An Overview of Vibration Monitoring and Its Applications  

Businesses spend enormous amounts of time and money dealing with unscheduled downtime and maintenance of sudden machine breakdowns.  A vibration monitoring system may be referred to as a tool that measures the vibration levels of a machine to find out irregularities and other anomalies. These monitoring systems are extremely useful for facilities looking to protect its processes and people. They help users avoid untimely downtime by identifying misalignment, unbalance, loose parts, and much more. Naturally, many industrial establishments rely on vibration monitoring to predict potential machine problems and receive early warning before a machine fails.  

Working Principle of Vibration Monitoring Systems  

Vibration monitoring systems function utilising the principles of vibration trend analysis, which is a process for monitoring irregularities in a machine’s vibration signature. If there is a significant rise or fall in a machine’s vibration amplitude, it is extremely likely to be an indication of certain changes inside the machine. The main indicator of a machine malfunction is overall amplitude. It includes process issues, the machine’s rotation or reciprocating motion, and various individual amplitudes and frequencies generated by the components of the machine. Some monitoring systems are also capable of identifying potential machine issues by recording vibration waveforms.  

Understanding Vibration Characteristics 

The most important characteristics of vibration are amplitude, position, phase, frequency, and form.  The severity of vibration is referred to as its amplitude. Frequency helps us determine the source of the vibration precisely. Vibration frequency changes without any change in machine speeds are often the indicator of a problem.  Phase is also an important indicator for determining the vibration’s place of occurrence. Analysis of these vibration characteristics can reveal loads of valuable information about the machine.    

Vibration Measurement     

 Measurement of vibration is done in terms of its velocity, acceleration, and displacement.  Vibration analysis equipment and sensors are used for monitoring these characteristics. Depending on the elements measured and how the measurement is done, this equipment may vary. For example, velocity sensors or accelerometers are used for machines with Rolling Element Bearings (REB). On the other hand, proximity probe sensors are used for monitoring machines with Fluid Film Bearings.   

Applications of Vibration Monitoring Systems   

Vibration monitoring systems are used nowadays in a wide variety of applications. The number of vibration sensors required for a reciprocating or rotating machine depends on the equipment’s criticality. Discussed below are some of the most common industrial applications of these systems.  

  • Rotating Machinery:  Some of the most common places to find vibration monitoring systems are rotating machinery and equipment such as fans, motors, gearboxes, and turbines. With vibration monitoring, it is possible to identify bearing faults, rubs, unbalance, misalignment, and resonance issues in any rotating machinery.   
  • Gears and Bearings: Vibration monitoring systems are used extensively in gears and bearings because they experience various types of vibrations at different frequencies.  
  • Reciprocating Pumps, Engines, and Compressors: There are many actively vibrating components within reciprocating engines, compressors, and positive displacement pumps. Potential failures can be identified beforehand by monitoring the vibration of these parts. 
  • Pipes: Pipes prone to vibration-induced problems often rely on vibration monitoring systems to find the source of problem areas.  
  • Bridges: Vibration monitoring is critical to ensuring the structural integrity of a bridge. If any abnormal vibration behaviour is observed, the maintenance crew can immediately find out the source of the problem by inspection.     

If you are looking for the market’s most efficient vibration monitoring systems, please get in touch with us at ShockWatch without any delay.