Setting up vibration alarms in a vibration analysis program can be challenging. Questions such as whether to use overall alarms for acceleration, velocity, or displacement, and whether to measure RMS, peak, or peak-to-peak values can complicate the process. However, the ISO standard 20816-3 provides a straightforward solution.


Utilizing ISO Standard 20816-3

This standard offers a chart that helps technicians establish basic alarm settings for four machinery groups defined by machine horsepower and base type (rigid or flexible). In the Americas, it is common to use the English unit of measurement in/sec peak, although the metric system (mm/sec RMS) is also in use. Essentially, both systems serve the same purpose with different units.



To use the chart, first, check the motor tag for its horsepower or kilowatt rating. Determine if the machine falls into Machinery Group 2 of Medium Machines (15kW – 300kW) or Group 1 of Large Machines (300kW and Up). Then, refer to the bottom row of charts for your machinery group and select your machine base (rigid or flexible). Locate the range under velocity that corresponds to your measurement. The color where these rows intersect indicates your machinery’s health according to ISO standards.

For example, a 200kW motor with a rigid base and a velocity reading of 0.4 in/sec peak would be categorized under “Damage Occurs.” Operating at this level suggests potential harm to the machine, warranting a comprehensive vibration analysis diagnosis to inform maintenance decisions.


Simplifying Database Setup

Setting up a complete database measurement by measurement can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Fortunately, modern vibration analysis software simplifies this process with just a few clicks. When purchasing vibration analysis software and equipment, look for features that automate database setup. This capability can save countless hours, minimize human error, and prevent the unnecessary analysis of non-critical data.

Furthermore, adhering to ISO 20816-3 standards ensures reliable monitoring of machinery health. This reliability is critical for predictive maintenance, allowing technicians to identify and address potential issues before they lead to significant downtime or catastrophic failures. By following these standards, organizations can optimize maintenance schedules, extend machinery life, and reduce overall maintenance costs.


Benefits of Modern Vibration Software

Advanced vibration analysis software that integrates with ISO 20816-3 standards enables real-time monitoring and automated alerts. These systems can notify maintenance personnel immediately when vibration levels exceed acceptable thresholds, allowing for prompt interventions. This proactive approach ensures machinery operates within safe limits, preventing damage and enhancing operational safety.

For large industrial plants, maintaining a centralized database of vibration measurements and alarm settings across multiple machines is invaluable. This centralization facilitates effective tracking of machinery performance and trends over time. Analyzing historical data can help identify recurring issues, improving the overall understanding of machinery behavior and enhancing maintenance strategies.

In conclusion, using ISO 20816-3 standards for setting up vibration alarms not only simplifies the process but also provides numerous operational benefits. It ensures consistent and accurate monitoring, supports predictive maintenance efforts, and integrates seamlessly with modern vibration analysis software. Leveraging these standards and tools, organizations can achieve greater operational efficiency, reduce unexpected equipment failures, and enhance the longevity and reliability of their machinery assets.

At Acoem, we offer a multitude of Condition Monitoring solutions that can help you improve the health of your rotating machinery. If you and/or your organization are in the process of looking for the right Vibration Analysis solutions for your facility, Contact Us today and we would be glad to help!

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