Soft foot checks are often performed as a cursory check to “check the box” at the start of an alignment process. They need to become an integral part of the alignment process and perceived as a time saving tool if we are to eradicate it from the landscape.
Soft foot is the condition on a machine, where a foot and/or multiple feet are not within the same plane and supporting the weight equally. This seemingly innocuous error affects machines and components in a very negative way, significantly reducing their life. For example on electric motors the slight frame distortion from soft foot changes the electrical and magnetic characteristics of the windings which leads to electrical imbalance, elevated winding temperature and inevitably shortened insulation life. In rolling element bearings, soft foot causes housing distortion which reduces the already small internal clearance and compromises the lubricating film. In terms of achieving precision alignment, soft foot will cause the machine to behave erratically leading to large doses of frustration increased time to perform an alignment and frequent (and needless) “re-calibrations” of the laser system!
Why is soft foot still a problem? Read On