Value of Vibration Monitoring in Industrial Machinery Maintenance

Pumps, turbines and other industrial machinery are usually encased in housings made from an aluminum or steel. This helps reduce the impact of abrasion, harsh chemical solvents and water or dust contamination. Trying to analyze whether or not there are issues with the components inside rarely makes sense to do visibly precisely because disassembly is timely, complex and often shuts down production. That’s where vibration monitoring is a useful tool.

So, like a locksmith trying to open a safe, diagnosing issues inside comes via analysis of the vibrations and sounds emitted from the motor and the driven component’ bearings. It actually is a bit more complicated, as we’ll get into.

How Vibration Monitoring Analysis Works

Vibration Monitoring, Vibration Analysis by Vibration Specialty CorporationVibration monitoring remains the standard in identifying potential issues within industrial equipment, as long as the technician has the proper experience. Like an electrocardiogram (EKG), the vibrations coming from operation show how the machine is operating and can be compared to both baselines and similar devices. The key issue is determining what parts are at issue, how long the machine can continue operating, and what costs are involved in either repairing or allowing the operation to continue.

There are a number of ways to do this, but the key is to begin a process of consistent monitoring. VSC offers scheduled monitoring and can even provide condition monitoring on a remote basis regardless of where the machinery is in operation, our skilled analysts apply the latest analytic innovations established over 40 years in more than 500 locations. These Analysts can even  offer instantaneously diagnosis through our WiFi enabled vibration analyzers.

Going back to the benefits of the continuous testing, VSC recommends beginning with startup or acceptance testing although we can analyze any machine independent of the place in its lifecycle. From the moment of delivery, we can provide comparisons between your new products and other ones from that manufacturer or its competitors. Given the frequent stresses, especially the unknowns that come from electric motors driven by frequency inverters, having effective measurements is critical to minimizing downtime.

This is particularly important throughout the lifecycle. The fact that a manufacturer offers a warranty does not help a company if it is facing unexpected repairs and downtime for a critical manufacturing process. The greatest cost of machine failures is usually the loss of production. Getting forecasts for maintenance can allow firms to assess how to modify operations and save valuable time and resources.

Issues Identified in Vibration Monitoring Analysis

The analyst must be skilled enough to detect minor differences in frequency in order to diagnose some of these common issues:

  • Voltage imbalance
  • Bad variable-frequency drive controller
  • Eccentric stator
  • Broken or bent rotor bars or rotor imbalance or rubs
  • Coupling misalignment
  • Worn bearings
  • Soft foot
  • Resonance
  • Mechanical looseness

While there may be no need for immediate repairs, getting a baseline condition can help identify the pattern and monitor it on a regular basis for changes. The rate of deterioration of various components can indicate when critical repairs or replacement are necessary.

Why Choose VSC

Expertise is critical to ensure machine maintenance is done when necessary and before a critical failure leads to unnecessary replacement costs that could range in the millions of dollars. It’ a service Vibration Specialty Corporation has been providing for over 100 years to clients as prestigious as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Today, engineers and technicians averaging over 30 years of experience provide services at our Philadelphia center or on-site at your facility.

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