Why Vibration Monitoring & Analysis

Vibration Analysis collects vibrations detected from equipment and measures them against known failure vibrations to identify potential failure points.

Vibration Analysis can help maintenance professionals proactively address performance issues before machines break on the job.

Vibration analysis’ ability to predict potential failures makes it a useful tool to plan maintenance, boost asset performance, and prevent unscheduled downtime. It is one of the tools in the predictive maintenance (PdM) tool kit.

Vibration analysis helps conduct condition monitoring to identify potential failures, which ultimately saves money by:

  • Reducing unplanned downtime and scheduling work that fits an organization’s plans

  • Saving money by boosting product quality through equipment operating at designed performance levels

  • Eliminating wasted production costs while unplanned repairs are made

  • Delivering products on time with reliable equipment

Vibration Measurement Techniques

Implementing vibration analysis is only the first step in actually using and benefiting from this technique. The complete processes of vibration measurement techniques is described as follows:

1. Calculate the Vibration Spectrum

For most systems, you can measure various points on its vibration spectrum. Using this data, you can produce a model that illustrates expected vibration behavior.

2. Establish a Baseline

In order to take full advantage of your vibration data in your predictive maintenance program, you must establish baseline data to inform your condition monitoring. There are normal levels of vibration and acceptable variations that do not indicate failure. Baseline data will set parameters around what performance is acceptable in order to make abnormalities clear.

3. Generate Signal Models

Vibration data must be translated from the format in which it is collected (typically frequency, amplitude, etc.). The data needs to be digitally reconstructed into a model that you can analyze. The result is typically a waveform diagram, measuring oscillation amplitude over a period of time.

4. Analyze Your Data

This process begins by looking at the harmonics of your vibration data. Look at synchronous peaks, or high points in your vibration data that should repeat. The synchronous peaks correlate the frequency peak with the physical characteristics of the system, typically indicating a motor rotation or pumping cycle. Spikes in frequencies are completely normal, but peaks at an unexpected time or an unusually high peak are points to watch out for Vibration analysis is also used to determine the operating and mechanical condition of equipment. Vibration analysis can identify developing problems before they become too serious and cause unscheduled downtime. This can be achieved by conducting regular monitoring of machine vibrations either on continuous basis or at scheduled intervals.

Trending vibration levels can identify poor maintenance practices, such as improper bearing installation and replacement, inaccurate shaft alignment or imprecise rotor balancing.