The 4 Senses of a Vibration Technician

Collecting vibration data is a crucial step in a reliability program. However, it is just one step in the process. Consistently collecting accurate data under varying operating conditions is essential for effective analysis and maintenance. Operating conditions such as speed, load, and production processes must be meticulously documented and followed to maintain consistent data amplitudes…

Read More

A Pump Tale: Misalignment Exposed

Angular Misalignment from video by Acoem USA Offset & Angularity

Vibration data was taken on a motor/pump during initial training on the Acoem Falcon. This pump was chosen based on history and a visual inspection. The visual inspection pointed towards a potential misalignment issue.   Misalignment Diagnosis The Accurex software in the Falcon diagnosed misalignment. This was confirmed by the Acoem EVO laser alignment tool.…

Read More

Flat Bases and Why They Matter

In reliability and maintenance, base-related vibration and alignment problems have been common issues encountered. Problems such as: Soft foot Bearing misalignment within machines – such as motors, pumps, compressors, etc. Seal and bearing failures – related to radial loading, due to tightening down the pump to a base that isn’t flat Hold down bolts becoming…

Read More

What is Frequency in Vibration Analysis?

The bearing defender screen that shows frequencies.

Frequency is as simple as the name implies, it is the number of times an event occurs in a set amount of time. In vibration analysis, we reference frequency to either cycles per second (Hz) or cycles per minute (CPM).   Calculating Frequency & Cycles Per Minute (CPM) The frequency can be expressed mathematically as…

Read More

Let’s Have a Talk About Communication

All successful reliability programs have one thing in common – strong communication between all plant resources. Although this concept does not have any direct relevance to maintenance, it is an important topic to reflect on. Keeping a constant line of communication with operations, maintenance teams, management, and everybody else at your facility will provide feedback…

Read More

2 Channel Measurements

There are times when it is useful to take 2 simultaneous measurements and compare the phase (or position of the shaft) from one position relative to the other.  This is most commonly used with displacement probes on journal bearings and is a powerful diagnostic tool on this type of equipment, as well as provides you…

Read More

Using the Bearing Defender as a PM Tool

Acoem’s Bearing Defender sensor is a true wireless 3-channel accelerometer.  It can be used with a tablet or smartphone to detect common vibration problems quickly and easily on a machine-with no training or certification required. It can be used standalone (with a smartphone or other device for the display), or in conjunction with Acoem’s more…

Read More

Gearboxes – Know your Machines

Gearboxes are used in numerous applications, including machine tools, industrial equipment, conveyor belt drives, and just about any power transmission application with rotary motion that requires a change in torque and/or speed. Output speed and torque are always going to be in contrast to each other – if you use a gearbox to increase the…

Read More

The Silver Tsunami and What You Can Do About It

I recently heard the term “silver tsunami” at a conference in Florida. It has been around since the 1980s. It refers to the current and pending retirements of Baby Boomers (Gen X is not far behind), and the void it will create in the workplace. Not as much a void of people but a void…

Read More

Introduction to Wireless Sensors in Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring is by no means a new concept in industry. In fact, it is so widely regarded as a best practice, that it becomes commonplace in more industries each year. With this increase in awareness, we have seen an influx of options over the years. Simple overall meters, portable analyzers, wired continuous systems, and…

Read More

Bolt Torque and Overhung Pump Centerlines

Recently I conducted training at a location that had quite a large population of centrifugal pumps, the majority of which were overhung pumps. As you can see from the diagram below, the overhung pump casing bolts to the volute by a ring of bolts in a circular flange.     Issues with Bolt Bound and…

Read More

Is It Mechanical or Electrical?

Analyzing vibration data can be a difficult job. Using VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) motors can make it even more difficult. Pattern recognition is a huge part of this process. However, diagnosing between electrical and mechanical vibration patterns can be challenging.   Is it a Mechanical or Electrical Problem? First, a straightforward way to distinguish between…

Read More

Learn to Hold Down Your Equipment!

During a recent balancing class, I was requested to help the customer balance a couple of fans. Typically, our services team does this, but I agreed to help. When we got to this rooftop penthouse, I noticed a few things: The fan wheel, housing, and shaft were coated in a fairly thick coat of rust…

Read More

How Many Times Do I Need to Align This Machine?

A customer called me recently with concerns about a pump alignment job he completed about six months earlier. He had checked the alignment again and found that the alignment values changed. He was concerned that he had done something wrong. I explained to him that he was performing the alignment correctly, however, the machine could…

Read More

Closing the Loop in Reliability

The Journey of Reliability A machine is identified by the vibration analyst and recommendations are made for repair, the planner orders the parts, management gets together and determines when the repairs are made, and the maintenance team carries out the plan to replace the defective component. Success! We averted disaster once again! … And the…

Read More