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
Location TBD
More Info & Sign Up Here

Mississauga, Ontario
Thursday, September 20, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Location TBD
More Info & Sign Up Here

St. John, New Brunswick
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Location TBD
More Info & Sign Up Here

Montreal, Quebec
Thursday, October 4, 2018
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Location TBD
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

Generation XT Keeps Growing With Two New Products For Shaft Alignment & Vibration!

Generation XT, Easy-Laser’s app-based system for laser measurement and alignment of rotating machinery, is expanding again. The XT system is now ready for explosive atmospheres. We introduce the Ex/ATEX-approved XT550 Intrinsically-Safe Shaft Alignment system for hazardous/explosive environments.

With the XT550, we go intrinsically safe! The newest member is developed for hazardous areas and is easily operated through the XT app. The XT550 is an advanced measurement system for alignment of horizontal and vertical/flange mounted rotating machinery.

The XT550 system comes in two configurations; with or without an EX/ATEX approved display unit. It works with the XT Alignment app which also runs on most iOS and Android units, as well as XT11 Display Unit (however XT11 is not Ex classed). The systems measuring units are approved in accordance with the latest ATEX directive and are shock, dust and water proof.

The XT550 features dot laser which makes it possible to perform measurements on large machines over long distances. You also have access to advanced measurement methods, such as continuous sweep and multipoint.

For more information on the XT550, visit our product page here. Check out the video below!

Easy-Laser® XT280 Vibration Tool

Easy-Laser has also launched a new vibration measurement tool called the XT280. Just like the E-Series’ E285 Vibrometer, the XT280 is an excellent accessory or add-on to your XT shaft alignment system. It can be used in different ways and with different displays! Use it as a “stand-alone” tool with the built-in display, use it with the XT11 Display unit (from your shaft alignment system) or download the free XT app for your phone or tablet and use the Vibration Values program. It is an easy-to-use vibration tool that quickly diagnoses vibration level, unbalance, misalignment and looseness. You can compare your readings with the ISO standards and document the results with a pdf report!

Click here to visit the product page for more information on the XT280 Vibration Measurement Tool.

Easy-Laser Receives Another Award for its XT11 Display Unit!

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

One of the best tablets of the alignment industry has received the Red Dot Design Award 2018!

The origins of the Red Dot Design Award date back to 1955. Its distinction, the Red Dot is established internationally as one of the most sought-after quality marks for good design. Here are some of the criteria the jury evaluates:
  • Degree of innovation
  • Functionality
  • Formal quality
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability
This is the second time our XT11 is recognized for its design by a professional jury. Last year we received the iF Design Award for excellent design and ergonomics for “industrial products”.
Easy-Laser XT11 runs our XT Alignment app, which can also be run on iOS and Android phones and tablets. This is a unique feature in the alignment industry – the user can combine display units and different types of measuring units to suit their needs and budget – but will only have to learn one program! Still, because of the rugged design many users prefer to use display devices like the XT11 in industrial environments.


The XT11 has some smart functions, like the screen-lock button which prevents unintentional clicks on the touch screen when you move around the machine you measure. As an option, you can fit your XT11 with a thermal imaging camera, opening up even more possibilities to optimize your machinery for smooth operation.

Learn more about the Red Dot Award
Learn more about the XT11 in the video below:


Standard Approach – New Guidelines on Shaft Alignment and Machinery Installation

You can also find this article in MRO Magazine’s April Digital Edition here.

The new standards in shaft alignment and machinery installation are a must-have for anyone involved in rotating machinery.

Without a doubt the most important aspect for rotating machinery is the installation or re-installation of the machine. There are other factors, such as operational procedure and design faults – even incorrect lubrication – however, the main factor is the installation. This is the critical element that dictates the life expectancy of the machine. The famous study of Nowlan and Heap tells us that only 11% of rotating machines run to their full life expectancy. Even if you disputed this study, consider the billion-dollar Industrial Supply Industry that supply’s us with chains, sprockets, belts, sheaves, pumps, motors, gearboxes and so on. If we say that the study is correct then we have to admit that we do not do a good job as installers and maintainers of rotating machines.

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Why Should You Calibrate Your Laser Alignment or Measurement System?

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

In today’s industry, the demands on machine availability and quality production are greater than ever. We expect maintenance work to be carried out quickly, correctly and accurately, which places demands on the measuring tools giving us the right information every time.

That particularly applies to laser-based measurement and alignment tools, because they must confirm that rotary machines are correctly set-up and operating in the best possible conditions. Unnecessary stoppages and complications that can affect production and lead to financial losses must be avoided. The user then has to put all their trust for preventative maintenance work into the laser measurement system.

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