System construction, also referred to as industrial system construction, encompasses all sub-areas of service having to do with the construction and maintenance of production systems. Among them are the construction, manufacturing, and maintenance of industrial machines and individual machine components. An important part of this range of tasks is the precise alignment of machines in space and the proper coupling of machine elements. It is especiall important for rotating machines, pumps, rolling mills, etc. to be perfectly aligned. If they are not, individual components can experience early wear. It is not unusual for this to result in the breakdown of the entire system. This can be prevented by optimally attuning systems to one another. This often requires distances to be bridged and tolerances corrected. In the flexible adjustment of components, adjusting elements are used.
Fields of application for slotted shims in system construction
There are two basic areas of application for adjusting elements in system construction. One is the bridging of vertical distance, which allows machines and machine components to be oriented horizontally by using so-called slotted shims to bridge gaps under tilt feet or height discrepancies between systems that must be coupled. A typical application case for vertical distance adjustment is shaft alignment in pumps and motors. Slotted shims are U-shaped pieces of metal sheet that are available in two basic designs:
Edge-bonded slotted shims are packages of sheets that are bonded at the edges and can gradually be reduced to the thickness that corresponds to the distance to be bridged by successive removal of layers.
Both solid and edge-bonded slotted shims are in stock as standard systems, but are also available as customized parts based on technical drawings.
Precision shims for horizontal orientation
A second area of application for adjusting elements is horizontal distance adjustment, which involves precise alignment and the bridging of gaps between machine components and assemblies. For the bridging of horizontal gaps, individual precision shims that are perfectly adapted to the individual components are usually used. These bridging plates are made either of solid metal sheet or of peelable laminated shim stock or laminated plastic. The minimum thickness of the individual sheets is 0.05 mm. Laminated shim stock is available at foil thicknesses of as low as 0.025 mm. The standard materials for precision shims are stainless steel, steel, aluminium, and brass. Peelable parts can also be manufactured as light, easily peelable precision shims made of laminated plastic.
Precision and slotted shims for system construction