Using optical tooling to align continuous web machinery


It is important that the components be measured and aligned relative to an established common reference. In most cases, this reference is the machine-direction centerline. Because the original machine centerline becomes inaccessible, both optically and mechanically, offset centerlines are installed allowing for the use of optical tooling.

This offset centerline is referred to as a "baseline" and consists of non-corrosive monuments or "plugs" grouted in the floor. The baseline must be straight and parallel (perpendicular in certain cases) to the machine-direction centerline within a few thousandths of an inch. The baseline should be the length of the machine and may encompass distances exceeding hundreds of feet.

The illustration depicts the ?optical planes? that are established before installation of new machinery. Once the initial centerline has been installed based on blueprint requirements, an optical ?line of sight? (LOS) is established. From this LOS, additional optical planes are established relative to the original centerline.