(90 min.) Rotor Axial Position: The Concepts, Applications and Pitfalls

Ali Al-Shurafa, Maintenance Engineering Specialist, Saudi Aramco


This tutorial develops the necessary skills for rotating equipment engineers and specialists to make informed decisions about machinery with respect to the shaft relative location to the case. If you maintain large machines on the site or shops, this workshop will help you to make sense of readings associated with the thrust bearing and the factors affecting these readings. The handout of this training includes vivid explanatory illustrations, exercises based on real world cases and many pictures. Throughout the workshop, you’ll identify common mistakes and way to avoid them.

1. Interpret and validate endplay measurements
2. Identify normal thrust direction- active and inactive pads
3. Use absolute axial position on machines
4. Establish the correct distance between shaft ends (DBSE)
5. Recognize critical limits due internal axial clearances
6. Establish or safely modify alarm and shutdown thrust set points


Ali is a senior vibration and rotating equipment engineer, currently based at Ju’aymah Gas Plant, Saudi Aramco. He worked previously as a college faculty member and served as a commissioning engineer for the Saudi Electricity Company. He is heavily involved in rotating equipment troubleshooting and reliability improvements. Ali successfully developed and conducted many academic and industrial short courses and workshops. Mr. Al-Shurafa is a certified trainer MLA 1, US 1, CMRP, Vibration Analyst Cat IV and a MS Degree holder (2004).