A vibration analyzer is a monitoring tool designed to measure vibration levels in industrial machinery. Vibration analysis is an essential part of diagnosing machinery health; vibrating machines wears down components, create noise, threaten the safety of workers, and ultimately shorten the lifespans of small parts and critical industrial systems alike. Discovering which parts are experiencing faults due to vibration and why allows machine operators to fix the problem and get their system back into action.
How Does a Vibration Analyzer Work?
Here’s how a vibration analyzer works:
- The device under test vibrates.
- The vibration analyzer’s internal accelerometer captures the vibration data.
- The accelerometer converts that data to an electrical signal proportional to the power and frequency of the vibrations, which is recorded by a data collector as either:
- a time waveform (amplitude vs. time), or
- a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) (amplitude vs. frequency), or
- as both.
- Finally, the signal is displayed on the screen, ready for either a vibration analyst to interpret or a computer algorithm to decipher. Many vibration monitoring tools will detect anomalies for the user, notifying them if there is a deviation from the device under test’s vibration signature. A machine’s vibration signature is its standard spectrum of vibration frequency, amplitude, and intensity.
Vibration Analyzer Test Applications
Common applications that require vibration analysis equipment rentals include troubleshooting faults, long-term vibration monitoring and predictive machinery maintenance. Most vibration faults occur in equipment that is in constant use like pumps, cooling towers, conveyor motors, and fan & blower motors.
A vibration analyzer rental unit can detect the following machinery faults and more:
- Shaft misalignment / bending
- Motor faults
- Found in bearings, gearboxes, rotors, etc.
- Bearing defects
- Excessive loads, true/false brinelling, overheating, reverse loading, fatigue failure, corrosion, loose/tight fits, misalignment
- Gearbox vibration issues
- Impact / friction that can cause cracks
- Rotor instability and unbalance
- Loose bolting
- Machining errors
Choosing a Vibration Monitoring Tool
How, then, do you choose the right vibration analyzer rental? Frequency, resolution, and number of input channels are the key performance features to consider. Frequency range refers to the maximum vibrational frequency that the vibration analyzer can measure; most analyzers will have a maximum frequency range of between 18 - 24 kHz. Resolution indicates the number of FFT lines each channel can read. Vibration analysis tools generally have either 2 or 4 channels: 2-channel vibration tool allows you to perform balancing, phase analysis and bode graphs; 4-channel units have the same measurement capabilities and also be used with triaxial accelerometers for greater analysis at a single point. Triaxial accelerometers save you time by allowing you to measure all three axes without having to discontinue your test in order to reorient your single-axis accelerometer.
Once you’ve decided on the performance characteristics you need for your test, look for units that have the following features found in most modern vibration analysis equipment:
- Lightweight, portable, handheld
- Connects to smartphones/tablets
- Develops FFT in high resolution
- Performs measurement in seconds via tri-axial sensors that measure in all three axes
- Automatic machine diagnostics—don’t need to be a vibration analyst to perform analysis
- Advanced features like…
- A machine-building interface that allows users to simply drag and drop motor, coupling, driven component, horsepower and RPM of the unit
- Phase analysis
- Reporting tools
- 3D simulation
- Bump testing
Rent vibration analyzers from ATEC for affordable rental rates on products from leading manufacturers like Bently Nevada, ACOEM VibrAlign, GTI Predictive, and Crystal Instruments.