Introducing Easy-Laser’s New, Advanced Shaft Alignment Tool XT770

Know Your Machine From Every Angle

The new Shaft Alignment tool XT770 comes with several new and advanced alignment functions that provide you with a comprehensive picture of your machine during machine set-up. And it is still just as easy to use as the other XT systems! In fact, they are also gaining access to several of the new features in the latest version of the app. Read More

Join Benchmark PDM at the CMVA’s 36th Annual Technical Conference

Join us at CMVA’s 36th Annual Technical Conference at Laval University in Quebec City, QC on October 30-31st!

Benchmark PDM will be participating in this year’s conference in more ways than one! Among being one of this year’s exhibitors showing our new Easy-Laser XT Shaft Alignment products, we will also be participating and leading one of the technical workshops on “Correcting the major Roadblocks in Machinery Installation”.

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Why Generation XT Shaft Alignment Tools give you the best possible Measurement Results

Easy-Laser’s Generation XT Shaft Alignment Tools come stocked with many different smart measurement functions. What’s more is that these are available in every XT Shaft Alignment system!* These functions help guide you through the alignment process giving you the best possible results. Here is a list of available smart functions whether your using the XT11 display or the free XT app.

Note: These smart functions are not to be confused with measurement programs that Easy-Laser offers like Horizontal Machines and Softfoot Checks or EasyTurn and Continuous Sweep measurement methods.

Thermal Growth Compensation – Oftentimes, machines expand considerably when moving from a cold to hot operating temperature. The Thermal Growth Compensation function allows the measurement system to calculate the correct shims and adjustment values needed to make adjustment in such cases. Compensation values for the machines are normally supplied by the manufacturers.

Tolerance Check – Measurement results can be checked against pre-defined (industry standard) tolerance tables, the new ANSI Shaft Alignment standard tolerances or values you determine yourself. This allows you to immediately see if the alignment is within the approved parameters, thereby considerably reducing the amount of time spent on alignment.

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On Site Alignment is a Dutch company with a focus on alignment on-board ships. They offer assistance when problems occur around, for example, alignment, engineering, or troubleshooting of critical machinery. Being the experts they are, On Site Alignment are all about high-end services in their field.

The following was written by our partner Easy-Laser® AB and can also be viewed on their Blog here. Enjoy!

Joost van Doodewaard is responsible for the day-to-day business of On Site Alignment in the Asia region, based in Singapore. A couple of years back, they started working with equipment from Easy-Laser. We had a talk with him about the specific challenges regarding alignm
ent of rotating
machinery on-board ships, which makes up 95% of On Site Alignment’s work in Asia.

Read More

Sign up for a Maintenance & Reliability Workshop Near You!

Industry leaders Benchmark PDM & SDT Ultrasound collaborate to present an exciting one day workshop that will go across Canada!



A reliable asset is one that delivers its full value whenever required. A reliable car transports us where we want, when we want. Reliable people show up on-time and do what they say they will do. And reliable machines output their engineered value allowing manufacturers to ship high-quality products profitably.

What is lost when reliability falters? How about confidence, integrity, and time?

Asset Condition Management

World class manufacturers commit tremendous resources to manage the condition of their assets. Their goal is reliability. Three condition monitoring technologies, Ultrasound, and Precision Alignment and Vibration Analysis, work cohesively to deliver reliability and fulfill this investment goal.

Join SDT and Benchmark PDM across Canada as they showcase the latest in ultrasound, vibration and laser alignment technologies. Learn new techniques and trends in predictive maintenance and take the opportunity to try out great equipment with hands-on sessions in this one-day workshop.

Presentations & Demonstrations

Correcting the Major Roadblocks in Machinery Installation & the Benefits of Precision Maintenance
– Presented by John-Paul Lambert, Benchmark PDM

Condition Based Maintenance Journey – Partner for Success
– Presented by Robert Dent, SDT Ultrasound

*Hands-On Demonstrations with Easy-Laser & SDT Ultrasound Products


  • Shaft Alignment Fundamentals Wall Chart
  • Partner For Success Handbook


$50 per person + admin fees taxes

Dates & Locations

Fort McMurray, Alberta
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Location TBD
More Info & Sign Up Here

Edmonton/Leduc, Alberta
Friday, September 14, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Primac Reliability
#108 3912 77 Avenue
Leduc, AB T9E 0B6
More Info & Sign Up Here

Sudbury, Ontario
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Holiday Inn Sudbury
1696 Regent Street
Sudbury, ON P2E 3Z8
More Info & Sign Up Here

Mississauga/Brampton, Ontario
Thursday, September 20, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Toronto Brampton
150 Westcreek Blvd
Brampton, ON L6T 5V7
More Info & Sign Up Here

St. John, New Brunswick
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Hilton Saint John
One Market Square
Saint John, NB E2L 4Z6
More Info & Sign Up Here

Montreal, Quebec
Thursday, October 4, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Holiday Inn Aéroport Montréal Airport
6500 Côte de Liesse
Montreal, QC H4T 1E3
More Info & Sign Up Here



Do You Really Need Shaft Alignment Tolerances?

In order for machines to perform as intended, they need to have the correct conditions. But do you use the available guidelines when you are performing shaft alignment?

The following was written by our partner Easy-Laser® AB and can also be viewed on their Blog here. Enjoy!

The word “tolerance” denotes an interval within which something is accepted. We people all have different limitations as regards how much exertion we can tolerate before our bodies let us know, get tired and finally break down. The bodies of elite athletes are adapted to the task they are undertaking. One thing that unites all elite level athletes, regardless of their physical make-up, is all the time they devote to creating the optimum conditions for their task. The amount of time they are expected to perform varies but is negligible in relation to the time they spend on optimising their function.

The make-up of machines also varies and is adapted to the task that is to be carried out. The time they are expected to perform varies, but in many cases amounts to many tens of thousands of operating hours. The tolerance interval for a specific machine set-up denotes the physical conditions that need to be satisfied in order for the machines to perform for the expected length of time, and to generate/produce what is expected of them in a cost-effective manner.

Energy and maintenance costs jointly make up around 75 per cent of the life cycle cost of a machine. The purchase price only represents 10%!


A study produced by Pumping Systems Matter & Hydraulic Institute finds that the purchase price of a correctly dimensioned machine corresponds to approximately 10 per cent of the total life cycle cost. The energy cost corresponds to 40 per cent and maintenance costs to 35 per cent. Other costs amount to 15 per cent. Similar studies arrive at approximately the same figures. Energy and maintenance costs jointly make up around 75 per cent of the life cycle cost, and it is here that a correct or incorrect machine set-up can have a significant impact on how much you have left in your wallet at the end of the machine’s anticipated service life.

The energy cost naturally varies from machine to machine, but documented studies show that correct shaft alignment makes it possible to achieve savings of between 2-17 per cent. The life-cycle cost for machines is based on a calculated maintenance requirement, which does not take into account the fact that almost 50 per cent of machine breakdowns in rotary machines are caused by misalignment.

The overall acceptance interval must give consideration to all vital machine components.


It is not possible to generalise tolerances for pumps, gearboxes or any other machine, in fact. They are used in many different ways, each adapted for its specific task, as we touched on in the introduction. Each vital component has its own tolerance, and the overall acceptance level has to give consideration to all vital machine components, their relationship with each other and the operating conditions. Only then can we gain an understanding of the actual tolerance interval.

It is the friction in a bearing that determines how much heat it generates, which in turn limits the operating speed. The friction is dependent on several factors: load, bearing type, lubrication, etc. Changes in bearing play and/or misalignment of bearings usually leads to increased friction. A higher rotation speed places higher demands on alignment accuracy in order to counter friction.

A higher rotation speed places higher demands on alignment accuracy in order to counter friction.

The lubricating film in a bearing is intended to prevent metallic contact. Shaft alignment faults lead to increased vibrations, which affect seals and their ability to create a seal. Insufficient lubricant means increased friction and wear and a reduced service life. In addition, there is a considerable risk of contaminants penetrating into the bearing, which also has an adverse effect on its service life. Over the years, manufacturers of roller bearings have studied several million bearings in various installations. Only a small number of the established breakdowns are related to typical material fatigue in the bearing’s raceway. The majority of breakdowns are due to abnormal wear, moisture, corrosion, incorrect assembly, alignment faults, damage in the seal or lubrication system, etc.


Couplings become worn and there are several factors that play a role. Couplings including rubber elements are affected by the surrounding environment, and a crowned teeth coupling is dependent on the correct lubricant in the correct amount in relation to its surrounding environment. The wear on couplings increases in the event of alignment faults. Depending on its design, one coupling type can have a greater preventive effect than another when it comes to reducing its own impact from alignment faults. Flexible couplings are often used to transfer torque between machines. Couplings must then be dimensioned to reduce the harmful forces that often arise when a machine changes from stationary to operating mode, as well as to be able to handle process movements. However, in order for the machines to be able to perform for the anticipated length of time, acceptance intervals in operating mode must be satisfied for all critical components. The coupling manufacturer can often specify the maximum permitted limit for the coupling in question, but if this is adhered to, it can cause excessively high forces in the machines’ bearings.

It can generally be said that if the machines’ tolerance intervals are satisfied, the coupling’s tolerance is also satisfied. When changing coupling type, you are recommended to consult not only the supplier of the coupling, but also the machine supplier. This is because it is primarily the machine design that determines the accuracy with which the machines must be aligned. In the event of a warranty claim resulting from a machine breakdown, the manufacturer of the machine will in all likelihood not approve the involvement of a third party.

Example of how the axial forces affect the bearings in a machine. 


In short, no. But at the same time, theoretically, yes. When in operation, the machines operating condition may be improved by not being perfectly aligned. Imagine that the shafts in the coupled machine components, when in operation, are aligned without any offset faults and without any angular faults. The bearing play could then have a negative effect, as the rotation of the shaft at a particular rotation speed could cause it to float, thereby causing self-oscillation of the shaft which, in turn, would in all likelihood result in vibrations.

In ships and when installing propeller shafts, this is taken into consideration. Here there is no rigid concrete foundation to absorb vibrations/movements. The bearing housings are installed in the hull, which means that vibrations/movements from the bearing housings will, in all likelihood, cause oscillations in the hull. This type of installation differs greatly from the installation of pumps/motors, for example. In both cases, much time is devoted to calculations and tests by manufacturers, which subsequently form the basis for installation. However, regardless of whether we are aligning a propeller shaft or a pump/motor, it is the design of the machine elements that provides the conditions we need to satisfy to achieve performance for the expected time.

Generally speaking, it is unlikely that machines can be aligned so precisely that, when in operation and with the forces to which they are subjected, they will not have at least some offset or angular fault. However, there are cases when it is suspected that this has occurred, so it is good to be aware of.


When you purchase a laser shaft alignment instrument, this may include tolerance tables. In this case, the tables give consideration to the most commonly occurring machine types, their speed and, in certain cases, their coupling type. At ANSI (American National Standards Institute) in the USA, work has been conducted for some time aimed at standardizing shaft alignment tolerances for axially coupled machines. This is a wide-ranging process, not only focusing on the direction in which the shafts are pointing, but also stipulating demands in relation to factors throughout the entire machine set-up, all of which impact on the machines’ positioning. Many large machine manufacturers are included in this group, and it is very likely that the work that is now being conducted will form the basis for shaft alignment tolerances not only in North America, but also in the rest of the world. Because you need shaft alignment tolerances to provide guidance when setting up a machine! Everything else is purely a guessing game. And usually an extremely costly one.

“Top 10 Machinery Installation Issues” – Rooted in Reliability Podcast

The Rooted in Reliability podcast is a weekly Maintenance and Reliability podcast covering common industry challenges and what you can learn from them. Each episode dives deeper into critical issues and explains where you can begin correcting theses maintenance flaws today. Sharing new tips and techniques to help you achieve industry best practice and shining a light on widely debated maintenance topics with special guest experts. In the most recent episode, host James Kovacevic, of HP Reliability, interviews John Lambert, President of Benchmark PDM, in Toronto, Canada. John has 30+ years experience in machinery installation and condition monitoring. He has trained many people over the years on these subjects.

Below is an excerpt from James’ post:

When you are installing new machinery or involved in the machinery installation process at a facility or plant of the organization, there are certain issues. These issues are listed from top to the bottom categorized on the basis of seriousness. The top of the list is shaft alignment, or rather misalignment. It is the most common issue while installing the machinery. It occurs due to lack training or of precision instruments, as well as measurement misconceptions. Most organizations think they have achieved alignment just because an instrument showed so. They don’t take the stress and heating mechanisms into account which causes misalignment between the collinear wings of the shaft.

The second issue is the measurement in the base. The machinery installation should start with the removal of stress. The best place to start doing this is by making sure the base is level and flat. You can t just use any off the shelf leveling tool for that. You need to stick to the height and level measurements from the surface. The third issue is soft-foot. Soft foot occurs when one foot of the machine is not in level with the other one which can cause distortion in the machine casing. It also affects alignment measurements when you are checking for correctness.

You can read the rest of Mr. Kovacevic’s blog post right here.

Listen to the new podcast here:

John Lambert Speaking at 2018 CMVA Ontario Chapter Technical Conference & AGM

Less than 2 weeks to go!

The CMVA Ontario Chapter will host the 2018 Annual Technical Conference & General Meeting on June 6, 2018, at OPG/Kinectrics at 800 Kipling Ave., Etobicoke, Ontario.

Our very own John Lambert, President of Benchmark PDM, will be speaking at the conference on bringing the new ANSI Machinery Installation and Shaft Alignment Standard to the Canadian rotating machinery industry.

In addition to technical presentations from CMVA members, there will also be several exciting tours of Kinectrics laboratories: seismic testing, forensics & metallurgy, analtiuc chemistry & oil analysis, and specialized nuclear tooling.

To register, please email the CMVA Ontario Chapter at so they can confirm your registration.

Cost:  CMVA Members: free; Non-members: $60; Students: $20 (lunch is included).

Morning to Mid-Afternoon:  
Technical Presentations, Case Studies and Kinectrics Tours
Annual General Meeting, incl. Executive Committee Elections

Date &Location:
9 am – 4 pm, Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Conference Room KR260
Ontario Power Generation Kipling Site
800 Kipling Ave, Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5G5

5-Step Shaft Alignment Procedure

This 5-Step Shaft Alignment Procedure is a Motion Graphic that outlines an easy and effective way to align your rotating equipment and brings you one step closer to best practices for your alignment program. Contact us here for your free Easy-Laser Shaft Alignment Wall Chart!

Easy-Laser & Benchmark PDM Support NAIT’s Training Activities with Laser Shaft Alignment Tools Donation

Laser shaft alignment tools and measurement systems from Easy-Laser are used in the training of service technicians at colleges around the world. One example is the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

The industry is facing (and experiencing) a major challenge in terms of preparing the service technicians and millwrights of the future for working life. A larger number of people in this professional group are now approaching retirement, and so considerable efforts are required in terms of training to fill the vacancies that are arising.

In order to meet the demands of industry for skilled, versatile people with sound professional knowledge, it is necessary to have training courses that are at the forefront from a technical perspective. With around 500–800 students participating every year in their apprenticeship programs for maintenance technology and mechanics, NAIT is one of the largest polytechnic colleges in North America in this field. The students take part in a four-year apprenticeship program in which they have the opportunity to work in industry at the same time as learning about operating lathes, cranes, pump repair work, hydraulics, compressor technology and machinery installation (including alignment). The course focuses on teaching the basics, before gradually raising the apprentices’ knowledge level over the four years.

In order for the apprentices to be as attractive as possible to the labour market, it is important for NAIT to be able to offer training using the very latest technology within the respective areas. When it comes to alignment, this means high precision laser-based measurement tools. Easy-Laser, which is a leading manufacturer of laser shaft alignment tools and measurement systems, alongside Benchmark PDM, has donated an advanced laser shaft alignment system from its latest product family, Generation XT. The system, XT660, will be used in the training of service technicians and mechanics at NAIT.

John-Paul Lambert of Benchmark PDM demonstrates the Easy-Laser® XT660 in one of the Millwright Programs training classrooms.

The laser shaft alignment tool was handed over to Jim Clarkson at NAIT by Mikael Terner (Easy-Laser AB) and John-Paul Lambert (Benchmark PDM) in January 2018. John-Paul Lambert conducted a short training session regarding the system for instructors and students at NAIT. The training was filmed by NAIT’s Film School and will be used internally.

“We are extremely proud to work with a college like NAIT and to ensure that they can offer their students absolutely world-class training using the latest technology in the industry,” says Mikael Terner from Easy-Laser AB.

Benchmark PDM’s John-Paul Lambert was very impressed with NAIT’s facility and millwright program. “What a pleasure it was to provide these laser shaft alignment tools and the training to a group of people who are excited about using it. It was a pleasure to work with the students who are in great hands with the instructors at NAIT. A big thank you to our Alberta partner BHD who made this possible.”

“The laser shaft alignment tool donated by our industry partners helps us support our students with cutting-edge technology. As a post-secondary, funding is limited, and we rely on our industry partners to keep us relevant and up-to-date with the latest developments. These types of donations ensure that we are training our students on modern equipment used by industry and allows us to better prepare our graduates to enter the workforce with the skills that make them highly successful and sought-after,” says Malcolm Haines, Dean School of Skilled Trades.

Easy-Laser AB has a development program aimed at helping technical colleges and courses to access the very latest technology in laser shaft alignment tools and measurement systems. Are you interested in taking part? Please contact Mikael Terner:
+46 766 35 10 51


The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and trades. With nearly 60,000 credit and non-credit students and a 95 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads are essential to Alberta’s prosperity. Known for hands-on, technology-based learning, NAIT engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. Recognized as one of Alberta’s top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta. Learn more