Brunson Instrument Company

The Rock Pile: A Blog for Metrology Enthusiasts

How Much is Machine (Mis)alignment Costing You?

Steve Addington
By Steve Addington on Aug 20, 2015 3:07:00 PM

If you work in the lumber industry, misaligned machines may be costing hundreds of thousands—sometimes millions—of dollars in lost revenue.

Poorly aligned equipment is a hidden drain on valuable resources and a major contributor to costly breakdowns, lost production and product waste. A fundamental requirement for optimizing sawmill machinery is precision alignment. It is also one of the most overlooked activities in a mill. In this blog post, we'll discuss how proper alignment can uncover these hidden costs to add new revenue to your bottom line.


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Tim Brown
By Tim Brown on Mar 30, 2015 1:05:44 PM

brunson-alignment-services-screenshotEverybody wants to get in on the best kept secrets, right? Well, we'd like to share one of ours with you. While we haven't been real vocal about it, our expert field technicians have quietly been serving the industrial marketplace for decades, transforming one process after another by working directly with our customers to provide the machine alignments that are critical to their success.

Today, we are making this expertise accessible to everyone. is our new alignment services website, providing a direct connection to our Technical Services group for on-site machine inspection and precision alignment solutions.

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Overcoming Parallax

Tim Brown
By Tim Brown on Feb 10, 2015 9:46:00 AM

One of the conditions encountered when using telescopes is parallax. To perform optical alignments properly, you should have a clear understanding of parallax and the procedures used to eliminate it. 

Parallax exists when the two lens systems of a telescope (the objective system and the ocular system) are not both focused on the reticle plane. You can check for parallax by moving your head up and down as you look through the scope. If you see relative motion between the reticle pattern and the target, you should correct the parallax by properly focusing the ocular and objective lens systems.


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Behold the Sight of Parallel Rolls!

Bethany Hoppenthaler
By Bethany Hoppenthaler on Sep 24, 2014 9:29:59 AM

The view of parallel rolls is a beautiful thing - and not just the rolls that often accompany your favorite pasta dish! We're talking about industrial rolls.  When they're precisely parallel, they produce faster throughput, higher quality, and more uptime.

Rolls that are not precisely parallel might result in problems like:

  • Vibration
  • Premature roll and bearing wear
  • Improper web tracking, wrinkling and tearing
  • Uneven coatings
  • Substandard registration

We're often asked how to make rolls (or other components) parallel. One way to approach the job would be like this:

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Brunson Sawmill Kit Proven to Increase Recovery

Brent Grisamore
By Brent Grisamore on Aug 19, 2014 11:33:00 AM

Over the last 18 months, quite a few sawmills have invited Brunson’s service group to perform a line-up and/or have purchased our Sawmill Kit and training. One timber manufacturer purchased Sawmill Kits for 12 mills, and will be installing even more kits in the future. Eight of the top twelve lumber producers in North America have asked us to perform line-ups in their mills using our optical alignment technology.

What are we hearing from these customers? The mills which are implementing the Sawmill Kit solution into their regular preventative maintenance programs have been the most successful. Some of the results we have seen include a reduction in board deviation by over 50% - and improvements in recovery up to 2.6%. A couple of customers have shared that these results delivered annualized savings of $500,000 to $1,000,000.

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Part Three of our Sawmill Alignment Solution Series

Brent Grisamore
By Brent Grisamore on Jun 19, 2014 11:33:00 AM


Over the last couple of years, we have worked closely with respected sawmill industry consultant and alignment specialists, looking at the challenges of common machine center alignments in sawmills. This includes aligning chip-n-saw lines, gang & board edgers, overhead endoggers, sharp chains, head rigs, track and rails, band mills, sash gangs, horizontal resaws, planers, trimmers and others, in primary and secondary breakdowns.

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Brunson Training is a Continued Tradition

Deighton Brunson
By Deighton Brunson on Jun 12, 2014 2:58:00 PM

My grandfather was obsessed with several things during his lifetime. One obsession was any wild game whose habitat included the land, sea, or air. Another was the quality of his products. He told me one time that if I cheapened the instruments after he was gone, he would come back to haunt me. Another of his obsessions, and not the least, was ensuring the success of his customers. He truly was less concerned about selling products than he was about making sure people knew how to use them after they were purchased. It is somewhat sad that today’s culture, which is oversaturated with hyperbole, will probably cause people to doubt what I am saying. But I kid you not, that’s how he was.

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Part Two of our Sawmill Alignment Solution Series

Brent Grisamore
By Brent Grisamore on Jun 5, 2014 8:39:00 AM

As previously discussed in our blog, we have found that sawmills of all sizes use piano wire, feeler gauges, mechanical levels, dial indicators and plumb bobs to perform critical machine alignments. It is not unusual to find outside service providers using some form of laser alignment device in a mill, but generally these systems are not owned by the mill.  We have seen sawmills using outside alignment technicians as frequently as once a quarter, while still pulling wire between visits.

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About the blog

The Rock Pile is a blog designed to be a platform for collaborative exploration in the field of metrology. You can expect to explore new Brunson products, hear from industry professionals invited to be contributing editors, and gain insight from customers who use Brunson products. So if you are one of the chosen few people who understand that Metrology is not a study of the weather, please join us here.