Machinery Vibration Analysis
Machinery vibration analysis is a powerful technique with many applications. Vibration Associates has expertise in the following areas. Please contact us for more information or a competitive quote tailored to your needs.
Condition Monitoring Surveys
One of the most valuable predictive-maintenance techniques, a periodic plant-wide vibration survey identifies specific mechanical faults in the early stages. Not only does this prevent failures, but it can reduce the extent of machinery damage and the costs associated with repair. Armed with early warning and a reliable diagnosis, the proper replacement parts can be obtained, the site prepared and personnel arranged for a scheduled repair. The savings realized by avoiding just one unexpected failure, the associated down time and an emergency repair can offset the cost of the vibration program for an entire year or more.
The knowledge gained by the vibration survey is also essential in prioritizing maintenance activities. Most facilities have much more machinery than can be attended frequently by the maintenance crew. Directing scarce resources toward the most serious problems first is key to cost-effective maintenance.
Finally, a mature condition-monitoring program integrates vibration and repair histories. Historical vibration data is valuable for both identifying deteriorating conditions early as well as verifying successful repairs.
A vibration survey is performed by collecting vibration data at the machinery checkpoints (usually the rotor bearings) using portable instrumentation. For accessible machines, this can often be performed during normal operations without shutting down. Access, safety or other considerations may require brief shut-downs for a few minutes but Vibration Associates uses multi-channel acquisition techniques for efficient data collection. It is not unusual for machinery surveys with up to 60 machines to be completed in a single day on site.
The results of our machinery surveys are provided in a convenient tabular format for quick reference. This compact form shows the status (OK/Faulty), the severity level, diagnoses and our recommendations for each machine in just a few pages for the entire machine population. However, the supporting data is always provided for completeness and for future reference. Whenever necessary, analysis details are presented and described in plain language to explain our conclusions and recommendations.
Diagnosis and Troubleshooting
Vibration analysis not only measures the amount of vibration but also its complex characteristics. Every machine exhibits unique patterns of vibration that can be used to identify specific mechanical faults and severity. As with any analytical tool, knowledge and experience of the analyst is essential to accurate and specific results. Familiarity with the machines under test, typical faults and their symptoms, test procedures and analysis techniques must complement the instrumentation used. Vibration Associates has more than 30 years of experience in the field. While we certainly haven’t “seen it all”, the odds are good that we’ll be able to give you good information – an accurate diagnosis and solid recommendations. More importantly, if we can’t, we’ll say so and give our best opinion based on the evidence. No guessing, no laundry list of possibilities, no doublespeak.
In addition to the diagnosis of existing mechanical faults, vibration analysis can also track down the root cause of recurring failures by separating causes and effects. Sometimes a bad bearing is not just a bad bearing but an indication of an underlying cause.