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Vibration Analysis

One of several techniques for collecting data on the condition of an asset.

Regular monitoring of machinery vibrations.

airborne and structure-borne ultrasonic analysis

monitor bearings at higher speeds (>60rpm)

Vibration and ultrasound techniques are often used in tandem to support one another.

The objective is:

Listed below are the key steps in the process

      A. Before Analysis
  • Identify assets that are medium to high criticality
  • Identify high speed machinery (>60 rpm)
  • Determine the synergistic tandem use of vibration and ultrasonic techniques (ultrasound serves as the preliminary filter for vibration analysis)
  • Purchase equipment or engage contractor - accelerometers
  • Train staff on how to use the equipment
  • Schedule and execute the analysis
      B. During Analysis
  • Ultrasonic data collectors detect sound pressure waves
  • Test readings are compared with past levels, with significant change as an indicator of developing machinery faults.
  • Compare data to library of vibration analysis spectra
  • Identify signals
  • Interpret the results
  • Grade the results
      C. After Analysis
  • Report to stakeholders
  • Make decisions
  • Determine CAPAs, if any
  • Determine next interval of analysis

Applicable Conditions & Condition Grades
Listed below are some of the distress indicators

      A. Mechanical
  • Imbalance
  • Misalignment
  • Cracked shafts
  • Gear fauilts
  • Worn shart couplings
  • Rolling element bearing faults and resonance conditions.
  • to detect premature bearing failure
It can be used to detect a wide range of fault conditions in rotating machinery, including defects in rolling element bearings

Listed below are some of the key attributes of vibration analysis that should be taken into consideration when integrating this into the overall asset management program:
  • It is a form of major maintenance
  • It is typically performed by qualified 3rd party contractors
  • It is conduted on variable intervals
  • It is a non-destructive technique
  • A form of quantitative analysis

Listed belows are some of the pros of vibration analysis:
  • A comprehensive monitoring program usually includes vibration analysis
  • Early detection can result in risk mitigation and cost savings
  • A mature technology with vast libraries of spectra data for comparison
Listed below are some of the cons of vibration analysis:
  • Requires a capital investment in diagnostic eqiupment
  • Requires staff training that is more demanding than ultrasound
  • Equipment cost is higher than ultrasound
  • For certain problems, such as belt and coupler wear, the vibration spectrum is not as sensitive as the data derived from motor current signature analysis (MCSA)
in high-speed machinery of greater than 60 rpm, detecting faults with vibration analysis becomes increasingly more difficult as the speed of the machinery decreases.

Candidate Assets
Listed below are some of the different types of candidate assets for vibration analysis:

       Mechanical Assets
  • Equipment from 5 hp to 50,000 hp and above.
  • High speed rotating machinery
  • Fans, Motors, Pumps, and Gearboxes etc.
  • Centrifugal compresors
  • Centrifugal pumps
  • Gas turbines
      Electrical Assets
  • Electric motors
  • Generators
     Other Assets

Ferrography as one of the predictive maintenance (pdM) technologies along the P-F Curve in relation to Potential Failure (P) and Functional Failure (F)
Fig. Vibration analysis as one of the predictive maintenance (PdM) technologies along the P-F Curve in relation to Potential Failure (P) and Functional Failure (F).

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