VIBRATION ANALYSIS PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE

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Vibration analysis is one of the most widely used predictive maintenance techniques in asset management today. This technique is highly effective for monitoring rotating equipment within industrial facilities.

The use of this technique in the industry exceeds 3 decades, having very good results and visibly improving the reliability of rotating machines. Initially the vibration analysis was done with analogical measurement equipment, with which the vibration could be measured in a wide band, however, with time the technology allowed to have the best results, allowing the prediction of bearing and gear failures.

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vibration analysis

Today, there is no doubt that vibration analysis in predictive maintenance is a very powerful tool, which allows decisions to be made and the condition of rotary and electrical equipment to be monitored, thanks to the data and processing of these, using specialized software.

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WHAT DOES VIBRATION ANALYSIS CONSIST OF IN PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE?

It is necessary to know that all machines have a natural vibration, because they are built with elements that have tolerances in their manufacture. Therefore, a new machine with a normal operation presents a basic characteristic vibration.

The basic characteristic vibration, as its name indicates, is the basis from which future measurements made on that machine should be compared. Therefore, vibration analysis in predictive maintenance consists of keeping a history of the vibrations of a machine, so that when there is a significant change with respect to the natural vibration of the machine, we can know that there is an incipient defect in some of its internal elements.

This predictive technique, like all the techniques of predictive maintenance, allows us to know the state of the internal elements of a machine, without the need for it to be intervened.

ASPECTS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN THE ANALYSIS OF VIBRATIONS

Predictive maintenance has advantages and disadvantages, which must be taken into account before starting to apply it in a company. If you still don’t know very well what we are talking about, please read the following article.

Using the predictive technique of vibration analysis, is a good decision to improve the reliability of the equipment of a company, however, certain basic aspects must be taken into account when implementing this technique.

Resources

When we refer to resources, we are talking about the equipment needed to take vibration measurements on machines. This equipment has a high cost that sometimes is not possible to acquire easily.

Training

There must be staff trained in taking measurements and interpreting the data obtained. It is useless to have equipment to measure the vibrations of the machines, if you do not know how to use and take the measurements in the right way. Therefore, this is an essential aspect to take into account to implement the technique of vibration analysis.

Maintenance plan

It is fundamental to couple the predictive activities of vibration analysis within a maintenance plan. This is fundamental, since it will be possible to keep an order of which machines need to be supervised and how often this should be done, which will allow a history and traceability of their condition.

MACHINES IN WHICH THE ANALYSIS OF VIBRATIONS AND ITS POSSIBLE FAULTS CAN BE DONE

As we said at the beginning, in the analysis of vibrations they are mostly done in rotating machines. This is an example list of the machines in which the vibration analysis can be done:

  • Centrifugal pumps.
  • Fans.
  • Electric motors.
  • Rotary or screw compressors.
  • Steam or gas turbines.
  • Rotary mills and kilns.
  • Diesel engines.
  • Agitators.
  • Mixers.

The most common faults that are detected through vibration analysis are the following:

  • Gear failure.
  • Defects in bearings.
  • Imbalance.
  • Misalignment.
  • Clearences.
  • Rubbing.
  • Bent axles.
  • Eccentric pulleys.

WHAT IS MEASURED IN THE VIBRATION ANALYSIS

Vibration analysis takes several measurements, and according to each of them the condition of the different elements of a rotating machine can be monitored. The following list shows some of the measures taken within a vibration analysis:

  • Measurement of global or total vibration in broadband.
  • Peak synchronous vibration measurement.
  • Measurement of vibration in narrow frequency band.
  • Waveform Parameters: Symmetry (Kurtosis) and Crest (Skewness)
  • Measurement of specific vibratory parameters for detecting failures in bearings and gears (demodulation, envelope, Spike Energy, PeakVue, …).
  • Non-synchronous vibration measurement.
  • Vibration phase in harmonics.

In conclusion, vibration analysis is a very good and effective predictive technique, which will improve the reliability of a company’s equipment. In the event that the company cannot afford to acquire the equipment, it will always have the option of outsourcing this type of service.

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