With the continuous advancements in technology, it is a common sight to see machines everywhere. It has been proven throughout the years that machines make our lives easier and helps us with the work that needs to be done efficiently and effectively.
Machinery vibration in equipment is the oscillation or back-and-forth movement of the machine’s components, such as the motors, compressors, and pumps. While industrial equipment in vibration is a normal part of the machine, there are times that this can be a sign of impending trouble. Machine vibrations are commonly measured with the help of sensors like accelerometers which monitor the vibration patterns.
Conducting vibration analysis properly allows you to check and monitor the health of your machinery which is crucial in preventing machinery failures. This will also ensure that there will not be any downtimes due to machinery repair.
Machines are manufactured to work smoothly which is why sensing vibrations can be a tell-tale signal that something might be wrong. It is important to detect the smallest vibrations at the earliest time before it causes further damage to the machine.
Some of the most common causes of machine vibration include:
Loose parts: Parts and bearings that have become loosened from their mounts after repetitive use is one of the leading causes of machine vibration. It is important to note that looseness may or may not be the reason for vibration as sometimes, other causes of machine vibrations can lead to loosened parts. Looseness in machinery is something that should be addressed right away since it can cause further damages to the equipment.
Misaligned components: Shafts, motors, and pumps that are misaligned would cause machine vibration with every movement as these parts are not meeting together smoothly. Just like looseness, misalignment can be caused during the assembly of the equipment itself or after wear and tear.
Worn out parts: Machines have components like bearings and gears that become worn out through time. For example, roller bearings that have already been worn out will cause vibrations whenever they roll over a damaged or chipped part of the equipment.
Imbalance issues: When there is an imbalance in a rotating part of a machinery, this will surely cause vibrations whenever it goes around the axis. Imbalances can also be caused during the manufacturing process itself when the parts were being cast or after being used for a long time. Left unchecked, these issues can affect the health of an asset, resulting in downtime, reduced production, repair costs, and much more. The production and performance of a plant rely on vibration analysis.
Improper Support: Support position can lead to excess vibration, which can affect the quality of production, as well as useful life.
Knowing now that machine vibrations can damage equipment in the long run, it is important to conduct condition-based monitoring periodically to measure the health of the machinery based on its performance.
Through condition-based monitoring, the health and performance of a machine can be checked for potential or developing failures based on the set parameters. Therefore, any changes in the condition and output from these levels would provide a quick indicator that something is not working as it normally does.
Condition-based monitoring focuses on the analysis of parameters that can be easily measured and can provide data on the condition of the machine’s components. When this is done regularly, this type of monitoring helps in forecasting any impending issues as well as how long the machine would function without issues. Constant evaluation through condition-based monitoring can be a cost-effective way of addressing issues and maintaining the seamless function of the equipment.
Reliability is the ability of a machine or asset to function as required without experiencing any failures for a designated period. The focus of asset reliability in manufacturing is to be able to identify any risks that may arise and know how to manage these in a way that would not cause any unnecessary downtime or halt production.
Companies know that identifying potential issue areas at the earliest stages possible would guarantee that it would not lead to a bigger problem in the future. Furthermore, asset reliability strategies are put in place to implement the condition-based monitoring previously discussed.
Learning the functions of the machines and how they are expected to work provides companies and organizations to have a better understanding of when they are working perfectly or there is an impending failure. Unlike before where assets are only “fixed” when they stop working, applying machine learning or condition-based monitoring improves asset reliability greatly as it rarely causes any disturbances in the production.
For companies and industries worldwide, machinery and equipment are essential in production. Effective asset management ensures that any foreseeable issues that may arise from the machine and its parts will be addressed accordingly before it causes bigger damage.
When you monitor parts of the machine and equipment like the fans, pumps, and motors, while also keeping track of the parameters like vibrations and machine temperature, this is asset management. One of the most common ways of condition-based monitoring that we have discussed above would be vibration analysis.
Simply put, vibration analysis monitors the vibrations in the machine and its components using sensors. This data is then analyzed to determine if the performance of the parts are within the parameters or it has deviated from them. Seeing any minor deviation right away can allow you to address the issue right away for better asset management before it becomes harder to repair.
Vibration sensors normally measure the amount of vibration in a machine, particularly the shafts, bearings, pumps, and motors since these are the parts that make the most movements. Common vibrations sensors are accelerometers but that are also others that make use of microphones and even pressure-based sensors.
There are also rotating machines that generate vibration with every rotation which then produces noise. Any imperfections like imbalances or looseness would create noise that is different than normal and would be easily detected through condition-based monitoring. This can easily be detected since any defects, for example, would cause a rotating fan to either rotate faster or slower than normal.
On the surface, machine vibrations may appear not so much a big deal since the whole equipment is still working perfectly fine aside from the noise that it makes. But this is where the problem lies if vibration monitoring is not done regularly. Machine parts that are vibrating and left unaddressed for a long time can lead to accelerated wear and tear as well as lead to damages to the other parts of the machinery.
Since the machine must work double-time due to the vibrations, it can use more power than usual and can lead to damages to the product that the machine is producing. If left untreated for a long time, vibrations will surely lead to equipment malfunction and affect work production.
When it comes to vibration analysis, often the trickiest part is finding out where the problem is within the asset. While there are many tools and tactics vibration analysts can use to determine the health and lifespan of any given asset, there can also be hidden puzzles and additional precautions to be addressed. Is the vibration caused by one issue, or are there multiple causes that need to be remedied? Has this issue caused any damage to the asset that could be a future concern?
Not every asset or machine is the same, and this is especially true for tackling vibration issues. That’s why Mobius Institute, one of the leaders in Vibration Analysis training and certification, developed MOBIUS CONNECT.
A social platform made specifically for professionals and practitioners in the industrial machinery fields, MOBIUS CONNECT provides more than just the ability to network and chat. There are forums for members to share and discuss the most common or rare asset issues. Industry leaders can divulge their hard-earned knowledge, tips, and lessons.
Within the MOBIUS CONNECT app members can find reliability and CBM videos, webinars, articles, and a live feed. Members can also read up on the latest industry news and developments within their field.
Signing up is easy and completely free. It can be a great asset for every industry practitioner from a recent grad that’s just starting, to a seasoned and skilled professional. We’ve helped connect industry professionals in 121 countries with various industry certifications and backgrounds.
MOBIUS CONNECT is now available for desktop and mobile devices. The MOBIUS CONNECT app is available to download from Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. To sign up, just download the app or visit https://mobiusconnect.com/signup.
If you’d like to learn more about the MOBIUS CONNECT social platform, visit our site at https://mobiusconnect.com. You can learn more about Mobius Institute, our training programs, conferences, and more at https://www.mobiusinstitute.com.