A Craftsman NEVER Blames the Tools!

I heard this saying recently, and I like it a lot!  Whether we are talking about woodworking, precision maintenance, shaft alignment, or any number of other crafts or technical operations-it is true. In my time as a trainer for Acoem USA, I have heard mechanics say (more times than I could count) “my (current alignment…

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Understanding the ISO 10816-3 Vibration Severity Chart

The ISO-10816 Vibration Severity Chart hovers above industrial machinery.

The Smart Machine Checker (SMC), and the Falcon (vibration data collector/analyzer) use Accurex™ automatic diagnostic software to determine vibration problems on rotating equipment. Accurex™ performs a first order diagnostic based on ISO 10816-3 specifications (based on overall vibration levels in velocity, in inches per second/peak, or mm/sec/rms), and a second order diagnostic based on several…

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Taking Care of your Spares

Rotating equipment, either in storage, or down for long periods of time, should be rotated on a regular basis. This prevents two things: rust forming in the bearings, gears, etc., due to lubricant settling into the reservoir. false brinelling, which is micro-spalling of the bearing raceways due to impacting. This occurs when vibration is present…

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Implementing a Hybrid Model to Monitor Machinery Vibration

Monitoring machinery vibration can use many tools and models, including a hybrid model. Some of the monitoring tools available today include: Portable vibration data collectors and analyzers.  Short-term surveillance vibration data collectors and analyzers (which can be installed temporarily). Embedded sensors mounted to equipment which can monitor vibration, temperatures, and other inputs. Permanently mounted accelerometers…

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A Handy Guide to Balancing Rotating Machinery

icon of a fan with a spot indicating a balancing weight.

Balancing rotating machinery is mostly math, with a bit of common sense and experience thrown in. The math is constant, so here are some tips to help with the common sense and experience part. Preparing to balance Inspect before you balance I once balanced a fan by pulling an air filter out of the fan…

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How Vibration is Measured (Cont.): Vibration Level Charts, ISO Values, and More

In Part 1 of How Vibration is Measured, we discussed how equipment vibration is measured.  An accelerometer mounted to a machine bearing vibrates.  This vibration in the accelerometer produces a voltage.  The amount of movement of the accelerometer determines the amount of voltage, and the severity.  The frequency of the voltage (how many times per…

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How Vibration is Measured: A Look at Sine Waves, FFT, and More

Machinery vibration continues is an indispensable tool for knowing the condition of machine components.  While analyzing vibration can sometimes be complex, understanding the basics of what a vibration signal is can simplify the process. Taking a vibration measurement on equipment typically requires two components – an accelerometer, and a device, such as a vibration analyzer…

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Watch Your Grease!

In Acoem USA’s Reliable Precision Maintenance (RPM) class, we discuss several key points maintenance personnel need to know about lubrication. One of those points is grease compatibility. At a recent class, our students mentioned they only used two kinds of grease. When we asked what they were, they didn’t remember the name. So, one of…

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An Old Maintenance Mechanic’s Look at the Next Generation

This grainy photo was from my last day at a Weyerhaeuser mill in 1987.  I was a 26 year old millwright.  If you look closely, you’ll see an IBM computer in the storeroom.  We had another one we used for running Palomar Microlog vibration data collection.  We had a first generation laser alignment tool, but…

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6 Ways Machine Maintenance Helps the Environment

The idea of maintaining machinery and maintaining the environment may sound like science fiction, or like apples and oranges. However maintaining equipment can have a direct, positive, measurable, and meaningful effect on the planet, the plant, and the people who own and work on them, if executed properly.  How? Machinery that is designed properly, and…

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A “Typical – Atypical” Alignment

A colleague and client of ours called, in a bit of a quandary. “Ever seen anything like this?” he asked.  I had to answer “No, I have not”. This is a C-face motor.  It is typically mounted to a C-face flange, which connects to a vertically oriented pump.  But in this case, the C-face motor…

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Common Shaft Alignment FAQ

  We get asked a multitude of questions in our training classes, which we appreciate.  But a few questions pop up almost every time.  Here are some of our most common questions and answers. QUESTION:  Sometimes on small machines, I don’t have enough room on the shaft to mount the laser.  Can I mount it…

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VibrAlign Training During COVID-19

Like many people worldwide, the ACOEM VibrAlign Training Team is grounded while we wait this virus out.  It is the right thing to do-for ourselves, our families, neighbors, co-workers, and nation. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t help YOU!  If you have questions about alignment, vibration, or reliability of your equipment, WE CAN HELP!  How?…

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Balancing How To #6 – Balancing Tolerances

By now, if you’ve kept up with the VibrAlign balancing “how-to” blogs, you should see that balancing is mostly just a math problem – counteracting forces.  But we haven’t discussed when the balance job is through. When I started balancing fans many years ago, I stopped balancing when: The fan owner said, “that’s much better”,…

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