kit which enables and helps technical personnel to know the tolerance levels or ensure that couplings are at the exact place that they ought to be will be widely adopted in Ghana.”