The Maintenance Supervisor’s 5 Questions

I’ve never been a maintenance supervisor, but I have worked for several.  And when a machine has had problems, most maintenance supervisors have 5 questions: What’s wrong with it? How bad is it? How much longer can we run it? What do we have to do to fix it? (…and if they’re really good) What…

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Perspective

I don’t know about you, but in my nearly 45 years in industrial maintenance, there have been times when I felt stumped when trying to solve a problem. Sometimes you can just walk away and the solution comes to you while performing another task. Other times, a colleague or coworker may come along and have…

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Thoughts on a New Machine Setup

There are numerous items to be considered when performing an initial inspection for a vibration analysis route setup. All things from safety considerations to machine information, smells, and sounds need to be observed and documented. First and foremost is SAFETY!! Are there exposed shafts, sheaves, belts, or nip points? Does an oily or slippery floor…

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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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Composite Pump Base?

We have written numerous blogs on pump bases, they still at times contribute to precision shaft alignment challenges. A recent class at a wastewater treatment plant, was having difficulty controlling soft foot on several different pump skids with composite bases. Previous blogs have described how a bad base can contribute to soft foot. In this…

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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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An Overview of Vibration Transducers

What are vibration transducers? Vibration transducers used for machinery evaluations are devices that measure displacement of a shaft or motion of a structure and convert this motion into electrical signals. There are three basic types of vibration transducers: Accelerometers  Velocity transducers  Non-contact Displacement transducers Features of vibration transducers Of these three types of transducers, both…

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Static, Couple, and Dynamic Unbalance

According to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), unbalance is “that condition which exists in a rotor when the vibratory force or motion is imparted to bearings as a result of centrifugal forces”. In other words, unbalance is an unequal weight distribution of a rotor around its rotating centerline. The rotating centerline or rotational axis…

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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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Using a Strobe Light to Verify RPM

Knowing the correct rotational speed is critical when performing machinery diagnostics. A strobe light can be an excellent tool for determining speed. Look for a unique mark such as a keyway, piece of tape, etc. to use as a reference. You will adjust the flash rate of the strobe light until you only see one…

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Using the Acoem Bearing Defender as a Lubrication Tool

Co-author, Stan Riddle. Lubricating bearings on a regular PM schedule has some inherent problems-mainly, how do you know if a bearing needs lubricating or not?  If the bearing seal is not compromised, grease should stay in the bearing, and provide lubrication for a long time.  But if the seal is blown, the bearing will require…

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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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4 Challenges Maintenance Teams Face

Our customers come from a wide range of industries, but they share many of the same pain points in their facilities. Over the years, we’ve consulted our customers to better understand these pain points and how our technology solutions can help to alleviate them. We found the following 4 issues resonated with the majority: Lack…

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Is it really Bolt Bound?

In a recent RT300 class during the field portion of the training, the team made the decision to take vibration readings on a motor/pump assembly that was very noisy and had frequent coupling failures. The RT300 diagnosed misalignment, cavitation and shock modulation. Then using the same RT300, they checked the alignment and it was indeed…

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Don’t Forget a Lift Check!

    A lift check isn’t always done when performing a precision shaft alignment, nonetheless excessive lift can be the cause of alignment frustration. Here is a recent example from a very experienced aligner. This particular alignment was on a 150 HP motor driving an extruder through a gearbox. The horizontal alignment came in as…

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