How to Check If Your Vertical Rotary Kiln Needs Alignment

Given the size of typical vertical rotary kilns, and the extreme stresses involved in their operation, it is little wonder that they have a tendency to go out of alignment.  This can be disastrous for your kiln and for your operation!  Even relatively minor misalignments can lead to significant mechanical troubles, such as vibrations, or even warping of the kiln shell.  Once warped, a kiln shell is extremely difficult to repair, and often must be replaced.

So, it is vital to keep up on the maintenance of your vertical kiln – particularly checking its alignment.  It is recommended that your kiln’s alignment be checked at least once a year and doing it every six months is safer.  This is something it’s possible to do yourself, although tricky, and you might want to call in the experts instead.

However, here is a general guide.

How To Check The Alignment Of A Vertical Rotary Kiln

First, make sure that the kiln is fully shut down and cooled so that the shell is not distorted by heat.  Be aware, if the kiln is near other kilns, their radiant heat could be enough to distort the shell!  This is a job that’s often best done overnight.

Then you should:

Tape the rings

Use tape to mark the circumference of each riding ring.  You want to be able to determine the distance from the outside diameter of each riding ring, to the center of the kiln.

Set up a transit

You want to use a transit, or a level, on top of the kiln.  The line of sight should be parallel to the kiln’s centerline, between the feed end and the discharge end riding rings. 

Check the distances

With the transit set up, you can now check the distance between the riding ring and each intermediate ring.  This check should be done around the circumference, every 90 degrees.

Calculate any misalignments

Now that you know the radius of each riding ring and its position, you can determine whether there are any misalignments in each mechanism.  These can be corrected with adjustments to the carrying rollers.

Signs of Misalignment in Vertical Rotary Kilns

Misalignment in vertical rotary kilns is often indicated by unusual vibrations and excessive heat. Vibrations suggest an imbalance in the kiln’s rotation, potentially caused by uneven wear or foundational shifts. Excessive heat, particularly around the kiln’s shell, points to friction due to improper alignment, leading to energy waste and possible structural damage that may require rapir via rotary kiln services.

Impact on Production and Maintenance and Rotary Kiln Services Costs

A misaligned kiln can lead to uneven heating, resulting in inconsistent product quality and reduced efficiency. This inefficiency escalates maintenance costs due to increased wear and tear on the kiln’s components, leading to frequent repairs and higher operational expenses.

Importance of Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are important for early detection and correction of alignment issues in rotary kilns. Comprehensive checks of all components, including tyres, rollers, and drive mechanisms, help prevent serious problems, delivering optimal kiln performance and longevity while controlling maintenance costs.

Kiln Technology Company Company Has the Kiln Spares and Maintenance Expertise You Need!

Operating a kiln can be tough, but Kiln Technology Company Company is the Texas leader in kiln spares, maintenance, sales, and decommissioning.  If you need assistance with your kiln, please do not hesitate to contact us.