ShaftDesigner FAQ
General
 What operating systems does ShaftDesigner work on?

ShaftDesigner works on Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and 7. Also, ShaftDesigner works both in 32 bit as
well as 64 bit environments.
 Is ShaftDesigner support globally available?

ShaftDesigner support is available anywhere in the world. Updates will be made available through a
download link making it easy to update your software wherever you are.
 Does the software get updated regularly?

ShaftDesigner is constantly developed and updated. This includes the development of new, innovative
modules which are made available to anyone with a ShaftDesigner service contract.
 Is the software accepted by all major shipping classification societies (LRS, GL, ABS, BV, Rina, DNV)?

Reports from ShaftDesigner are accepted for approval by all the major classification societies, but
they will always need to check the ShaftDesigner calculation results they receive. Some of these
classification societies are looking into making use of ShaftDesigner themselves.
 Is ShaftDesigner software widely used in the marine industry?

Please take a look at our reference list
to get an idea of some of the companies using ShaftDesigner.
If you are not convinced, don’t hesitate to contact us for a trial version.
 I don’t need all modules of the full ShaftDesigner package, can I customize the contents of my package?

ShaftDesigner is built in several modules, which allows customization of the package to your specific
needs. An overview of the several modules can be found on the ShaftDesigner website.
 Is there a graphical representation in the user interface?

ShaftDesigner has been designed around a 3D graphical interface! This does not only makes designing the
model easy, but also reduces the chance of making input errors, as you will be able to see this immediately.
 Can I change the user interface?

ShaftDesigner’s user interface can be customized to create a work environment that perfectly suits
your specific needs.
 Can I reuse parts of a model for other projects?

In ShaftDesigner, you can save certain items of a model in a library. This way, you can easily access
these items again when you are working on different projects. The library can also be saved in a network
location, so all designers can access and contribute to the same library.
 Is there a test version of ShaftDesigner available?

Yes, if you are interested in the ShaftDesigner software you can get in touch with us for a
test version.
 Can ShaftDesigner run in a network environment?

ShaftDesigner can be delivered as a standalone version or as a network floating version. In the network version,
your server centrally manages the licenses that are available and the licenses that are in use. We can
advise you on the best method to use.
 Is there a manual included with the software package?

There is an extensive user manual included with the ShaftDesigner package. It covers modeling, shaft
alignment and vibration calculations. Additionally, training programs are offered at a location of your
choice covering all aspects of the software.
 Is there a help function in ShaftDesigner?

ShaftDesigner has a help function built into the software. Also, if you have a service contract you can
easily ask specific questions about the software via email.
 Does the report include graphical output?

Reports can be customized in ShaftDesigner to contain the specific information you need. This includes
graphs and graphical outputs of any aspect of the calculations.
 In what format are reports created?

ShaftDesigner reports can be created in, .xml, .html as well as .doc formats. However, for your specific
needs extra formats can be created for you.
Shaft Alignment
 Does ShaftDesigner take into account external loads and gravity?

Yes, shaft deflection is measured in ShaftDesigner as a result of external loads and gravity.
 Can the software calculate gap and sag figures?

Yes, ShaftDesigner calculates gap and sag figures for uncoupled shafts. This has also been embedded in
the reverse calculations module. It is also possible to validate the gap and sag figures by performing a
jack load test and entering these values in the reverse calculations module.
 Does the ShaftDesigner software take into account loads in the bearings?

One of the main functions of the ShaftDesigner software is to calculate the shaft alignment in such a
manner that the loads in the bearings are optimized. For each bearing a detailed view is available
showing the spread of the load in the bearing.
 Can the ShaftDesigner software calculate stresses and bending moments along the shaft line?

When calculating the shaft alignment, ShaftDesigner calculates stresses and bending moments along the
entire shaft line. All these forces and moments are calculated in both the horizontal and the vertical
plane. When changes are made in the model, a recalculation will automatically be performed in the
background.
 Is it possible to select different material types for shafts?

The ShaftDesigner software is capable of working with different materials in one shaft line. There are
many predefined materials, as well as the possibility to manually insert different materials of a
different composition.
 Can the ShaftDesigner software advise me on what steps to take to optimize my alignment?

When ShaftDesigner calculates the optimal shaft alignment it also takes into account how the alignment
can be improved by altering the height of the various elements. In a maintenance or repair phase,
changing the height of certain elements can provide significant improvements to the overall alignment.
 On what criteria is the alignment optimization based?

The ShaftDesigner software allows for the end user to select which criteria they wish the optimization
to be based on. The default criteria are minimum load, maximum load, maximum misalignment, allowable
offset range, allowable engine flange load and many more.
 What external factors can be taken into account by the ShaftDesigner software?

The software can take into account various external factors such as bearing skipping and clamping, hull
deformation, bearing stiffness, propeller hydrodynamic loads, gear tooth loads etc.
 Can the ShaftDesigner software calculate alignments for a vessel in operation?

The ShaftDesigner software is capable of calculation alignments in various states. The user can easily
add a state to the existing model. This can be in dock, cold, warm, full ahead, laden or unladed, etc.
The software then takes into account additional factors such as thermal growth of the various elements
of the shaft line.
 How is clearance in the bearings taken into account?

The ShaftDesigner software provides detailed reports on each bearing. This includes clearance in the
bearings. It is therefore possible to see 0load or negative loads appear in outputs.
 Can oil films be taken into account in the software?

Oil films, such as in a stern tube, can be modeled in the ShaftDesigner software. Where many software
packages make use of a point support, ShaftDesigner allows for cylindrical supports to make the model
more realistic. The model is based on a hydrodynamic model of the oil film between the bearing and the
shaft. When doing calculations the film thickness, effective support position and pressure distribution
are considered.
 Can the ShaftDesigner software create a theoretical jack load chart?

Jack load calculations can easily be made with the ShaftDesigner software. The software takes into
account the influence of adjacent bearings and actual clearance in the bearings. Thanks to the reversed
calculations module it is also possible to enter jack load measurements and let the software calculate
the current shaft alignment from there.
 Does the ShaftDesigner software support strain gauge technology?

The ShaftDesigner software has been developed to support strain gauge technology. Thanks to the reversed
calculations module it is possible to enter strain gauge measurements and let the software calculate the
current shaft alignment from there.
Whirling vibration analysis
 What does the ShaftDesigner whirling vibration analysis do?

The Whirling vibration application is able to check the shaft line for vibrations due to the rotation of
the shaft line. The free (undamped) vibration calculations are available in this application.
 Do I need to create a new model for whirling vibration analysis?

The ShaftDesigner software makes use of one base model for all calculations, therefore, it is not
necessary to create a new model.
 What does the output for the whirling vibration analysis look like?

The whirling vibration analysis output in the ShaftDesigner software makes use of a Campbell diagram,
which is a graphical representation of the resonance frequencies. This way it is easy to read. It is
also possible to create numerical outputs for detailed analysis.
 What types of inertia does the whirling vibration analysis take into account?

The ShaftDesigner software creates estimations for both diametric and polar inertia of components such
as propellers, gear wheels or flanges. This includes estimations for ‘entrained water
properties’ of the propeller. The ‘entrained water properties’ contain the mass and
inertia of the water surrounding the propeller.
Axial vibration analysis
 What does the ShaftDesigner axial vibration analysis do?

The axial vibration application will check the shaft line for vibrations caused by the movements of the
cranks and the thrust generated by the propeller, but only in axial direction. Natural frequencies of
axial vibration of shaft line and propeller are also determined. Both free (undamped) vibration
calculations and forced (damped) vibration calculations can be made.
 Do I need to create a new model for axial vibration analysis?

The ShaftDesigner software makes use of one base model for all calculations, therefore, it is not
necessary to create a new model.
 Can axial vibration calculations be coupled to other vibration calculations?

It is possible to couple axial and torsional vibration calculations in the ShaftDesigner software. The
coupling of the vibrations is done at the propeller.
 Is the stiffness of the structure taken into account?

Yes, the stiffness of the structure can be taken into account when performing axial vibration calculations.
Torsional vibration analysis
 What does the ShaftDesigner torsional vibration analysis do?

The torsional vibration application is able to calculate the vibrating torque of the full installation at
different engine speeds, due to the torque produced by the engine and absorbed by the propeller and
other equipment (pumps, generators etc.).
The module calculates the natural frequencies of the shaft line (free vibrations), together with the
actual magnitude of the angle between nodes, vibrating torque, vibrating stress, gear hammering and
power loss of flexible elements / dampers (forced vibrations).
 Do I need to create a new model for the torsional vibration analysis?

The Torsional vibration module uses a schematical view of the shaft line to calculate the levels of
torsional vibration, because this is demanded by classification societies. It is possible for the
software to convert the 3D base model into a torsional scheme. It is also possible to build the torsional
scheme from scratch. This makes the torsional module the only module which is able to calculate results
independent of a 3D base model of the full propulsion line.
 What does the output of the torsional vibration analysis looks like?

The output can be shown in rotational plots, where the vibration levels are plotted at different
engine speeds, or time domain plots.
 Is the software able to calculate Ice Impact?

The software is able to calculate the influence of the impact of a chunk of ice on the propeller blade
and calculate the vibrations on the whole installation.
Each classification society has specific Ice Classes for the Ice Impact calculations, which are all
build into the software.
The Ice Impact is calculated using transient calculations, which means the results are shown in the
time domain plots.
 Each classification society has specific rules and allowable vibration levels for the torsional
vibration applications. Are these rules built into the software?

It is possible to select certain acceptance criteria which the software has to check during calculations.
The different criteria, which are set by the major classification societies such as ABS, BV, DNV, GL,
LR, are built into the software. The user is also able to override these criteria with other criteria
set by the OEM or final customer. The allowable vibration levels are plotted in all graphs, which will
allow easy review of the results.
