Vibration analysis: Get a handle on your mechanical movers and shakers

Vibration analysis: Get a handle on your mechanical movers and shakers

March 4, 2024
Sheila Kennedy surveys the tools that help you halt unwanted vibration among your plant assets

Early detection and monitoring of machine vibration enables timely predictive maintenance. Costly faults and failures are avoided when vibration technologies help identify and diagnose anomalous conditions with speed and precision. Recent developments in this area involve sensors, meters, analyzers, AI, and apps.

Innovative devices

Lower-cost sensor implementation and greater efficiency in asset data recording are provided by the new TO604B91 temperature out triaxial accelerometer from IMI Sensors, a division of PCB Piezotronics. The industrial ceramic shear ICP accelerometer allows for three channels of vibration sensing plus temperature in one stainless steel sensor housing, allowing plant operations to drastically reduce the costs of cabling and mounting of sensors on machines. 

“The combination of multichannel vibration and temperature sensing allows you to reduce the amount of effort it takes to read and record data points on your machines, which will improve your operational efficiency,” notes Vic Viola, a director at IMI Sensors.

Sparrow, a new wireless, triaxial, MEMS sensor from Acoem, is highly compact at 1.75” diameter by 1.3” tall. It has a 10kHz frequency range, two-year field-replaceable battery, and the ability to measure temperature alongside vibration. It joins Acoem’s ecosystem of hardware that works within a single software.

“We already have continuous wired solutions and wireless IEPE solutions for the most critical and complex applications, and portable systems for the routine, easy-to-reach machinery as well as troubleshooting. Sparrow is the perfect solution for the remaining ‘balance-of-plant’ type of applications that are important but abundant and require frequent monitoring without breaking the bank,” explains John Waldron, condition monitoring product manager at Acoem USA.

For civil engineering applications, the new Loadsensing Vibration Meter from Worldsensing enables continuous remote monitoring to optimize maintenance and ensure compliance with regulations. “It is uniquely positioned for widespread, decentralized monitoring of the impact of vibration on people and the structural stability of infrastructures,” observes Andrea Bartoli, chief technology officer at Worldsensing.

The wireless sensor, part of Worldsensing’s Loadsensing Edge device family, functions in operating temperatures ranging from -40 ⁰C to 80 ⁰C. “It uses a triaxial MEMS accelerometer with a longer battery life, wider communications range, and more competitive price point than existing vibration-related technologies on the market,” Bartoli adds.

Bearing replacement decisions are made easier with TPI 9080/9085 Smart Vibration Analyzers from Test Products International (TPI). The analyzers can record, analyze, and trend vibration, bearing wear, and temperature. Included VibTrend PC-based trending and reporting software supports automatic report generation and email notification of alarms.

“The TPI 9080/9085 can store lists (routes) of machines to be measured (up to 1,000) with full vibration waveform and frequency spectrum capture for each,” says John Atkins, senior engineer at Test Products International. “Routes and readings can be transferred between the analyzer and license-free VibTrend software in a variety of different ways. This allows service personnel to receive routes and return readings, no matter where they are in the world.”

Analytics and apps

AI-powered vibration analytics from Azima DLI, a Fluke Reliability company, are powered by an AI engine trained with more than 100 trillion data points and the collective experience of the company’s condition monitoring experts, says Michael DeMaria, product manager at Azima DLI. 

Using AI-enabled advanced software technologies, Azima DLI's applications can automatically identify early component-level machinery faults and present a prioritized actionable repair recommendation. “The Azima DLI solution is ideal for customers with high volumes of data (such as with installed sensors), have resource and staffing constraints, or need enterprise-level visibility and program metrics to mitigate production risks,” DeMaria adds.

VibePro 10 is a major upgrade to B&D Industrial’s vibration analysis app. For example, from an iPad, users can simultaneously monitor permanently mounted sensors and integrate route-based data collection. Time-waveform and peak spectra markers as well as single, dual, harmonic, and side band touch markers expand the depth of analysis. Pinch-and-zoom capabilities for analyzing vibration readings provide an intuitive user experience. 

The new software update “harnesses the processing power of Apple's latest iPad and iOS to bring 2-channel ‘live’ spectra to our users, along with many new diagnostic tools and a more immersive touch interface,” observes Scott Yenchik, director of VibePro at B&D Industrial. “If you know how to use an iPad, you can easily learn VibePro 10 and start or continue an ultra-modern reliability program.”

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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