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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Utilizing Phase to Confirm Machine Faults

An illustrated chart depicts phase

It’s on all of the vibration fault charts, it’s taught in vibration classes, and it’s used for balancing – but how often is phase actually used by vibration analysts to confirm faults? Using phase analysis to prove faults detected during an inspection can really help to verify issues on your machines. Phase, particularly cross-channel phase…

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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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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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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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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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Adding Process Points to a Data Collection Route

Sometimes other data can influence analysis when running your regular routes. This data can range from discharge pressure on pump to slide valve position on a chiller or maybe just bearing temperature just to name a few. With the Falcon and Nest this type of data can be collected and even trended in the Nest.…

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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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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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Do You Know the 4 Stages of Bearing Failure?

How do you know if a bearing is about to fail? Bearings don’t last forever and can be damaged if proper precautions are not taken, so it’s important to know the signs of impending bearing failure. In this blog, we will go over the four stages of bearing failure and how this tends to show…

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3 Types of Mechanical Looseness: What You Need to Know

Mechanical looseness is a common diagnosis in vibration analysis. You will certainly run into it when you are monitoring your machines if you haven’t already. However, did you know that there are three different types of mechanical looseness? Knowing which type of mechanical looseness you are dealing with is essential to providing the correct solution…

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Vibration Analysis: Where to Start

  Vibration analysis is a useful way to monitor machine health. Many plants have implemented regular vibration analysis plans to ensure the condition of their machines is being checked at regular intervals and so, if an issue comes to light after spectral analysis, a solution can be pursued. When analyzing vibration, it is important to…

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How to Differentiate Unbalance and Looseness on the Spectrum

  What is the difference between looseness and unbalance? They have very similar spectrums with different influencers. One can even impact the other in some situations. That similarity can impact your ability to balance a machine expeditiously in the field. For clarity of this discussion we will limit it to Type A and B mechanical…

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