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Common Coupling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


One of the most common components found in industrial machinery is the humble coupling. It is used in a wide variety of industrial applications and is so commonplace that it is quite surprising how little is known about them. Many machine operators and mechanics are unaware of how to take care of them correctly. This leads to various problems, the least of which is an increased wear and tear factor shortening a coupling’s potential lifespan.

Larger problems can occur as well, up to and including the complete breakdown of the machinery itself. This means downtime while repairs are made, replacements parts ordered and delivered from couplings suppliers, and all the while production has ground to a halt.

All Coupling Designs At Risk From Mistreatment

It doesn’t matter which brand or model of coupling a particular machine uses, if it is mistreated then there will be problems occurring regularly. Modern coupling manufacture is very precise, but whether the machine requires Tschan couplings, Desch couplings or Dinal couplings, the risk of failure is the same if the requisite care isn’t taken. In fact, coupling failure is such a common problem that many machinery operators consider it simply part of the process that just has to be dealt with when it happens. However, many coupling failures can be avoided through the proper care.

Coupling Alignment Mistakes

The alignment of the couplings is one of the main areas where problems occur. Even with many modern industrial machines using laser alignment, misalignment still occurs. In fact, the problem hasn’t actually improved much since the invention of laser alignment, with the lasers simply replacing the older alignment techniques such as using straightedges, callipers or even dial indicators for the more fancy mechanics and machine operators among us.

Even with the more accurate lasers, issues with coupling alignment still arise often out of ignorance of the operator, or simply because couplings are relatively cheap and little heed to paid to their proper care. Many operators assume that if the coupling fits then it will work without much else needing to be done. Learning how to use the alignment checking tools such as the modern lasers or the older straightedges and dial indicators is the first step to ensuring there are no problems caused by misalignment.

It is also worth ensuring machine operators are fully trained and aware of their alignment-checking responsibilities because it is not just the couplings that can be damaged by misalignment. The couplings themselves might be inexpensive, but their failure can also lead to damage to other gears, lip seals and bearings that the machine relies upon.

Other Common Coupling Problems

Another issue that occurs regularly are the problems caused by improper assembly. The solution to this problem is pretty self-explanatory – assemble them correctly according to the coupling manufacturer’s directions – but it worth stating as not all machinery operators are aware of how to correctly assemble each and every coupling they are responsible for.

Often simple problems have simple solutions, and that is the case with couplings that require lubrication. They will seize up, misalign, and wear out much faster if they are not lubricated properly so ensure every coupling that requires lubrication receives the exact amount it needs. The couplings suppliers or manufacturers should be able to advise as to the correct coupling care required for each and every coupling type.

If you require any coupling products such as Tschan couplings, Desch couplings or any of the many designs from the Dinal couplings range,  then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading couplings distributors and who can ship these parts all over the world.