Any of us who have driven a vehicle knows from experience certain mechanical issues produce symptoms that can be detected by our senses of touch and hearing. Vibrations felt in the steering wheel and noise from the floorboard can be indicators of out-of-balance tires. Warped brake rotors may trigger shaking through the brake pedal. Through abnormal levels of vibration, one can determine a mechanical device is declining.
The same holds true for machines and industrial equipment. Many components of a machine are rotating and each one is generating its own distinctive pattern and level of vibration that creates a smooth flow of energy. But, when the flow is interrupted, excessive noise and shaking signal a problem or deterioration in the machinery. The reactionary move would be to service the equipment immediately. By being proactive though and pinpointing issues before they arise, you’re maintaining a machine’s integrity while getting the most out of your investment.
No two vibrations are the same. Each level and frequency are unique that even the human touch cannot distinguish. This is where a vibration analysis can provide the imperative sensitivity, especially for any rotating machinery, to evaluate the condition of equipment and avoid failures. Vibration analysis looks for anomalies and monitors changes from the established vibration signature of a system. This is achieved through recordkeeping of a machine’s vibration history and over time predict problems before serious issues arise.
A critical component of vibration analysis involves sensors. These machine-mounted devices are necessary to gather complete data to assess and monitor machine health quickly and accurately. That means obtaining a full-spectrum vibration signature in three axes (horizontal, vertical and axial) on both ends of the motor and driven equipment through an accelerometer, which measures low to very high frequencies. They are used for low to medium frequency measurements and are used for vibration monitoring and balancing operations on rotating machinery.
Sensors are used to quantify the magnitude of vibration known as vibration amplitude. In other words, it reports how smooth or rough the machine is running. A vibrations’ magnitude is expressed as:
Displacement - total distance traveled by the vibrating part from one extreme limit of travel to the other extreme limit of travel.
Velocity - the speed of the vibrating mass changes continuously.
Acceleration - the value representing the maximum rate that velocity is changing.
Vibration analysis and monitoring can be used to discover and diagnose a wide range of problems related to rotating equipment. This includes unbalance, misalignment, sleeve-bearing problems and resonance issues. However, determining the presence of these problems is not a simple and easily performed procedure. Collecting and evaluating vibration signature analysis can be complex and cumbersome.
Parker values the importance of vibration analysis to ensure the longevity of industrial machinery. They’ve introduced a simple, yet highly effective way to measure vibration through their new SensoNODE Vibration Sensors. These easy-to-use devices can be attached to any type of equipment to monitor vibrations in even the most difficult-to-reach locations. They help identify the specific cause and location of a problem, reducing maintenance costs and equipment downtime.
With simplicity in mind, the SensoNODE Vibration Sensor provides two measurements of vibration: Root Mean Square Amplitude (RMS) and Peak. This allows the user to receive an indication of when a machine is starting to experience degradation and proceed with immediate maintenance actions. For example, data of the overall vibration may indicate an alignment of the shaft or balance of the motor system of a particular piece of equipment needs a slight adjustment. These are simple fixes that can be applied without compromising the machinery.
Data is compiled in a clear and concise way that can be interpreted and compared to the output of vibrations with International Standard ISO: 10816 charts to know what is an acceptable rate of vibration. A user can look at the measurement coming off of the sensor and read across the chart to get an exact number. This is an indication as to whether machinery is operating in an area where damage is likely to occur or things are running perfectly.
A small shake or rattle can indicate big problems. Vibration analysis can be an essential tool for predicting equipment failure and increasing machine efficiency. There are a variety of methods and ways to measure vibration. With SensoNODE vibration sensors, a user has access to data that’s straightforward and an early indicator of developing failures or problems with rotating machinery. This allows you to take immediate action and ensure operations are running smoothly.
This post was contributed by David Shannon, business unit manager, Parker Hannifin.
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