How New Vibration Solutions Vitalize Equipment Health

How new vibration solutions vitalize equipment health

Aug. 16, 2023
Sheila Kennedy says monitoring, analysis, and damping techniques support asset optimization.

Industrial assets benefit from proactive condition management. Vibration monitoring and analysis are prominent predictive maintenance strategies, and vibration damping is a foundational vibration control strategy. Solutions that deliver on these strategies help plants to detect or prevent irregularities, avert costly failure and downtime, and increase reliability and efficiency.

Monitoring technologies

Vibration monitoring of rotating equipment reveals issues before they create problems. The new SM series accelerometer from Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies is a side-exit vibration sensor. Its integral cable and optional armor remove the need to install a separate cable assembly, and protect the sensor and cable in wet and aggressive plant environments.

The SM series solves accelerometer installation challenges in low clearance applications, “but it is not just compact,” states Tom LaRocque, director of product and product management at Wilcoxon Sensing Technologies. “A novel pivoting mounting base replaced the through-bolt that most side-exit sensors use, which eliminated the overhead clearance that was needed to tighten the sensor into place. The pivoting base makes it easy to install in any orientation as well.”

The Airius II LTE-M wireless vibration sensor from SPM Instrument is now globally available. Airius series sensors include Wi-Fi and LTE-M versions that run on battery or external power. The MEMS type sensors with digital output measure triaxial vibration and temperature.

“Airius LTE-M complements our existing product portfolio and Condmaster ecosystem, allowing condition monitoring on equipment where traditional Wi-Fi networks are unavailable, such as remote locations or rooftops,” says Ron Kittle, managing director of SPM Instrument. To overcome the challenge of operating on customer networks due to security risks, Airius LTE-M “operates via a completely independent and secure cellular connection independent from the customer’s network,” he adds.

Versatilis Transmitter is a wireless multivariable instrument from Honeywell that measures vibration, acoustics, and surface and ambient temperature of rotating equipment to uncover anomalies. To ease vibration analysis, it converts time domain data to frequency domain data through Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT) on the edge.

The new transmitter is part of the broader Honeywell Versatilis solution suite. “Versatilis is unique in its focus on interoperability, edge analytics, and long battery life,” says Achal Nath, senior director of offering management at Honeywell Process Solutions. “Interoperability is ensured through close adherence to open protocols and cyber security standards.”

Analysis facilitators

Analysis turns data into actionable information. The NEST i4.0 vibration analysis solution from Acoem is a predictive maintenance platform developed to solve common challenges of having plant condition monitoring programs segmented across multiple software solutions. Its newest module, WebPortal, enables centralized supervision of all monitored rotating assets and every Acoem instrument, across multiple plant sites.

NEST i4.0 “pools portable, wireless, and continuous data in the same place, while leveraging AI, process information, and edge computing to focus analysis efforts on meaningful data,” explains John Waldron, condition monitoring product manager at Acoem. “Centralization allows an application’s criticality, complexity, failure modes, and accessibility to dictate the means and frequency of data collection, instead of the other way around.”

The new Modal Amplified system from RDI Technologies performs modal analysis calculations and then uses RDI’s Motion Amplification camera technology to filter video to the vibration, visualizing the results that are found. “The entire field of view is measured, ensuring that no critical areas of interest will be missed, while also identifying unsuspected areas of concern that may have been undetected with traditional modal analysis methods,” says Scott Burkhardt, director of services.

He notes that Modal Amplified makes what used to be a very time-consuming, complicated, and costly process into a quick, comprehensive, easy, and economical modal analysis solution. It delivers instant results showing mode shapes of a real image, which makes findings very easy to analyze and communicate.

Foundational approach

Controlling vibration at the machine’s foundation promotes equipment health. The Escoweld vibration damping solution from ITW Performance Polymers provides proper support for operating equipment. When coupled with a suitable anchoring system, Escoweld epoxy machinery grout delivers vibration damping support while keeping precise alignment.

“Grouting equipment precisely in one day is necessary for our customers. In addition, filling the cavity with Escoweld can reduce vibration readings on average by one third,” says Michelle Jordan, operations manager at TECHMAR, an ITW distributor. “With the addition of modifying the aggregate load to the lift height, it can pour (or pump) anywhere from two inches up to 48 inches in a single lift. Rebar is almost never needed for these various heights.”

About the Author

Sheila Kennedy | CMRP

Sheila Kennedy, CMRP, is a professional freelance writer specializing in industrial and technical topics. She established Additive Communications in 2003 to serve software, technology, and service providers in industries such as manufacturing and utilities, and became a contributing editor and Technology Toolbox columnist for Plant Services in 2004. Prior to Additive Communications, she had 11 years of experience implementing industrial information systems. Kennedy earned her B.S. at Purdue University and her MBA at the University of Phoenix. She can be reached at [email protected] or

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