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Vibration Analysis

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About Vibration Analysis

In those sectors which utilise industrial machinery, ensuring optimal performance and preventing unexpected breakdowns is key. Vibration analysis is an effective testing method in this area and affords engineers and maintenance teams insights in to machine health and performance; a crucial component of any predictive maintenance strategy.


Understanding Vibration Analysis

Vibration analysis is a non-intrusive technique that involves the measurement and analysis of vibrations in machinery. These vibrations are indicative of the mechanical condition of the equipment, offering a window into potential faults or anomalies. The basic premise is that every machine generates a unique vibration signature during its operation, and deviations from this signature can be indicative of underlying issues.


Principles of Vibration Analysis

Frequency analysis: Vibration signals consist of various frequencies that can be analysed to identify specific issues. Frequencies associated with common faults, such as unbalance, misalignment, and bearing wear, are key indicators.

Amplitude analysis: Amplitude refers to the intensity of vibration. Monitoring changes in amplitude helps detect abnormalities and assess the severity of an issue. Sudden spikes or decreases in amplitude can signify problems.

Phase analysis: Phase analysis involves examining the relationship between different vibration signals. Phase shifts can indicate the location and type of faults, aiding in pinpointing the root cause of issues.


Applications of Vibration Analysis

Predictive maintenance:  By regularly monitoring vibration signatures, maintenance teams can predict and schedule maintenance activities before a critical failure occurs. This proactive approach minimises downtime and extends the lifespan of machinery.

Fault diagnosis: Vibration analysis is instrumental in identifying the root causes of faults such as unbalance, misalignment, bearing defects, and gear problems. This diagnostic capability enables targeted and efficient troubleshooting.

Condition monitoring: Continuous monitoring of vibration patterns provides real-time insights into machinery health. Trends in vibration data over time help in assessing the overall condition of the equipment and planning maintenance interventions accordingly.

Quality control: Vibration analysis is not limited to post-fault detection; it is also used in the manufacturing process to ensure the quality of products. By monitoring vibrations during production, manufacturers can identify and rectify issues early on, reducing defects and improving overall product quality.



Establishing a baseline for vibration analysis

Establishing a baseline is a fundamental step in vibration analysis, as it provides a reference point for monitoring and detecting changes in machinery behaviour. Here are the key steps to establish a baseline in vibration analysis:

Select measurement points for vibration analysis: Identify critical measurement points on the machinery where sensors will be placed.

Collect baseline data: Collect vibration data during normal operation when the machine is in good condition. This data will serve as the baseline reference.

Frequency vibration analysis: Conduct frequency analysis on the baseline data to identify the dominant frequencies associated with normal machine operation.

Amplitude and phase analysis: Analyse the amplitude and phase relationships in the baseline data. This information is crucial for detecting anomalies during future assessments

Establish thresholds: Set acceptable vibration levels or thresholds based on the baseline data. These thresholds serve as alarms, triggering notifications when vibrations exceed predetermined limits.

Document baseline conditions: Document the environmental conditions during baseline data collection, including factors such as temperature, humidity, and load. Changes in these conditions can affect vibration levels, and having this information aids in accurate interpretation.

Regularly update baseline: Machinery conditions may change over time due to factors like wear, aging, or modifications. It's essential to periodically update the baseline by repeating the data collection process. This ensures that the baseline remains representative of the machine's current state and provides accurate vibration analysis data.


If you have any questions contact our friendly team today - experts are here to advise on the full range of vibration analysis tools.