Vibration analysis – Breakdown prevention

Introduction:

Condition-based maintenance (CBM) is an approach to maintenance that involves monitoring the condition of machinery to determine when maintenance is needed. One of the key methods used in CBM is vibration analysis. Vibration analysis involves measuring the vibrations produced by machinery during operation and analyzing the data to identify any abnormal patterns or frequencies that may indicate a problem. This approach can help detect early warning signs of equipment failure and schedule maintenance accordingly, preventing unplanned downtime and reducing maintenance costs.

Vibration Analysis:

Vibration analysis involves measuring the amplitude and frequency of vibrations produced by machinery during operation. There are three types of sensors that can be used to measure vibrations: accelerometers, velocity sensors, and displacement sensors. Accelerometers are the most common type of sensor used for vibration analysis.

The collected vibration data is analyzed using specialized software that can identify abnormal vibration patterns or frequencies. The analysis may also include comparing the current vibration signature to the baseline signature to detect any changes that may indicate a problem.

Vibration analysis can be used to detect a wide range of problems with machinery, including:

  1. Misalignment: Misalignment occurs when the axis of rotation of a shaft is not aligned with the axis of rotation of the bearing. This can cause increased vibration and wear on the bearings, leading to premature failure.

  2. Unbalance: Unbalance occurs when the mass distribution of a rotating component is not evenly distributed. This can cause vibration and wear on the bearings, leading to premature failure.

  3. Bearing wear: Bearing wear can cause increased vibration, noise, and heat generation. If not addressed, bearing wear can lead to premature failure.

  4. Gear wear: Gear wear can cause increased vibration, noise, and heat generation. If not addressed, gear wear can lead to premature failure.

  5. Structural problems: Structural problems such as cracks or deformations can cause increased vibration and stress on the machinery, leading to premature failure.

Benefits of Vibration Analysis:

Vibration analysis is a powerful tool for detecting faults in machinery and predicting potential failures before they occur. Some of the benefits of vibration analysis for CBM include:

  1. Reduced downtime: By detecting potential problems early, maintenance can be scheduled before a failure occurs, reducing unplanned downtime.

  2. Improved reliability: Proactive maintenance can help improve the reliability of machinery, reducing the likelihood of failures.

  3. Reduced maintenance costs: By addressing potential problems early, maintenance costs can be reduced, as more extensive repairs can be avoided.

  4. Improved safety: Addressing potential problems early can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Methodology:

Vibration analysis is an essential technique for condition-based maintenance (CBM) of machinery. The process involves measuring and analyzing the vibration of machinery to identify faults and potential issues before they cause catastrophic damage. In this article, we will discuss the methodology of conducting vibration analysis of machinery for condition-based maintenance in detail.

  1. Preparation:

The first step in conducting vibration analysis is to prepare the equipment. This involves ensuring that the machinery is in a safe state to be measured and that all necessary equipment is available. The equipment required includes a vibration analyzer, transducers, cables, and a computer with analysis software. The analyzer and transducers should be calibrated before starting the measurement.

  1. Measurement:

The next step is to take the vibration measurements. This is typically done with transducers attached to the machinery at specific points, such as bearings or other critical components. The measurements can be taken while the machinery is running or while it is shut down. In general, measurements should be taken at regular intervals to monitor changes over time.

  1. Data Analysis:

Once the measurements are taken, the data needs to be analyzed. This is done using specialized software that can interpret the vibration signal and provide insights into the condition of the machinery. The software can identify specific frequencies and patterns in the vibration signal that may indicate the presence of faults or other issues.

  1. Diagnosis:

The analysis software will typically provide a diagnosis based on the data collected. This diagnosis will indicate the type of fault or issue that is present, such as unbalance, misalignment, or bearing wear. The diagnosis will also provide information on the severity of the issue and the recommended corrective action.

  1. Corrective Action:

Based on the diagnosis, corrective action can be taken. This can involve balancing the machinery, realigning components, or replacing worn parts. The corrective action should be tailored to the specific issue identified during the vibration analysis.

  1. Follow-Up:

Finally, follow-up measurements should be taken to ensure that the corrective action was successful. These measurements should be compared to the original measurements to confirm that the issue has been resolved. Regular follow-up measurements can also be used to monitor the condition of the machinery over time and identify new issues as they arise.

In summary, conducting vibration analysis of machinery for condition-based maintenance involves preparation, measurement, data analysis, diagnosis, corrective action, and follow-up. By following this methodology, maintenance professionals can identify faults and issues before they cause catastrophic damage, ensuring that machinery remains operational and efficient.

 

Conclusion:

Vibration analysis is a critical tool for condition-based maintenance of machinery. By monitoring vibrations, potential problems can be detected and addressed proactively, reducing downtime and improving overall equipment reliability. With the use of specialized software, vibration analysis can help diagnose problems, schedule maintenance and reduce maintenance costs, leading to improved safety and reliability.