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Heavy Machinery Installation

Machinery Installation and Rigging

Murphy Rigging and Erecting provides full-service rigging and heavy machinery installation. We are certified installers for many machinery manufacturers and follow manufacturer specifications. From unloading to placement, leveling, and optical alignment, when it comes to industrial installation, we’ve got you covered.

The skilled millwrights at Murphy Rigging can safely and properly install any machinery on schedule with a minimum amount of production downtime, whether you only need to install one machine or an entire factory. All forms of mechanical and industrial equipment are installed by our millwrights.

From handling machinery to moving and installing equipment, production lines, entire factories, and plants, our company provides complicated rigging and millwright solutions. To the fullest satisfaction of our partners, our trained engineers have installed presses, machining tools, welding cells, calender and extruder lines, conveyor lines, and more.

Heavy Machinery Installation Best Practices

Maximizing reliability and reducing life cycle costs depend on proper equipment installation. On the other hand, inadequate installation results in a lot of downtime, subpar products, decreased capacity, and excessive operating costs. The type of equipment and its function will determine the industrial installation requirements, however, there are some fundamental best practices that we are certain we adhered to when performing any heavy machinery installation services.

Ensuring a Solid Foundation

When it comes to performing an industrial installation, we first ensure the foundation’s mass and stiffness are sufficient to allow the machine to operate in or close to an equilibrium state. Lack of mass and/or stiffness results in aberrant vibration levels that shorten the usable life and increase the frequency of maintenance. These vibration levels are produced by normal operating forces. The foundation must have the ability to support the applied load without settling, bending, or crushing. 

Concrete or steel structural structures are typically used as heavy machinery foundations. For these industrial installations, a separate concrete pad is created that is firm and strong enough to sustain the machine train and deflect forces brought on by typical operation. The overall mass of the foundation and any associated supporting structures must be at least five times that of the machine’s rotational or moving mass.

Isolation of Machinery

Vibration produced by machinery must be either absorbed by the foundation or contained within the machine. Cross talk, the transmission of energy from one machine into another, is a common cause of dependability issues. This is particularly true in facilities with a number of continuous process lines, such as those for metal processing, high-speed printing, and paper machines. 

A concrete pad used to mount a machine must be separate from the surrounding floor. In order to provide isolation, the pad is often built and poured directly on bedrock with a minimal gap between it and the next floor. This prevents vibrations from outside sources from entering the machine and enables the energies produced by the equipment to be absorbed. When a machine must be placed directly to the ground, isolation must be achieved using springs or elastomeric pads specially made to absorb or block the transmission of generated energy. Use caution when choosing them. 

Isolators won’t isolate frequencies outside of their useful bandwidths because they are made for specific, generally limited bands of frequencies (such as 18 to 21 Hz). They are effective in shielding machines from both generated and external energy sources when appropriately sized and fitted. They are completely useless if they are installed or sized incorrectly.

Heavy Machinery Installation Services

Leveling All Equipment

Machines are made to work on a real horizontal plane with very few exceptions. In most cases, a liquid level is adequate to level a machine correctly, although more modern methods, including laser alignment tools, are also an option. The entire machine-train needs to be horizontally aligned and level.

The technique utilized to shim mounting feet is where failure occurs most frequently. Too many plants neglect to employ shim packs that fully support the footprint. Shim packs give the mounting feet and the foundation a strong connection. To ensure that there are no gaps or bending in the finished bolted joints, the surfaces must be flat and parallel.

Anchoring For Security

For proper heavy machinery installation, equipment should be fastened to its foundation with anchor bolts. The application of appropriate techniques guarantees a firm, long-lasting matching of pieces. J-bolts are inserted into the concrete as it is being poured and used to anchor machinery to the foundation. Bolts should be the right size to provide sufficient holding torque and prevent them from loosening over time. Choosing the right bolt grade requires caution. You should also consider if the mounting pattern will be robust enough to lock mounting plates to the base. It is not advised to use hydraulic concrete and straight mounting bolts because they tend to become brittle over time.

The choice and configuration of the anchor bolts are considerably more important for equipment located on mezzanines or higher floors. The anchor bolts in this situation must accomplish two crucial tasks: they must secure the machine so that it cannot flex, bend, or deflect and they must isolate the machine from the foundation to stop the passage of generated energies into the foundation.

Alignment for Proper Functionality

The driver and driven units of the machine must be correctly aligned as the last requirement. While leveling makes sure the complete machine train is parallel to the ground, alignment makes sure the common shaft connecting the driven unit and outboard driving bearing is exactly in the same vertical and horizontal planes. 

To give the necessary alignment modifications, reverse-dial indications or laser alignment tools are typically employed. Depending on the type of machine, alignment requirements change. Normal requirements call for the shafts to be parallel and in the same plane within a maximum tolerance of 0.001 to 0.002 inches. For new machinery, specific installation guidelines are provided. Installation, operating, and maintenance manuals from the seller contain the necessary information. 

A machine will unavoidably become a constant maintenance problem if shortcuts or hacks are used during the installation procedure. One final recommendation: routinely inspect current machine setups. Alignment shifts, shim packs degrade, foundations settle, and bolts corrode or fall free. Regular inspections will aid in preventing many of the issues that lead to lost production time, subpar product quality, and higher expenses.

Final Thoughts On Our Heavy Machinery Installation

By involving Murphy Rigging as early as possible in your heavy machinery installation or moving project, we will be able to offer advice that will help you save time and money, and ensure your project is completed with the least potential disruption.

The Murphy team will be pleased to provide guidance if you are thinking about moving heavy machinery and want some advice. We are equipped to handle any machinery moving and industrial installation scenario, and our more than 110 years of experience can attest to that.

Find answers to your industrial installation questions by speaking to our team today through one of the links below.