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VIBRATION ANALYSIS: In gear reducers, vibration analysis can determine misalignment, unbalance, mechanical looseness, eccentric shafts, gear wear, broken teeth, and bearing wear. In electric motors vibration analysis can determine misalignment, unbalance, mechanical looseness, eccentric rotors, bearing wear, loose rotor bars, and poor end turn connections. Vibration analysis can be applied to all rotating equipment, ( from less than 1 rpm to 10000 rpm and above) these include electric motors, fans, machine tools, paper machines, turbines, conveyor belt drives, pumps, air-compressors, motor-generator sets, reciprocating engines, rolling mills, and mining equipment from long wall shearers to continuous mining machines.
Introduction to Vibration INDEX acceleration amplitude Amplitude demodulation Amplitude modulation Angular Misalignment Average Bearing Mobility bearing tones Beats Belt drives blade rate bump test carrier
Cavitation Centrifugal Compressors Centrifugal Fans Commercial Standards Compressor surge continuous spectrum Couplings Crest factor critical D.C. Motors dB degrees of freedom Deterministic differentiation displacement Dynamic Imbalance Eccentric Sheaves excitation force fans fault FFT FFT analyzer First Order Forcing Frequencies frequency Frequency Analysis
frequency domain FTF Fundamental Train Frequency G Gear eccentricity Gear pumps ghost harmonic harmonic series harmonics ICP imbalance Induction Motors Integration ISO Standards jerk journal bearing Kurtosis linear Log logarithm Loose Windings looseness Magnetostriction mils Mil-Std 167-2
misalignment Modal Analysis Modulation NAVSEA Technical Specification non-synchronous components Oil Whirl Orbit plots oscillation overhung Parallel Misalignment Peak Amplitude Peak-to-Peak pendulum period phase Pumps quasi-periodic Random Noise Reciprocating Machines resonance RMS Rolling Element Bearings Root Mean Square rotor rotor bar rotor bow 4 .
screw type pump Sensor Mounting Pads Sheave Misalignment sidebands signals Simple Harmonic Motion sine wave sinusoid slip slot pass frequency spectrum Spectrum Comparison Spectrum Mask stationary stator Synchronous Averaging Synchronous Motors tachometer ten-point divider time domain tooth-mesh transducer trending trigger Truncation Turbines 5 .
Any complex motion the body may have can be broken down into a combination of these six motions. The equilibrium position is the position the object will attain when the force acting on it is zero. This type of vibration is called "whole body motion". These are translation in the three orthogonal directions x. a ship can move in the fore and aft direction (surge). vibration can be considered to be the oscillation or repetitive motion of an object around an equilibrium position. Such a body is therefore said to possess six degrees of freedom. y. and z-axes. meaning that all parts of the body are moving together in the same direction at any point in time.vane pass VdB velocity vibration Vibration Severity Chart vibration spectrum VTAG wave form waveform whole body motion Introduction to Vibration More: What is Vibration? Energy and Power Considerations Linear and Non-Linear Systems Frequency Analysis Octave Band and One-Third Octave Band Analysis Linear and Logarithmic Amplitude Scales What is Vibration? In its simplest form. y. and z. For instance. up and down 6 . and rotation around the x. The vibratory motion of a whole body can be completely described as a combination of individual motions of six different types.
It is therefore called a single degree of freedom system. 7 . and port and starboard direction (sway). and it can rotate lengthwise (roll). rotate around the vertical axis (yaw). and frequency. These forces are dependent upon the machine condition. but by then the mass will have some kinetic energy and will overshoot the rest position and deflect the spring in the opposite direction. the spring will return it to equilibrium. For instance. and this causes the amplitude of vibration to gradually decrease as the energy is converted to heat.from kinetic energy in the mass to potential energy in the spring and back. The vibration of an object is always caused by an excitation force. Suppose an object were restrained from motion in any direction except one. and rotate about the port-starboard axis (pitch). It will be seen later that the rate (frequency) and magnitude of the vibration of a given object is completely determined by the excitation force. and knowledge of their characteristics and interactions allows one to diagnose a machine problem. This idealized simple harmonic motion is almost never found in real mechanical systems. The following definitions apply to simple harmonic motion: T = The period of the wave. This force may be externally applied to the object. This is the reason that vibration analysis can determine the excitation forces at work in a machine. If there were no friction in the system. or it may originate inside the object. Any real system does have friction. a clock pendulum is restricted from motion except in one plane. If the mass is displaced a certain distance from the equilibrium point and then released. The same process repeats over and over with the energy sloshing back and forth between the spring and the mass -.direction (heave). the oscillation would continue at the same rate and same amplitude forever. The following illustration shows a graph of the displacement of the mass plotted versus time. Such a mechanical system is called a single degree of freedom springmass system. Another example of a single degree of freedom system is an elevator moving up and down in an elevator shaft. It will then decelerate to a stop at the other extreme of its displacement where the spring will again begin to return it toward equilibrium. direction. Simple Harmonic Motion The simplest possible vibratory motion that can exist is the movement in one direction of a mass controlled by a single spring.
More will be said about this when we consider the subject of phase. as follows: where v = instantaneous velocity. or milliseconds. We will see the significance of this in a moment. or peak. the sine wave is plotted as a function of time.The period is the time required for one cycle. = 1/T the Hz.or sinusoid. The rate of change of one quantity with respect to another can be described by the mathematical derivative. as indicated by the negative sign. 8 . of an object undergoing simple harmonic motion is plotted versus time on a graph as shown above. Note here also that the acceleration function is displaced by an additional 90 degrees. the German The frequency is the number of cycles that occur in one second. The period is measured in seconds. Equations of Motion If the position. displacement = angular frequency. it is displaced by 90 degrees. = 2f t = time This is the same curve that the sine function from trigonometry generates. In the case of vibration. or displacement. named after Heinrich Hertz. or how fast the velocity is changing at any instant: where a = instantaneous acceleration. depending on how fast the wave is changing. scientist who first investigated radio. The acceleration of the motion described here is defined as the rate of change of the velocity. and is simply the reciprocal of the period. and is described by the following equation: where d = instantaneous displacement. and it can be considered the simplest and most basic of all possible repetitive wave forms. or one "round trip" from one zero crossing to the next zero crossing in the same direction. The velocity of the motion described above is equal to the rate of change of the displacement. but one cycle of the waveform is sometimes considered to equal 360 degrees of angle. The unit for frequency is F = The Frequency of the wave. the resulting curve is a sine wave. D = maximum. or in other words how fast its position is changing. and the sine wave is actually a plot of the value of the sine function versus angle. but because it is described by the cosine. Here we see that the form of the velocity function is also sinusoidal. The mathematical sine function is derived from the relative lengths of the sides of a right triangle.
or . it will remain at rest unless acted on by an external force. such as rotating machines. see what happens if we raise the frequency to 1000 Hz: . The velocity equals displacement times frequency. Vibration Amplitude Measurement The following definitions apply to the measurement of mechanical vibration amplitude. we see that in practice. The disciplines of Finite Element Modeling (FEM) and Modal Analysis are dedicated to predicting how a structure will respond to a known force. and Newton’s laws of motion will govern its movement. One G of acceleration equals 386 inches per second per second. such as a marble. If it is subjected to an external force.If we examine these equations.1 inch of displacement at 100 Hz. It will move in response to an external force applied to it. and is often difficult to predict. high frequencies can not be associated with high displacement levels. very high velocities result. This means that at a large displacement and a high frequency. and that the acceleration is proportional to the frequency squared times the displacement. its acceleration will be proportional to that force. Simply put. are not infinitely rigid.1 x 10000 = 1000 inches per second per second. it is seen that the velocity is proportional to the displacement times the frequency. and have varying degrees of flexibility at different frequencies. and if in motion it will continue in motion unless acted on by an external force. Acceleration equals displacement times frequency squared. for they are very complex. 9 . Newton's laws dictate that if the marble is at rest. Dynamics of Mechanical Systems A small compact physical structure. Mechanical systems. As we will see. suppose that a vibrating object is undergoing 0. their motion in response to an external force is dependent on the nature of that force and the dynamic characteristics of their mechanical structure. and extremely high levels of acceleration would be required. or a = 0. and they do not necessarily move as a whole when subjected to a force. For instance. but it is instructive to look into how forces and structures interact if we are to understand the usefulness of vibration analysis of machines. so this acceleration is Now. We will not discuss these fields further. Most mechanical systems are more complex than a simple mass. and Thus. can be thought of as simply a mass.
As mentioned before. We will see shortly 10 . To calculate this value. In the case of the sine wave. drawn by devices connected to it. which is simply the The RMS value must be used in all calculations regarding arithmetic average of the signal level power or energy in a waveform. is not used in vibration 117 volt AC line. but this is only true in the case of the sine wave. i. An example of this is the over time. Average Amplitude. the RMS value is 0.Peak Amplitude (Pk) is the maximum excursion of the wave from the zero or equilibrium point. Remember that the RMS value of a sine wave is 0. and we will not voltage. the instantaneous amplitude values of the waveform must be squared and these squared values averaged over a certain length of time. Then the square root of this average value is extracted to get the RMS value. In the case of the sine wave. as we will see shortly. but this is not necessarily the case with all vibration waveforms.707 times the peak value.. and the area under the resulting curve averaged to a constant level. The RMS value is proportional to the area under the curve -if the negative peaks are rectified. The 117 volts is the RMS value of the measurements.707 times the peak value.e. the peak-to-peak value is exactly twice the peak value because the waveform is symmetrical. and it is used in calculations of the wattage (power) consider it further. Peak-to-Peak Amplitude (Pk-Pk) is the distance from a negative peak to a positive peak. Root Mean Square Amplitude (RMS) is the square root of the averageof the squared values of the waveform. This time interval must be at least one period of the wave in order to arrive at the correct value. The squared values are all positive. made positive. and this is the only wave form where this is true. and thus so is their average. The RMS value of a vibration signal is an important measure of its amplitude. it is numerically equal to the square root of the average of the squared value of amplitude. that level would be proportional to the RMS value.
Phase shift may be considered positive or negative. A phase shift of 360 degrees is a time delay of one cycle. This trigger can be generated by a tachometer or some type of optical or magnetic probe that senses a discontinuity on the rotor. it is almost always measured in terms of angle. An example of this is the phase of an imbalance component in a rotor with reference to a fixed point on the rotor. i. You could also say the upper waveform has a 90 degree phase lead.that this is important. or one waveform may be advanced relative to another one. either degrees or radians. one waveform may be delayed relative to another one. A phase shift of 90 degrees is a shift of 1/4 of the period of the wave. Phase can also be measured with reference to a particular time. The phase difference between two waveforms is often called a phase shift. without regard to its true time period. etc. To measure this phase. the lower curve is shifted 90 degrees with respect to the upper curve. which actually amounts to no phase shift at all. The Concept of Phase Phase is a measure of relative time difference between two sine waves. Even though phase is truly a time difference. such as a key way. Phase of a Rotor 11 .. a triggerpulse must be generated from a certain reference point on the shaft. These conditions are called phase lag and phase lead respectively.e. This represents normalization to the time taken by one cycle of the wave in question. In this example. and is sometimes called a "tach" pulse. This is a time lag of one-fourth of the period of the wave. or one period of the wave.
The displacement of a body undergoing simple harmonic motion is a sine wave as we have seen. and therefore acceleration leads velocity by 90 degrees. and in the English system. Jerk is what you feel when your car comes to a stop if you maintain a constant brake pedal 12 . In other words. it can be shown that the acceleration waveform of an object undergoing simple harmonic motion is also sinusoidal. is usually measured in units of G. the velocity is not changing at this instant. or the average acceleration due to gravity at the earth's surface. Velocity is defined as the rate of change of displacement. This means that the phase of velocity waveform will be displaced to the left by 90 degrees compared to the displacement waveform. that the velocity of the motion is sinusoidal. When the displacement is zero (the equilibrium point).The phase angle can be measured from the reference position either in the direction of rotation or opposite to the direction of rotation. Vibration Units So far. the velocity will be at a maximum. Then. Remembering that acceleration is the rate of change of velocity. In other words. Acceleration is defined as the rate of change of velocity. This means the acceleration of a vibrating object is always in the opposite direction to the displacement! It is possible to define another parameter that is the rate of change of acceleration. In addition to varying displacement. the velocity will be zero because that is the position at which its direction of motion reverses. The sine curve of acceleration versus time is thus seen to be 90 degrees phase shifted to the left of the velocity curve. the acceleration is zero. When the displacement is at a maximum. and different equipment manufacturers use different conventions. and also that when the velocity is at a maximum. the velocity is said to lead the displacement by a 90-degree phase angle. a vibrating object will experience a varying velocity and a varying acceleration. or equilibrium point.e. It also turns out (and is easily proved mathematically). phase lag or lead.. The displacement is simply the distance from a reference position. the acceleration is at a maximum -. In the DLI Balance program software for the DC-7.the velocity is changing the fastest at this instant. and it is called "jerk". These relationships are shown here: ' Note here that the acceleration is 180 degrees out of phase with the displacement. either direction may be selected at the operator's preference. i. we have been looking at the displacement of a vibrating object as a measure of its vibration amplitude. and in the English system is usually measured in units of inches per second. when the velocity is zero.
Velocity and Acceleration A vibration signal plotted as displacement vs. another differentiation is required. and the peak-to-peak value is used by convention. as we have defined earlier. It is possible to perform these operations in vibration measuring instruments and thus to convert from any system of units to any other one. the velocity will also double. consider how easy it is to move your hand back and forth over a distance of one foot at one cycle per second. and is seldom done. and the convention is to use the peak value or the RMS value. for in this region the noise level increases and the accuracy of the integration process itself suffers. In order to obtain acceleration from velocity. frequency can be This means that a plot of vibration converted into a plot of velocity vs. or 1 Hz. One G is equal to 386 inches/sec2 or 9. frequency by a process of velocity will slope upwards as differentiation. differentiation is an inherently noisy process. on the other hand. and this means the vibration same signal plotted as velocity at any frequency is proportional to the displacement displacement. which is sufficiently low for almost all vibration applications. Velocity is usually measured in inches per second. It might be possible to attain the same hand displacement at 5 or 6 Hz. The peak value is the most commonly used. Conversely. From a practical standpoint however. and if the frequency is increased tenfold. Acceleration is sometimes measured in inches per second per second (in/sec2). but because of long tradition. Summary of Amplitude Units: In the English system of measurements. where 1 G is the acceleration due to gravity at the earth's surface. and this results in another multiplication by frequency. Acceleration is usually measured in Gs. Integration. the conversion from acceleration to velocity or velocity to displacement is mathematical integration. To illustrate these relationships. Integration is not suitable. But consider how fast your hand would be moving if it had the same 1 foot displacement at 100 Hz. Most commercially available integrators operate correctly above one Hz. or 1000 Hz! Now consider the great force that would be required to move your hand a 13 .pressure.81 meters/sec2. for it is the variation in acceleration that elevator passengers are especially sensitive to.it is simply an amount of acceleration we experience as inhabitants of the earth. for signals of very low frequencies (Below 1 Hz). The process of converting a signal from displacement to velocity or velocity to acceleration is equivalent to the mathematical operation of differentiation. Differentiation involves frequency rises compared to the a multiplication by frequency. Elevator manufacturers are interested in measuring jerk. for its output is easily integrated once or twice in order to display velocity or displacement. The G is not actually an acceleration unit -. The result is that for a given displacement. the acceleration is proportional to the frequency squared. if the frequency is doubled. This means that the acceleration curve slopes upward twice as steeply as the velocity curve. the velocity is also increased by a factor of ten. can be done very accurately with inexpensive electrical circuitry. It is really the sudden cessation of the deceleration. times the frequency. that are true units.. however. Displacement. For a given displacement. displacement is usually measured in mils (thousandths of an inch). This is one reason that the accelerometer is the de facto standard transducer for vibration measurement. not because it is better. or m/sec2.
velocity. and G RMS are expressed by the following equations: 14 . Force equals mass times acceleration according to Newton. so the force required goes up as the square of the frequency. The very large forces that would be required are simply not found in practice. foot at these higher frequencies. and acceleration versus frequency in standard English units of mils peak-to-peak. velocity. it can be seen that the same vibration data plotted in displacement. The displacement curve will greatly emphasize the lowest frequencies. and acceleration will have very different appearances. The relationship between levels of displacement. From these considerations. This is the reason we never see high acceleration levels combined with high displacement values. and the acceleration curve will greatly emphasize the highest frequencies at the expense of the lowest ones.Newton's second law of motion states that force equals mass times acceleration. inches per second peak.
The three curves shown above display the same information. and acceleration has enhanced higher frequency levels. The velocity curve is the most uniform in level over frequency. Velocity is the most commonly used vibration parameter for machine diagnostic work. and for a linear mechanical system. Note that the displacement curve is difficult to read at higher frequencies. the vibration components will Vibration is the motion resulting from an oscillating force. Complex Vibration In a linear mechanical system. the vibration frequency will be the same as the forcing frequency.this provides the most visual information to the observer. In the case of a nonlinear system. but the emphasis is changed. but in some cases the displacement or acceleration curves will be the most uniform. It is a good idea to select the units so the flattest curve is attained -. If there are several 15 . This is typical of most rotating machinery. and none will interfere with any other. all the vibration components will exist together.
etc. Energy is defined as force multiplied by the distance over which the force acts. the high frequency and the low frequency vibration add together to make the complex waveform. this energy comes from the source of power to the machine. especially very slow speed ones.interact and generate new components which are not in the forcing function. an internal combustion engine. In a typical rotating machine. One Joule of energy is equivalent to a force of one Newton acting over a distance of one meter. it is relatively easy to find the frequencies and amplitudes of the two components by examination of the wave form. Under these conditions the resulting waveform of the vibration will not be a sinusoid. and can be extremely difficult to interpret. produce vibration wave forms that are relatively easy to interpret directly. and may be very complex. forcing frequencies occurring at the same time. but most vibration signals are far more complex than this. This energy source can be the AC power line. although in certain cases wave form analysis is a powerful tool. as will be discussed in the chapter on machine vibration monitoring. or steam driving a turbine. Certain machines. In the diagram. then the resulting vibration will be a summation of the vibration at each frequency. and the units used to measure work are the same as those for measuring energy. Energy and Power Considerations Energy is required to produce vibration and in the case of machine vibration. See also the section on Time Domain Analysis in the Machinery Monitoring chapter. In simple cases like this. and the SI unit of energy is the Joule. The physical concept of work is similar to that of energy. 16 . See also the section on linear systems in the Machine Monitoring chapter. it is often hard to get very much information about the inner workings of the machine by looking at the vibration wave form.
just as electrical power is proportional to the voltage squared or the current squared. or flows.The actual amount of energy present in the machine vibration itself is usually not very great compared to the energy required to operate the machine for its intended task. absorbing energy by sliding friction. but springs and masses do not. it is measured in Joules per second. The most important absorber of energy in a machine is friction. its vibration level tends to be fairly high. which can be sliding friction or viscous friction. masses. One horsepower is equivalent to 746 watts. Dampers absorb energy. generally vibrates more than a machine with sleeve bearings. a machine with rolling element bearings (often called anti-friction bearings). and the level of the vibration depends on the strength of the energy source as well as the absorption or damping inherent in the system. Energy always moves. it will vibrate at its natural frequency. For example. Power is defined as the rate of doing work. Sliding friction is represented by relative motion between parts of the machine. where the oil film acts as a significant absorber of energy. As we saw in the previous section. The natural frequency of an undamped spring-mass system is given by the following equation: where Fn = The natural frequency k = the spring constant. The reason that airplane structures are riveted together rather than being welded into a solid unit is that the riveted joints move slightly. and dampers. energy cannot be created or destroyed. and the damping is actually a measure of its energy absorption capability. or the rate of energy transfer. the energy may travel relatively long distances before being absorbed. for the vibration energy builds up due to the lack of absorption. it is useful to consider the sources of vibration energy and the paths in the machine that this energy takes. If energy is applied to a spring-mass system. this may be a very short path. The vibratory energy in a mechanical system is ultimately dissipated in the form of heat. or stiffness m = the mass 17 . which is a more or less complex mechanical system. On the other hand. and an example of viscous friction is the oil film in a journal bearing. from the source of the vibration to the energy absorber where it is converted into heat. but in other situations. Mechanical Structures In analyzing the vibration of a machine. If a machine has very little friction. This keeps vibrations from building up to destructive levels. Natural Frequencies Any physical structure can be modeled as a number of springs. According to the law of conservation of energy. Power is proportional to the square of the vibration amplitude. In some cases. and according to the SI. Such a structure is said to be highly damped. a machine with greater inherent friction will have lower vibration levels because the energy is absorbed quickly. or Watts. but it can be transformed into different forms. a spring and a mass interact with one another to form a system that resonates at their characteristic natural frequency.
A typical structure will have many natural frequencies. or turned off. or may be broad. its natural frequency is a little lower.With a machine whose speed can be varied over a wide range. the system behaves in agreement with our intuition. deflected and then let go. and the motion is in phase with the force. The data are interpreted as in the run up test. "Variable Speed Test" -. It is important to be aware of this fact when evaluating the vibration of a machine -. The behavior of a resonant system when subjected to an external force is interesting and somewhat counter intuitive. its vibration level can be very high. and on the frequency of the energy source. a major source of vibration energy is residual imbalance in the motor rotor. it is seen that if the stiffness increases. For instance. Vibration energy frequently travels great distances along pipes. If a resonance is there. and can wreak havoc when it encounters a remote structure with a natural frequency near that of its source. The figure below shows an idealized response curve of a mechanical resonance. and the vibration energy put into a machine will distribute itself among the degrees of freedom in amounts depending on their natural frequencies and damping. and if the mass increases. the speed can be varied while taking vibration and tachometer data.then the system behaves like a spring. When resonance occurs. If the forcing frequency is lower than the natural frequency -. The multitude of spring-mass-damper systems that make up a mechanical system are called "degrees of freedom". a resonance shows up in the vibration spectrum as a peak whose frequency is constant even as the machine speed is varied. in a machine driven by an electric motor. This will result in a measurable vibration at the motor bearings. But if the machine has a degree of freedom with a natural frequency close to the RPM of the rotor. The "Run Up" or "Coast Down" -. In this spring-controlled region. The peak may be quite sharp. In order to determine if a machine has prominent resonances.The machine is turned on. the vibration will not be uniformly distributed in the machine. Resonance Resonance is an operating condition where an excitation frequency Examples of highly resonant is near a natural frequency of the machine structure. and depends on the amount of damping. one of several tests can be performed to find them: Under no circumstances should a machine be operated at a speed corresponding to a resonance! The "Bump Test" -.The machine is impacted with a heavy mass such as a wooden four by four or the booted heel of the foot of a football player while recording vibration data.From this. The time wave form will show maxima when the RPM matches natural frequencies. The spring of the spring-mass combination making up the resonant system is dominant in determining the response of the system. A natural mechanical systems are frequency is a frequency at which a structure will vibrate if bells and tuning forks. and the displacement is proportional to the force. responding with greater motion as greater force is applied to it. For this reason. while taking vibration data and tachometer data. the natural frequency decreases. which all physical systems do. 18 . If the system has damping. the natural frequency also increases.the location of the maximum vibration level may not be close to the source of the vibration energy.in other words to the left of the peak -. It depends strongly on the frequency of the excitation force. even though it may be a long distance from the motor. the resulting vibration levels can be very high and can cause rapid damage. the machine vibration will be at the natural frequency as it dies away. depending on the amount of effective damping the structure has at the frequency in question. In a machine that produces a broad spectrum of vibration energy.
you cannot apply much force to the system at resonance. the mass and spring elements effectively cancel each other out. and the system looks like a mass to an input force. Linear and Non-Linear Systems To assist in understanding the transmission of vibration through a machine. it is like pushing on air. The displacement is out of phase with the force in this region -. It is the damping that controls the motion of a resonant system at its natural frequency. Examples of systems are tape recorders and amplifiers. and whose outputs are vibration displacements. the system looks completely different to an applied force.when you push against the system. and the force sees only the damping. the vibration amplitude builds up to very high values. The phase angle between the excitation source vibration and the response of the structure is always 90 degrees at the natural frequency In the case of long rotors such as turbines. in the system. but the term "linear" also refers to the characteristics of a system which can have input and output signals. which operate on electrical signals. and mechanical structures. the mass is the controlling element. This means its acceleration is proportional to the applied force.In the region above the natural frequency. Consequently. If the system is lightly damped. we have discussed linear and logarithmic amplitude and frequency scales. and if you continue to try. and the displacement is relatively constant with changing frequency. it moves toward you and vice versa! At the resonance itself. it is instructive to investigate the concept of linearity and what is meant by linear and non-linear systems. Here. or accelerations. Here. Examples of resonances in machines are the so-called critical frequencies of rotating shafts. Thus far. whose inputs are vibration forces. When you push on it. it recedes from you on its own. the situation is different. velocities. A "system" is any device or structure that can accept an input or stimulus in some form and produce a corresponding output or response." and care must be taken that these machines are not operated at speeds where 1X or 2X correspond to these critical frequencies. or friction. More: 19 . the natural frequencies are called "critical frequencies" or "critical speeds.
and they do not interact within the system. especially with small input levels. and input y produces output Y. as a machine wears and clearances increase.Definition of Linearity Non-Linearities in Systems Non-Linearities in Rotating Machines Definition of Linearity A system is said to be linear if it meets the following two criteria: 1. Note that there is nothing in these criteria that says the system output is the same as the system input. 2. we will consider the input to be a vibratory force and the output to be the measured vibration itself. but become non-linear at higher levels of excitation. In other words. and that the measured levels are proportional to the magnitudes of the forces. we assume the forces occur at the same frequency as the response. In the case of mechanical structures such as machines. Non-Linearities in Systems Absolutely perfect linearity does not exist in any real system. and it degrades the quality of the music being reproduced. This is analogous to a mechanical system where a part is free to move until it hits a stop. such as a loose bearing housing that can move a little before being stopped by the mounting bolts. If input x to the system results in output X. However. and the result is that the measured vibration can be quite different 20 . although many actual systems approach linear behavior. its response will no longer be linear. and they exist in varying degrees in all mechanical systems. the system handles two simultaneous inputs independently. it will produce frequencies in its output that do not exist in its input. the magnitude of the system output is proportional to the magnitude of the system input. and the output could be a temperature. This rationale assumes that the machine is linear in its response to forcing functions. An example of this is a stereo amplifier or tape recorder that produces harmonics of its input signal. There are many different types of nonlinearity. the input could be an electric current. Implicit in these criteria is the fact that a linear system will not produce any frequencies in the output that are not present in the input. For instance. If a system is not perfectly linear. Many systems are very nearly linear in response to small inputs. and deduce from these vibrations the magnitude of the forces. In other words. the vibration of a machine is actually its response to forces caused by moving parts in the machine. Non-Linearities in Rotating Machines As has been discussed. We measure the vibration at various locations on the machine. but sounds harsh and distorted at high volume levels. Sometimes a definite threshold exists in which input levels only a little above the threshold result in gross non-linearity. or if it develops cracks or loose parts. This is called "harmonic distortion". If input x produces output X. and this is a reasonable assumption for most machines. or even that it resembles the system input. An example of this is a small radio that sounds relatively "clean" at low volume levels. then an input of x + y will produce an output of X + Y. In measuring the frequency of the vibration. An example of this is the "clipping" of an amplifier when its input signal level exceeds the voltage or current swing capacity of its power supply. then an input of 2x will produce output of 2X. Harmonic distortion almost always gets much worse at high signal levels.
and the frequency domain graph is called the spectrum. also called spectrum analysis. Modulation is always a non-linear process. and this force does not contain any other frequency. and this is the reason their vibration signature contains a strong second harmonic of 1X. creating new frequencies that do not exist in the forcing functions. The time domain graph is called the waveform. rolling element bearings. When forces acting at different frequencies interact in a non-linear way in a machine. In the case of a gearbox. the result is the generation of sum and difference frequencies -. For instance. and the resulting vibration will occur at harmonics of 1X as well as 1X. etc. If the gear is eccentric or otherwise misshapen. If the mechanical structure of the machine is non-linear. this sinusoidal force will be distorted. Spectrum analysis is equivalent to transforming the information in the signal from the time domain into the frequency domain. one forcing frequency is the gear mesh and another is the rpm of the gear. Frequency Analysis To get around the limitations in the analysis of the wave form itself. the rpm will modulate the gear mesh resulting in sidebands. Worn couplings that are misaligned often produce a strong third harmonic of 1X. The following relationships hold between time and frequency: A train schedule shows the equivalence of information in the time and frequency domains: 21 . the common practice is to perform frequency analysis. These sum and difference frequencies are the sidebands found in spectra of defective gearboxes. The extent and magnitude of the harmonic content of the vibration is a measure of the degree of non-linearity of the machine. For instance.new frequencies that are not present in the forcing functions themselves. an unbalanced rotor imparts a sinusoidal force at a frequency of 1X to the bearing. Flexible couplings are non-linear when misaligned. the vibration of a journal bearing contains greater and greater numbers and magnitudes of harmonics as the bearing clearance increases. on the vibration signal.in character from the forcing functions.
The frequency representation in this case is much shorter than the time representation. It would be difficult to extract this information from the time domain waveform. we see that events that are overlapped and confused in the time domain are separated into individual components in the frequency domain. A very long schedule in time has been compressed to two lines in the frequency domain. note that the individual frequency components are separate and distinct in the spectrum. Nevertheless. and that their levels are easily identified. It has been argued that the primary reason for the widespread use of frequency analysis is the wide availability of the inexpensive FFT analyzer! In the next figure. It is a general rule of the transformation characteristic that events that take place over a long time interval are compressed to specific locations in the frequency domain. so we must be sensitive to very small values of vibration signals. Some of the information is in very low-level components whose magnitude may be less than the width of the line of the waveform plot. This is a "data reduction". More: Why perform Frequency Analysis? How to perform Frequency Analysis Examples of some wave forms and their spectra Modulation Effects Beats Why perform Frequency Analysis? In the figure below. Note that the information is the same in both domains. as we will see shortly. such very low-level components may be important if they indicate a developing problem such as a bearing fault. The vibration waveform contains a great deal of information that is not apparent to the eye. 22 . but that it is much more compact in the frequency domain. The essence of predictive maintenance is the early detection of incipient faults.
In the next figure, a very low-level component represents a small developing fault in a bearing, and it would have been unnoticed in the time domain or in the overall vibration level. Remember that the overall level is simply the RMS level of the vibration waveform over a broad frequency range, and that a small disturbance such as the bearing tone shown here could double or quadruple in level before the overall RMS would be affected.
On the other hand, there are circumstances where the waveform provides more information to the analyst than does the spectrum.
How to perform Frequency Analysis
Before we investigate the procedure of performing spectrum analysis, we will look at the various types of signals we will be working with. From a theoretical and practical standpoint, it is possible to divide all time domain signals into several groups. These different signal types produce different types of spectra, and to avoid errors in performing frequency analysis, it is instructive to know their characteristics.
Stationary Signals Deterministic Signals Non-Stationary Signals
The first natural division of all signals is into either stationary or non-stationary categories. Stationary signals are constant in their statistical parameters over time. If you look at a stationary signal for a few moments and then wait an hour and look at it again, it would look essentially the same, i.e. its overall level would be about the same and its amplitude distribution and standard deviation would be about the same. Rotating machinery generally produces stationary vibration signals. Stationary signals are further divided into deterministic and random signals. Random signals are unpredictable in their frequency content and their amplitude level, but they still have relatively uniform statistical characteristics over time. Examples of random signals are rain falling on a roof, jet engine noise, turbulence in pump flow patterns and cavitation.
Deterministic signals are a special class of stationary signals, and they have a relatively constant frequency and level content over a long time period. Deterministic signals are generated by rotating machines, musical instruments, and electronic function generators. They are further divisible into periodic and quasi-periodic signals. Periodic signals have waveforms whose pattern repeats at equal increments of time, whereas quasi-periodic signals have waveforms whose repetition rate varies over time, but still appears to the eye to be periodic. Sometimes, rotating machines will produce quasi-periodic signals, especially belt-driven equipment. Deterministic signals are probably the most important in vibration analysis and their spectra resemble the following:
Periodic signals always produce spectra with discrete frequency Most quasi-periodic signals are components that are a harmonic series. The term "harmonic" comes actually a combination of from music, where harmonics are multiples of the fundamental several harmonic series. frequency.
Non-stationary signals are divided into continuous and transient types. Examples of non-stationary continuous signals are the vibration produced by a jackhammer and the sound of a fireworks display. Transient signals are defined as signals which start and end at zero level and last a finite amount of time. They may be very short, or quite long. Examples of transient signals are a hammer blow, an airplane flyover noise, or a vibration signature of a machine run up or run down.
Examples of some wave forms and their spectra
Following are some waveforms and spectra that illustrate some important characteristics of frequency analysis. While these are idealized in the sense that they were made from an electronic function generator and analyzed with an FFT analyzer, they do show certain attributes that are commonly seen in machine vibration spectra.
or one order. Theoretically. the waveform does resemble a sine wave. The fact that the peak in the spectrum shown above has a finite width is an artifact of the FFT analysis. and there is a large vibration peak in the spectrum at 1X. and it compresses all the information in the sine wave over infinite time into one point. or once per revolution. the resulting vibration would be a pure sine wave like the one shown above. If the machine were perfectly linear in response. and its spectrum is a single point. The mathematical transform that converts the time domain waveform into the frequency domain is called the Fourier transform. which will be discussed later. 26 . In many poorly balanced machines. A machine with imbalance has an excitation force that is a sine wave at 1X.A sine wave consists of a single frequency only. a sine wave exists over infinite time and never changes.
Here we see that a harmonic spectrum results from a periodic waveform. and something is restricting its motion in one direction. In some machines this will be below 1Hz. it is not usually desirable to include such low frequencies in the spectrum analysis for several reasons. but they are actually only the odd-numbered harmonics. For machine vibration. The spectrum seems to have harmonics. and the others are called harmonics. the signal is by definition deterministic! It is not uncommon in machine vibration signatures to see a waveform which is clipped something like the one shown above. resulting in a symmetrical waveform.3 orders. Note that because this spectrum consists of discrete points. This is to illustrate that a spectrum analysis can go all the way to zero frequency. and this is seen as the first line at the left in the spectrum. The spectrum contains equally spaced components. What this usually means is there is looseness in the machine. This type of signal can occur in machine vibration if there is looseness in the machine and motion is restricted in both directions. Sometimes the vibration spectrum of a machine will resemble this if there is extreme looseness and the motion of the vibrating part is restricted at each extreme of displacement. Special techniques are required to measure and interpret signals below this frequency. This means it has a "DC. and it can be seen that it is not symmetrical about the zero line. or in common terminology. The signal shown above is similar to the previous one. An unbalanced machine with a loose hold-down bolt is an example of this. and their spacing is equal to 1 divided by the period of the waveform. but it is clipped on both positive and negative sides. All the even-numbered harmonics are missing. In vibration analysis of machinery. the lowest frequency that is generally considered of interest is about 0. This waveform came from a signal generator. in this case a "clipped" sine wave." component. The lowest of the components above zero frequency is called the fundamental. Most vibration transducers do not have response to DC. Any periodic waveform that is symmetrical will have a spectrum with only odd harmonics! The spectrum of a square wave would also look like this. to DC. 27 . although there are accelerometers that are used in inertial navigation systems that do have DC response.
therefore the shorter the impulse. and for this reason it is a good idea to look at the wave form when a continuous spectrum is encountered. but in the "bump test". Its vibration response will not be a classic smooth curve like this one. This is characteristic of non-deterministic signals such as random noise and transients. If the impulse were infinitely short (the so-called delta function. Note that the level of the spectrum goes to zero at a particular frequency. it is of interest to the analyst whether impacting is occurring (causing impulses in the wave form) or random noise (for example. the greater its high frequency content.Shown above is a short impulse produced by a signal generator. in mathematics). 28 . Note that its spectrum is continuous rather than discrete. this type of excitation is applied to the machine. This spectrum shows that the impulse is a good input force to use in this type of test. As far as machine vibration is concerned. the energy in the spectrum is spread out continuously over a range of frequencies rather than being concentrated only at specific frequencies. By examining a continuous spectrum. for it contains energy over a continuous frequency range. A rotating machine seldom produces a single impulse like this. it is usually impossible to tell whether it is the result of a random signal or a transient. In other words. from cavitation) exists in the signal. then its spectrum would extend from 0 to infinity in frequency. but it will be continuous with peaks corresponding to the natural frequencies of the machine structure. This frequency is the reciprocal of the length of the impulse. This is an inherent limitation of Fourier-type frequency analysis.
The impulses can be very narrow. A bearing produces this type of signal with a definite defect in one of the races. Modulation Effects Modulation is a non-linear effect in which several signals interact with one another to produce new signals with frequencies not present in the original signals. including frequency and amplitude modulation. and the subject is quite complex. the resulting spectrum will have an overall envelope with the same shape as the spectrum of the single impulse. Modulation effects are the bane of the audio engineer. which is annoying to the music listener. but it will consist of harmonics of the pulse repetition frequency rather than a continuous spectrum. for they produce "intermodulation distortion". and they will always produce an extensive series of harmonics. 29 .If the same impulse that produced the previous spectrum is repeated at a constant rate. There are many forms of modulation. We will now look at the two primary types of modulation individually.
These sidebands are symmetrically located on either side of the carrier.It is rare to see frequency modulation by itself. although it is generally at a very low level. and the other components which look like harmonics. It also occurs in some sound system loudspeakers. 30 . are called "sidebands". where it is called FM distortion. usually of lower frequency. most machines will produce amplitude modulation at the same time as frequency modulation! Frequency modulation (FM) is the varying in frequency of one signal by the influence of another signal. In the spectrum shown above. The frequency being modulated is called the "carrier". and their spacing is equal to the modulating frequency. especially in gearboxes where the gear mesh frequency is modulated by the rpm of the gear. Frequency modulation occurs in machine vibration spectra. the largest component is the carrier.
The sidebands are spaced away from the carrier at the frequency of the modulating signal. For instance. Because the signals are slightly different in 31 . The spectrum has a peak at the frequency of the carrier. both the modulated and modulating signals are often complex. the modulating frequency is much lower than the modulated or carrier frequency. Note that there are only two sidebands here compared to the great number produced by frequency modulation. but is It is almost impossible to tell beating from actually just two sine wave signals added together to amplitude modulation by looking at the form beats. the transmitted signal from an AM radio station contains a highfrequency carrier. These extra components are the sidebands. in this case at the frequency at which the control knob was wiggled. and many sidebands resulting from the carrier modulation by the voice or music signal being broadcast. Beats This waveform looks like amplitude modulation. In this example. This type of signal is often produced by defective bearings and gears. and can be easily identified by the sidebands in the spectrum.This example shows amplitude modulation at about 50% of full modulation Notice that the frequency of the waveform seems to be constant and that it is fluctuating up and down in level at a constant rate. Also these frequencies are sine waves. and two more components on each side. A vibration and acoustic signature similar to this is frequently produced by electric motors with rotor bar problems. but in practice. This test signal was produced by rapidly varying the gain control on a function generator while recording the signal. but the two frequencies are often close together in practical situations.
where the beat rate is at twice the slip frequency. The following example of beats shows the combined waveform when the two beating signals are the same amplitude. ' This looks like 100% amplitude modulation! This example of beats is like the previous one. but the levels of the two signals are the same. and there are no sidebands present. but is in fact amplitude modulation of the vibration signature at twice the slip frequency. Beating is a linear process -. At first glance.no additional frequency components are created. frequency. caused by different phenomena in machines. this looks like 100% amplitude modulation. This is not actually beating. In this example. and they cancel completely at the nulls. and this means the combined amplitude varies due to reinforcement and partial cancellation. their relative phase varies from zero to 360 degrees. 32 . The spectrum shows the frequency and amplitude of each component. Probably it has been called beating because it sounds somewhat like the beats present in the sound of an out of tune musical instrument. The spectrum tells the story. Electric motors often produce sound and vibration signatures that resemble beating. causing incomplete cancellation at the null points between the maxima.waveform. but close inspection of the minimum amplitude area shows that the phase is reversed at that point. but they are fundamentally different processes. the amplitudes of the two beating signals are different. This complete cancellation is quite rare in actual signals encountered in rotating equipment.
An example of this is acoustic noise analysis where the annoyance value of the noise to a human observer is being studied. and a sound of 1000 Hz. The frequency of a sound determines its pitch as perceived by a listener. Note that in the case of beats. no matter what the actual frequencies are. This fact is so precisely true over a wide frequency range that it is convenient to define the octave as a frequency ratio of two. and this is almost universally done. This phenomenon can be summarized by saying that the pitch perception of the ear is proportional to the logarithm of frequency rather than to frequency itself. This is suitable for frequency analysis with a frequency resolution that is constant throughout the frequency range. the frequency axis is set out in a linear fashion. will also rise one octave in pitch. but there is a subtle difference. the only type of frequency analysis discussed has been on a linear frequency scale. even though the octave itself is really a subjective measure of a sound pitch change.Earlier we learned that beats and amplitude modulation produce similar waveforms.. when raised to 2000 Hz. This is true. Therefore. For instance if a sound of 100 Hz frequency is raised to 200 Hz. and a frequency ratio of two is a perceived pitch change of one octave. commonly called "narrow band" analysis. but narrow band analysis does not present the data in its most useful form. These waveforms are enlarged for clarity. Octave Band and One-Third Octave Band Analysis More: Logarithmic Frequency Scaling Logarithmic Frequency Scaling So far. the frequency response curves that sound equipment manufacturers publish are always 33 . For instance. it makes sense to express the frequency axis of acoustic spectra on a log frequency axis. The FFT analyzer performs this type of analysis. There are several situations where frequency analysis is desired. The human hearing mechanism is responsive to frequency ratios rather than actual frequencies. there is a phase change at the point where cancellation is complete. its pitch will rise one octave.e. i.
The octave is such an important frequency interval to the ear that so-called The vertical axis of an octave band analysis has been defined as a standard for acoustic analysis.plotted in log frequency. and a constant percentage band (CPB) spectrum of the same data will usually be more uniform in level over a broad frequency range. This type of spectrum is called constant percentage band because each frequency band has a width that is a constant percentage of its center frequency. It can be argued that the frequency resolution in octave band analysis is too poor to be of much use. but it is possible to define constant percentage band analysis with frequency bands of narrower width. but this is not a problem for some applications such as fault detection in machines. Linear and Logarithmic Amplitude Scales It may seem to be best to look at vibration spectra with a linear amplitude scale because that is a true representation of the actual measured vibration amplitude. it will be seen the narrow band spectra are very useful in resolving higher-frequency harmonics and sidebands. In the chapter on machine fault diagnosis. so the resolution of such a spectrum is three times better than the octave band spectrum. when frequency analysis of sound is performed. it is very common to use log frequency plots. In other words. and can be used effectively for the detection of faults if trended over time. but for the detection of a machine fault. The use of constant CPB spectra for machine monitoring is not very well recognized in industry with a few notable exceptions such as the US Navy submarine fleet. Linear amplitude scaling makes the 34 . the frequency resolution at the highest frequencies suffers. has a bandwidth equal to about 70% of it center frequency. no such high resolution is required. One-third octave spectra are frequently used in acoustical measurements. the analysis bands become wider in proportion to their center frequencies. This means that a CPB spectrum takes better advantage of the dynamic range of the instrumentation. Three onethird octave bands span one octave. whose filter bandwidths are about 27 % of their center frequencies. octave band spectrum The figure below shows a typical octave band spectrum where the ISO is usually scaled in standard center frequencies of the octave bands are used. Likewise. Of course. especially in analyzing machine vibration signatures. A common example of this is the one-thirdoctave spectrum. Each octave band dB. One-third octave spectra are sufficiently narrow at low frequencies to show the first few harmonics of run speed. A major advantage of constant percentage band analysis is that a very wide frequency range can be displayed on a single graph and the frequency resolution at the lower frequencies can still be fairly narrow. The vibration velocity spectra of most machines will be found to slope downwards at the highest frequencies.
largest components in a spectrum very easy to see and to evaluate. is about 34 dB. it is best to plot the logarithm of the amplitude rather than the amplitude itself.e. the same vibration signature will be shown in linear and two different types of logarithmic amplitude scales. but very small components may be overlooked completely. Amplitude Level Ratios Unit Conversions VdB Levels vs. More: Linear Amplitude Scaling Logarithmic Amplitude Scaling The Decibel dB Values vs. or are at best difficult to assign a magnitude to. when looking at linear spectra. or more than 100 times better than the linear scaling allows. Vibration Levels in ips Linear Amplitude Scaling Note that this linear spectrum shows the larger peaks very well. but in the case of machine vibration. i. If we are to do a good job of trending the levels of these spectral components. the dynamic range of the eye is about 50 to 1 Linear scaling may be adequate in cases where the components are all about the same size. we are often interested in the smaller components of the spectrum. The eye is able to see small components about 1/50th as large as the largest ones in the same spectrum. In other words. but lower level information is missing. we can easily display and visually interpret a dynamic range of at least 5000 to 1. In this way. It might be said that the dynamic range of the eye. In the case of machine vibration analysis.. This subject will be covered in detail in the chapter on Machine Vibration Monitoring. but anything smaller than this is essentially lost. Logarithmic Amplitude Scaling 35 . To illustrate different types of amplitude presentations. in the case of rolling element bearing diagnosis. beginning faults in such parts as bearings produce very small signal amplitudes.
the curves are simply translated up or down on the graph. a special type of log scaling that is very important in vibration analysis The Decibel 36 . the shape of the spectrum changes drastically with different degrees of amplification. This fact greatly simplifies visual interpretation of log spectra taken at different amplification factors -.the logarithm of the vibration level rather than the level itself. multiplication by any constant value simply translates the spectrum up on the screen without changing its shape or the relationship between the components. This means that if the amount of amplification of a vibration signal is changed. The spectrum above plots Since this spectrum is on a log amplitude scale. With a linear scaling. The next spectrum is presented in decibels. Multiplication of the signal level translates into addition on a log scale. the shape of the spectrum is not affected.
and is defined as: or 37 . It was first used to measure relative power loss and signal to noise ratio in telephone lines. It was soon pressed into service as a measure of acoustic sound pressure level. equivalent to 0 dB The Bell Telephone Labs introduced the concept of the decibel before 1930. or Displacement Lref = Reference level. Velocity.The decibel (dB) is defined by the following expression: where: LdB = The signal level in dB L1 = Vibration level in Acceleration. The vibration velocity level in dB is abbreviated VdB.
and its zero reference is set 1 micro G. Amplitude Level Ratios The following table relates dB values to amplitude ratios: dB Change 0 3 6 10 12 18 20 24 Linear Level Ratio 1 1. Also. this standardized reference level uses the SI. any change of 20 dB represents a change in level by a factor of ten.000 100.1 4 8 10 16 dB Change 30 36 40 50 60 70 80 100 Linear Level Ratio 31 60 100 310 1000 3100 10." system units. This makes it very easy to evaluate trended vibration spectral data. making their readings higher than SI readings by 20 dB. or "0 dB" level of 10-9 meter per sec is sufficiently small that all our measurements on machines will result in positive dB numbers. or SI.) The VdB is a logarithmic scaling of vibration magnitude. but it is not recognized as a standard in the US and other English-speaking countries.000 It is strongly recommended that VdB be used as the vibration amplitude scaling because so much more information is available to the viewer compared to linear amplitude units. The reference. commonly abbreviated G. regardless of the initial level. Unit Conversions Acceleration and Displacement can also be expressed on dB scales. or "metric. Thus any constant ratio of levels is seen as a certain distance on the scale.The Systeme Internationale. Any increase in level of 6 dB represents a doubling of amplitude. is the modern replacement for the metric system. 38 . The AdB scale is the most used one. compared to a conventional log scale. and it allows relative measurements to be easily made. (The US. 6 dB increases always indicate doubling of the magnitudes.4 2 3. the dB scale is much easier to read. Navy and many American industries use a zero dB reference of 10-8 m/sec. dB Values vs. regardless of the absolute levels of the measurements. In like manner.
88 39 . VdB 60 62 64 ips peak . and DdB levels are related by the following formulas: Any vibration parameter -displacement. and the logarithm of a negative number is not defined. Acceleration and Velocity in linear units are calculated from dB levels as follows: It is convenient to remember the following rule of thumb: At 100 Hz. which is equal to 1000 radians per second.2 Hz.0007 . even though RMS level would make more sense in most cases.It turns out that AdB = VdB at 159. 1G = 120 AdB = 124 VdB = 2. Vibration Levels in ips Peak level is the de facto Following is a convenient conversion table for relating VdB levels standard unit for vibration to inches per second peak: velocity measurements.022 .018 .8 mils p-p. or acceleration can be displayed on a dB scale.70 . VdB Levels vs. Note that the time domain wave form is always represented in linear amplitude units .2 Hz.0009 VdB 90 92 94 ips peak . AdB levels. The reference quantities for 0 dB on these scales were chosen such that the dB levels of all three quantities are the same at a frequency of 159.028 VdB 120 122 124 ips peak . VdB levels.56 . velocity.it is not possible to use a log scale in the wave form plot because some of the values are negative.0006 .
5 4.0044 .0070 .44 126 128 130 132 134 136 138 140 142 144 146 148 1. and should produce signals uniformly over the more sensitive one is the frequency range of interest.4 1.035 .4 5.0028 .22 .11 .18 .66 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 86 88 .1 14.0 8.1 1.0 Vibration Transducers More: Overview Overview The vibration transducer is a device that produces an electric signal An early vibration that is a replica.0011 . as shown in the following table: Name: Sensitive To: 40 .014 96 98 100 102 104 106 108 110 112 114 116 118 .0035 .0088 . Different types of transducers respond to different parameters of the vibration source. of the vibratory motion it is subjected transducer is the human to.35 .14 .8 2. or analog.011 . A good transducer should not add any spurious components to finger! An earlier.0022 . lateral line organ of the fishes.0056 .088 .044 .28 . and much the signal.8 11.0018 .0014 .8 3.6 7.2 2.070 .056 .
and does not measure total vibration level of the shaft or the housing. More: The Proximity Probe The Velocity Probe The Accelerometer The Proximity Probe One very common type of proximity probe is known commercially as a "Proximiter". and can be connected to the vertical and horizontal plates of an oscilloscope to display the "orbit". 41 . It operates on a magnetic principle. These transducers are frequently used in pairs oriented 90 apart. The displacement transducer is very commonly installed in large machines with journal bearings where it is used to detect bearing failure and to shut the machine down before catastrophic failure occurs. and is thus sensitive to magnetic anomalies in the shaft -. The frequency response of the displacement transducer extends from DC (0 Hz) to about 1000 Hz.Proximity Probe Velocity Probe Accelerometer Displacement Velocity Acceleration On the following pages. is a permanently mounted unit. also called an "Eddy Current Probe" or "Displacement Transducer". or path of the journal as it migrates around in the bearing.care should be taken that the shaft is not magnetized to assure the output signal is not contaminated. which is a trademark of the Bentley Nevada Company. It is important to realize that the transducer measures relative displacement between the bearing and the journal. and requires a signal-conditioning amplifier to generate an output voltage proportional to the distance between the transducer end and the shaft. we will examine the characteristics of these transducers. The Proximity Probe.
the magnet tends to remain stationary due to its inertia. This unit is called a "Velometer". It consists of a coil of wire and a magnet so arranged that if the housing is moved. and is by all accounts superior to the classic seismic velocity probe The velocity probe was one of the first vibration transducers to be built. The relative motion between the magnetic field and the coil induces a current that is proportional to the velocity of motion. and it has poor frequency response. Another type of velocity transducer consists of an accelerometer with a builtin electronic integrator. The unit thus produces a signal directly proportional to vibration velocity. It is self-generating and needs no conditioning electronics in order to operate. although there are many thousands of them still in use today. and this causes the frequency response and phase response to be temperature dependent. The problem is that the damping in any practical design is temperature sensitive. extending from about 10 Hz to 1000 Hz. and it has a relatively low electrical output impedance making it fairly insensitive to noise induction. the velocity transducer has many disadvantages that make it nearly obsolete for new installations. This resonance needs to be highly damped to avoid a large peak in the response at this frequency. The spring and the magnet make up a low-frequency resonant system with a natural frequency of about 10 Hz.The Velocity Probe Velocity Transducer Some velocity transducers are made with a moving coil outside a stationary magnet. The principle of operation is the same. The Accelerometer 42 . It is relatively heavy and complex and thus expensive. In spite of these advantages.
This range of acceleration levels can span an amplitude range of about 108. There are many such materials. There are also other designs for accelerometers The piezo-electric accelerometer can be considered the standard vibration transducer for machine vibration measurement. is generally preferred. The high-frequency response is limited by the resonance of the seismic mass coupled to the springiness of the piezo element. The frequency range of the accelerometer is very wide. and will maintain its calibration if it is not abused. The force on the crystal produces the output signal. When the accelerometer is moved in the up and down direction. The piezo-electric accelerometer is very stable over long periods of time. The smallest acceleration levels they can sense are determined only by the electrical noise of the electronics. was the first type to be developed. A small crack will cause the sensitivity to be reduced and also will greatly affect the resonance. and the highest levels are limited only by the destruction of the piezo element itself. with quartz being one of the most commonly used. which is 160 dB! No other transducer can match this performance. the accelerometer should be re-calibrated to be sure the crystal is not cracked. the transducer is defective and not repairable. work at higher temperatures than quartz is able to do. According to Newton's second law. which is therefore proportional to the acceleration of the transducer. The seismic mass is clamped to the base by an axial bolt bearing down on a circular spring. it generates an electric charge between its surfaces. When a piezo-electric material experiences a force. There are also synthetic ceramic piezo materials that work well. finally the so called "curie point". extending from very low frequencies in some units to several tens of kilohertz. It is a good idea to calibrate accelerometers about once a year if they are in service with portable data collectors. the force required to move the seismic mass is born by the active element. but the illustration of the compression type serves to describe the principle of operation. meaning they have a very large dynamic range. this force is proportional to the acceleration of the mass. and this is usually somewhere near 43 . and in some cases. The two ways that accelerometers can be damaged are subjecting them to excessive heat and dropping onto a hard surface. This resonance produces a very high peak in the response at the natural frequency of the transducer. It is made in several different configurations. The piezo-electric element is squeezed between the mass and the base. and the piezo-electric property is lost. Once this happens. which is arranged so the active element is subjected to shear forces. or "curie temperature" is reached. The shear type. If the temperature of a piezo material is increased. diagrammed here. Accelerometers are inherently extremely linear in an amplitude sense. If dropped more than a few feet onto a concrete floor or steel deck. and thus the frequency response.Piezo-Electric Accelerometer The compression-type accelerometer.
The device the accelerometer is connected to needs to have this DC power available to this type of transducer. The ICP accelerometer will have a low-frequency roll-off due to the amplifier itself. but may be used if the effect is taken into consideration.anything else will reduce the effective frequency range of the unit. meaning they have in internal integrated circuit preamplifier. There are some that are specially designed to go to 0. The best type of mounting is always the stud mount -. there must be a time delay built into data collectors to assure the unit is stable. and the spectrum will show a rising very lowfrequency characteristic sometimes called a "ski slope".1 Hz if very low frequency data is required. When using an ICP accelerometer. the time waveform will have an exponentially shaped voltage ramp superimposed on the data. any data the unit is collecting will be contaminated by a slowly varying voltage ramp. the internal preamplifier will be overloaded and data distortion will result! Most accelerometers used in industry today are of the "ICP" type. care must be taken not to subject it to acceleration levels where the output voltage will exceed several volts. If the delay is too short. Otherwise. and during this time. Data above this frequency will be accentuated by the resonant response. The resonant frequency of an accelerometer is strongly dependent on its mounting. and this is usually at 1 Hz for most generally available ICP units. When mounting an accelerometer. For this reason. This should be avoided because the dynamic range of the measurement is compromised. When an ICP accelerometer is connected to the power source. it is important that the vibration path from the source to the accelerometer is as short as possible. A rule of thumb is that an accelerometer is usable up to about 1/3 of its natural frequency. so no extra wiring is needed. especially if rolling element bearing vibration is being measured. it takes a few seconds for the amplifier to stabilize.30 kHz for commonly used accelerometers. The FFT Analyzer More: Background Spectrum Analysis Background 44 . This preamp is powered by a DC polarization of the signal lead itself.
the box cannot lie. an engineer with a good mathematical background. It may seem a far cry from overheating cannons to frequency analysis. But it took a practical man. That engineer was Jean Baptiste Fourier. when several mathematicians were working on it from a theoretical basis. but it turns out that the same equations apply to both cases. and he was working for Napoleon during his invasion of Egypt on a problem of overheating cannons when he derived the famous Fourier Series for the solution of heat conduction.This section will cover the operation and theory of the FFT analyzer. but we will not concentrate on the other types because they do not apply directly to the VMS program. and if you do. FFT analysis is but one type of digital spectrum analysis. for there are several pitfalls in the process of digital signal analysis.Transforms an infinite periodic time signal into an infinite discrete frequency spectrum. We will see that this assumption is valid in many cases. The assumption usually is that the spectrum tells the truth -." into which you put a signal and out of which comes a spectrum. Many workers think of the FFT analyzer as a "magic box. as follows: Fourier Series -. has its roots in the early 19th century. Spectrum Analysis Spectrum analysis. to develop the rationale upon which almost all our modern spectrum analysis techniques are based. Fourier later generalized the Fourier series into the Fourier Integral Transform. which is defined as the transformation of a signal from a time-domain representation into a frequency-domain representation. The advent of digital signal analysis naturally led to the so-called Discrete Fourier Transform and the Fast Fourier Transform or FFT More: Forms of the Fourier Transform The Fourier Series The Fourier Integral Transform The Discrete Fourier Transform The Fast Fourier Transform Analog to Digital Conversion Aliasing Leakage Windows The Hanning Window Overlap Processing The Picket Fence Effect Averaging Time Synchronous Averaging Pitfalls in the FFT Forms of the Fourier Transform There are four forms of the Fourier Transform. how to crawl out smelling like a rose. which is the most commonly used piece of signal analysis equipment in the vibration field. One of the purposes of this section is to help you avoid falling into any of the pitfalls. but we will also see that we can be misled. 45 .
that is to say on deterministic signals.e. This integral will transform any continuous time signal of arbitrary shape into a continuous spectrum extending to infinite frequency. i. and the fundamental frequency of the harmonic series is 1 divided by the length of the wave shape. and their values can be calculated easily if the equation for the wave shape is known. or DFT was developed. More: Fourier Coefficients Fourier Coefficients The calculation of the Fourier coefficients is defined as a mathematical transformation from the time domain to the frequency domain. in other words it is possible to transform from the frequency domain back to the time domain without loss of information..Transforms a discrete periodic time signal into a discrete periodic frequency spectrum Fast Fourier Transform -. The amplitudes of the various harmonics are called the Fourier coefficients.A computer algorithm for calculating the DFT They will be discussed in more detail in the next section. as the sum of a collection of harmonic components. To overcome this hurdle. The rather unexpected result is that any wave shape whatsoever. nonrepetitive continuous signals.Fourier Integral Transform -. and that is that the original waveform can be reconstructed from the frequency coefficients. the famous 46 . as long as it is not infinite in length. One important fact emerges from the Fourier Series. The Fourier Series The Fourier Series operates on a time signal that is periodic. can be represented. is the Fourier Integral Transform. or more simply the Fourier Transform.e. The Discrete Fourier Transform Neither the Fourier Series nor the Fourier Transform lends itself easily to calculation by digital computers. Probably the first person to conceive the DFT was Wilhelm Friederich Gauss. i. This was seen in the Introduction to Vibration chapter where a spectrum of a short impulse is shown. the so-called Discrete Fourier Transform.Transforms an infinite continuous time signal into an infinite continuous frequency spectrum Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) -. An interesting characteristic of the Fourier Transform is that an event encompassing a short time interval will be spread out over a wide frequency range and vice versa. They can also be calculated graphically from the wave shape itself. Fourier showed that such a signal is equivalent to a collection of sine and cosine functions whose frequencies are multiples of the reciprocal of the period of the time signal. A certain physics class is known to have done this with the silhouette of Marilyn Monroe. The Fourier series is perfectly adequate for performing frequency analysis on periodic waveforms.. They posted the MM coefficients on the bulletin board as an "in" joke. The Fourier Integral Transform The natural extension of the Fourier series to encompass time signals of infinite length. a time signal whose waveform repeats over and over again out to infinite time.
although without the digital computers needed to exploit it. the DFT does produce a spectrum very close to a theoretically true spectrum. and there is no information between the samples. 1024. The DFT operates on a sampled. signal in the time domain. 2048. If the sampling rate is high enough to ensure a reasonable representation of the shape of the signal. The FFT algorithm places certain limitations on the signal and the resulting spectrum. or discrete.e. In theory. or discrete. and generates from this a sampled. i. which is illustrated here: Analog to Digital Conversion 47 . Analog to Digital Conversion The first step in performing an FFT analysis is the actual sampling process. This spectrum is also discrete. The sampled signal is a mathematical representation of the instantaneous signal level at precisely defined time intervals. The frequency range covered by FFT analysis depends on the number of samples collected and on the sampling rate. as will be explained shortly. an approximation in the sense that information between the samples of the waveform is lost. To generate this series of numbers from an analog signal. For instance. The resulting spectrum is an approximation of the Fourier Series. It contains no information about the signal between the actual sample times. The key to the DFT is the existence of the sampled waveform. the possibility of representing the waveform by a series of numbers. spectrum in the frequency domain. Cooley and Tukey are credited with the discovery of the FFT in 1967. or "lines" of the spectrum. or 4096 samples to be transformed. a process of sampling and analog to digital conversion is required. or the speed of the sampling. The FFT is simply an algorithm for calculating the DFT in a fast and efficient manner. Most of these limitations are the result of using a digital computer as the calculating agent. although he certainly did not have a digital computer on which to implement it. but there are practical limitations we must live with.19th century German mathematician. Most FFT analyzers allow 512. there is no limit to the number of samples that can be used. The Fast Fourier Transform In order to adapt the DFT for use with digital computers.. the so-called Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) was developed. but it existed much earlier. the sampled signal to be transformed must consist of a number of samples equal to a power of two.
and it can lead to gross errors unless it is avoided. The vertical lines represent the sampling frequency. the sampling frequency is set to 2.000:1) dynamic range. the sampling frequency must be at least double the highest frequency present in the signal. Fourteen bit words can achieve 80 dB (10.obviously having no relation to frequency of the input signal. Most FFT analyzers use 12-bit words and this produces a dynamic range of about 70 dB (3. The accuracy of the sampled levels depends in part on the number of bits in the digital words. To avoid 48 . This phenomenon is called aliasing. The output of this circuit is a sequence of voltage levels that are fed into an analog to digital converter (ADC). In most modern FFT analyzers. the developer of the branch of mathematics called information theory. Note that if the sampling frequency is the same as the sampled frequency. The sampler output looks like a very low frequency.The sampling is an analog. determined that to encode all the information in a signal being sampled. The greater the number of bits.56 times the filter cut-off frequency. or roll off. process and is accomplished with a "sample and hold" circuit.100:1). The best way to avoid aliasing is to pass the input signal through an analog low-pass filter whose cut-off frequency is less than one-half the sampling frequency. The filter must have a very sharp cut off characteristic. Claude Shannon. Aliasing Here the actual signal is represented in black and the sampled representation of it is in gray. This fact is sometimes called the Nyquist criterion. the lower the noise level and the greater the dynamic range will be. each sample is the same size. Aliasing It is important that there is no information in the sampled waveform near the sampling frequency to avoid a problem called aliasing. It can be seen here that the sampling rate determines the highest frequency in the signal that can be encoded. and the output of the sampling circuit will be a constant direct voltage -. Now note what happens if the actual signal is higher in frequency than the sampling frequency. and again it is not a correct representation of the actual signal. Here the voltage levels are converted into digital words representing each sampled level. The sampled waveform cannot know anything about what happens in the signal between the sampled times. and this means it will also have Phase Shift that can affect the data if one needs phase information near the upper end of the frequency span of the analyzer. not digital.
Sampling Rules for Digital Signal Analysis The data path must contain an analog Anti-Aliasing low-pass filter You must sample at least twice as fast as the highest frequency to be analyzed The Frequency Response of the analysis depends on the sampling frequency These rules apply to all FFT analysis. and is generally unpredictable for real signals. Another example of optical aliasing is the stroboscope.1 Hz. select a frequency span so the frequency in question is in the lower half of the frequency range. This is important in performing balancing with an FFT analyzer. The shape of the "leaky" spectrum depends on the amount of signal truncation. If. Leakage The FFT analyzer is a batch processing device. the signal level is not at zero at one or both ends of the time record. the resulting FFT spectrum will consist of a single line with the correct amplitude and at the correct frequency. This discontinuity is not handled well by the FFT process. 49 . resulting in a discontinuity in the sampled signal.e. sometimes in western movies the wagon wheel spokes may appear stopped. that is it samples the input signal for a specific time interval collecting the samples in a buffer. This is called "leakage". i. where phase of the 1X vibration signal is needed.. truncation of the waveform will occur. on the other hand. if the frequency resolution is one Hz. or rotating backward. etc. which is set to flash at a rate equal to or near the rotation rate of the object being observed. The total sampling time is called the time record length and the nature of the FFT dictates that the spacing between the frequency components in the spectrum (also called the frequency resolution) is 1 divided by the record length. and the analyzer automatically takes care of them. then the record length is one second. it is as if the energy in the signal "leaks" from its proper location into the adjacent lines. such as motion pictures. From this it can be seen that in order to perform high resolution spectrum analysis relatively long times are required to collect the data. This has nothing to do with the speed of the calculations in the analyzer. and if the resolution is 0. The antialiasing filter is internally set to the appropriate value for each frequency range of the analyzer.this. for a movie is a sampled representation of the original motion. For instance. and the result is a smearing of the spectrum from a single line into adjacent lines. after which it performs the FFT calculation on that "batch" and displays the resulting spectrum If a sinusoidal signal waveform is passing through zero level at the beginning and end of the time record. if the time record encompasses exactly an integral number of cycles of the waveform. For instance. Aliasing also occurs in other media. then the record length is 10 seconds. making it appear stationary or slowly turning. it is simply a natural law of frequency analysis. This is optical aliasing.
but this is impossible to achieve in practice. The most common forms of windows and their uses are considered next. Multiplying the data samples by a so-called “windowing” or “weighting” function. or "Uniform" windowing. If there is no windowing function used. does this. "Flat". More: Windowing for Transient Signals 50 . or time record. In the figure above. it is necessary to see to it that the signal level is zero at the beginning and end of the time record. The FFT analyzer only knows what is in the time window. and they are the cause of the leakage seen in the previous figure. It assumes the actual signal contains the discontinuities. which can have several different shapes. this is called "Rectangular". the effect of the data truncation can be seen as discontinuities in the windowed waveform.Windows In order to reduce the effect of leakage. Leakage could be avoided if the input waveform zero crossings were synchronized with the sampling times.
after its inventor whose name was Von Hann. these sidebands. and the analysis will be correct because the FFT sees the entire signal. It is as if the analyzer frequency "lines" are made wider. the curve is the actual filter shape that the FFT analyzer with Hanning weighting produces. no truncation will occur. The sampled signal values are multiplied by the Hanning function. Note that the ends of the time record are forced to zero regardless of what the input signal is doing. While the Hanning window does a good job of forcing the ends to zero. or side lobes as they are called. the variation in amplitude of the signal over the time record. effectively reduce the frequency resolution of the analyzer by 50%. 51 . Most FFT analyzers allow the user to see the time record on the screen.Windowing for Transient Signals In the case where the input signal is a transient.e. and in the case of the Hanning window. and the result is shown in the figure. has the shape of one cycle of a cosine wave with 1 added to it so it is always positive. In the illustration here.only one is shown in the figure. so it can be assured that this condition is met. it also adds distortion to the wave form being analyzed in the form of amplitude modulation. i. Amplitude Modulation in a wave form results in sidebands in its spectrum.. The Hanning Window The Hanning window. Each line of the FFT analyzer has the shape of this curve -. It is very important that the entire transient fit into the record. and the record length is dependent upon the frequency range of the analysis. and as long as it is entirely within the time record. it will by definition begin and end at zero level.
The reason is that the window shape will distort the shape of the transient. This can be easily corrected. as is the case with transient signal.4 dB. but must never be used with transients. Even if the transient were in the center of the Hanning window. If it is not. however. it will be read at an amplitude that is too low by 1. This process assumes the amplitude of the signal is constant over the sampling interval.If a signal component is at the exact frequency of an FFT line. and the FFT analyzer does this job. The illustration shows this effect. it will be read at its correct amplitude. and also shows the side lobes created by the Hanning window. 52 . The Hanning window should always be used with continuous signals. The measured level will also be greatly distorted. the measured level would be twice as great as the actual level because of the amplitude correction the analyzer applies when using the Hanning weighting. the amplitude calculation will be in error. simply by multiplying the spectral levels by two. The measured amplitude of the Hanning weighted signal is also incorrect because the weighting process removes essentially half of the signal level. but if it is at a frequency that is one half of delta F (One half the distance between lines). as shown in the figure below. The highest-level side lobes are about 32 dB down from the main lobe. and the frequency and phase content of a transient is intimately connected with its shape.
time record length.7%. The sampling rate in samples per second. or it may be missed altogether.e. 66.. See also the paragraph on real time speed later in this section. the spectral calculations will lag behind the data acquisition leaving gaps of unanalyzed signal. such as machine vibration signatures are not perfectly smooth. then the overall time weighting of the data will be flat. Here is a summary of the relationship between sampling rate. 53 . Most data collection for machinery analysis uses 50% data overlap. the FFT is calculated. it is a good idea to employ overlap processing. equals the number of samples N. In the FFT analyzer. the number of samples N is constrained to a power of two.A Hanning weighted signal actually is only half there. it contains half the samples of a time record. To do this. number of samples.e. As soon as the first buffer is full. Overlap Processing Overlap processing can only be achieved if the time required to calculate the FFT is shorter than the time record length. and frequency resolution that affect FFT analysis. When the second buffer is filled. i. For this reason. which provides adequate amplitude accuracy for most vibration work. two time buffers are required in the analyzer. For 50% overlap. the second buffer is connected to the data stream and also begins to collect samples. and there is no advantage to using a greater overlap. but most signals we want to analyze. times the time record length T in seconds. and the buffer begins to take data again. i.. and the result sent to the spectrum-averaging buffer. the other half of it having been removed by the windowing. the FFT is again calculated on its contents. the sequence of events is as follows: When the first buffer is half full. This is not a problem with a perfectly smooth and continuous signal like a sinusoid. it will either be analyzed at a much lower level than its true level. If this is not the case. This process continues on until the desired number of averages is collected. If the overlap is 2/3. If a small change occurs in the signal near the beginning or end of the time record.
consisting of estimates of what the spectral level is at specific frequencies. For this reason. Conversely. This means there may be. to create a high-resolution spectrum requires a relatively long time to acquire the data. 54 . is equal to the frequency span divided by the number of lines. These frequencies are determined by the analysis parameters that are set up in the analyzer. a 256 line spectrum will be displayed as a 200 line spectrum. The Picket Fence Effect As has been mentioned before. and this is equal to 1/T. and has a finite slope in its cut-off range. Thus a time record of 512 samples will generate a spectrum of 256 lines. Therefore. and the valleys will be measured too high. FFT analyzers generally do not display the upper spectral lines because of the possibility of their being contaminated by aliased components. The frequency resolution. the peaks in an FFT spectrum will be measured too low in level. the time record length also increases in proportion. operating on N samples of time data produces N/2 frequency lines. etc.FFT Fundamentals The FFT algorithm. This also means that in general. DF. peaks in the true spectrum of the signal that are between the lines of the FFT analysis. the FFT spectrum is a discrete spectrum. This is because the anti-aliasing filter is not perfect. the true frequencies where the peaks and valleys lie will not be those indicated in the FFT spectrum. From this it can be seen that as the frequency resolution increases (smaller DF). and probably are. and have nothing to do with the signal being analyzed. Moreover. and a 512-line spectrum will be displayed as a 400 line spectrum. the time record length T equals 1/DF.
is a completely different type of averaging. the noise will gradually assume a smooth shape. and other parts of the signal. There are two types of averaging in general use in FFT analyzers. a reference trigger pulse must be input to the analyzer to tell it when to start sampling the signal. The average gradually accumulates those portions of the signal that are synchronized with the trigger. If a series of spectra are averaged together. also called time domain averaging. This is the only type of averaging which actually does reduce noise. In general. Linear averaging is the adding together of a number of spectra and then dividing the total by the number that was added. it alters the spectrum shape. and in many cases can seriously distort the spectrum. More information on applications of time synchronous can be found in the next chapter on Machine Vibration Monitoring. This provides a convenient form to examine changing data but still have the benefit of some averaging to smooth the spectra and reduce the apparent noisiness of them. or more commonly. It is not true that simply averaging FFT spectra will reduce the amount of the noise -the noise will be smoothed but its level will not be reduced. In order to do time domain averaging. Pitfalls in the FFT 55 . Because the noise is unpredictable. looking at an FFT spectrum is a little like looking at mountain range through a picket fence. called linear averaging and exponential averaging. but has some random noise superimposed on it. where the waveform itself is averaged in a buffer before the FFT is calculated. Averaging One of the important functions of the FFT analyzer is that it is easily able to do averaging of spectra over time. Exponential averaging generates a continuous running average where the most recently collected spectra have more influence on the average than older ones. This trigger is typically synchronized with an element of the machine that is of interest. the picket fence effect. Time Synchronous Averaging Time synchronous averaging. the vibration signal from a rotating machine is not completely deterministic. and the spectral peaks due to the deterministic part of the signal will stand out and their levels will be more accurately represented. In other words. This is done for each line of the spectra and the result is a true arithmetic average on a line-by-line basis. are effectively averaged out.This phenomenon is called resolution bias error. such as noise.
More: History of Vibration Analysis used for Machinery Maintenance History of Vibration Analysis used for Machinery Maintenance 56 . as will an imbalance condition. The important fact is that the problems with FFT analysis can be overcome by proper technique. or any of a myriad of other faults. In this way. This is not to say that FFT analysis is no good -. the cost to industry for maintenance will be reduced by more than 50% if a predictive maintenance program is used instead of run-to-failure.on the contrary. Vibration analysis. A bearing that has a small developing defect will cause a telltale change in the machine vibration. Sampling causes aliasing Time limitation causes leakage Discrete frequencies in the calculated spectrum causes the picket fence effect.This is a summary of the pitfalls that plague the FFT analysis technique. which stands in sharp contrast to the historical "run-to-failure" type of maintenance practice. plant management has control over the machines. and thus provides the necessary lead-time to schedule maintenance to suit the needs of the plant management. properly applied. have shown that on average. a misalignment. Machine Vibration Monitoring More: Introduction Practical Aspects of Vibration Measurement The Concept of Spectrum Comparison Introduction It has been shown many times over that the vibration signature of an operating machine provides far more information about the inner workings of the machine than any other type of nondestructive test. allows the technician to detect small developing mechanical defects long before they become a threat to the integrity of the machine. rather than the other way around. it has revolutionized the analysis of vibration data. Numerous studies. and the residual effects that remain can be reduced to insignificant levels. such as those conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Vibration measurement and analysis is the cornerstone of Predictive Maintenance.
The 1970s brought forth the personal computer and the advent of digital signal processing that led to the FFT analyzer. and they measured the overall. which are of thin metal and are thus poor conductors of vibration energy. and thus to produce a sort of vibration spectrum. and the batterypowered truly portable digital signal analyzer quickly followed this. It is this device. 57 . The first such analyzers were quite bulky. either in peak-to-peak mils (thousandths of an inch) of vibratory displacement. and this made them more suited as laboratory instruments than portable units for field use. coupled with a computer program that stores the data and takes care of the logistics of vibration data collection that has revolutionized the application of vibration analysis to machinery diagnostics. Practical Aspects of Vibration Measurement More: Test Point Location Vibration Sensor Orientation Triaxial Measurements Orientation Examples Sensor Mounting Pads -. Fan housings on the ends of motors are also to be avoided."Blocking" Vibration Surveys Test Point Location In general. and it made quick work of calculating a frequency spectrum from a recorded vibration signal. If possible. A little later. or in inches per second (IPS) of vibration velocity. Avoid bearing caps. The 1980s saw the exploitation of the microprocessor on a single silicon chip.The first vibration meters were introduced in the 1950s. or "broad band" level of machine vibration. weighing as much as 75 pounds. it is desirable to locate the test transducer as close as possible to the bearing with solid metal between the bearing and the sensor. pick test point locations so that there is no metalto-metal joint between the bearing and the sensor. tunable analog filters were added to the meters in order to discriminate between different frequency components. The joint between the end bell and stator housing of a motor is an example of this.
For this reason. Triaxial Measurements To assist in the determination of machine problems. Another consideration in the integrity of the path between the bearing itself and the transducer: If the motor and bell is a solid casting. each bearing should have its own test point. These directions are called Axial. Axial is the direction parallel to the shaft in question. it is very helpful to have vibration data from each measurement point in three directions. Vibration Sensor Orientation In any machinery-monitoring program. and bearing problems should be detected as early as possible. By far the most reliable data is collected when the transducer is stud mounted to the machine surface. but for motors over 50 HP. Radial. the high frequencies will be significantly distorted. radial is the direction from the transducer to the center of the shaft. it will effectively transmit vibration with little loss of high frequencies. but if it contains one or more metal to metal connections. it is extremely important that the data is collected in exactly the same manner each time a measurement is taken. it has been found that for motors of less than about 50 HP. each bearing should have its own test point. it is not recommended that hand-held transducers be used. 58 . This is to assure that the data is repeatable and can be trended over time. tangent to the shaft. one test point is adequate. In any machines that are especially sensitive to bearing damage. and tangential is 90 degrees from radial.In general. and Tangential.
'T' is Tangential. and 'A' is vertical: 59 .Alignment of Vibration Axes Orientation Examples The following diagram shows the six possible orientations of the sensor for a horizontal machine. 'R' is Radial. For vertical machines.
2. and also that it be oriented in the same direction. As was mentioned above. it is very important that the orientation of the block is known by the software. 1. The VTAG states the proper orientation of each block. The pad is normally attached to the machine with a hard. or "pad". the axis in the direction of the key way is channel No. 3. 60 ."Blocking" When using a triaxial accelerometer. is a bronze disc with a central tapped hole and a key way at the edge that receives an indexing pin on the transducer itself.Sensor Mounting Pads -. and if a block is replaced. One way of assuring this is to use permanently affixed mounting blocks on the machine. The installation of the mounting blocks is sometimes referred to as "blocking" a machine. The cylindrical mounting block. the new one must be oriented in the same direction. strong adhesive such as Versilok ä type 204 structural adhesive. The transducer that is sensitive along the axis of the mounting screw is channel No. and the axis perpendicular to this is channel No. it is extremely important that it be installed in exactly the same location each time the data is collected.
More: Test Conditions Operating Conditions Warm-up Visual Inspection Test Conditions The vibration signature of a machine is strongly dependent on the operating parameters as well as its physical condition. Do not collect data with adjacent machines turned off if the previous spectra were recorded with them running. such as nearby machines. the vibration signature will not match the vibration signatures previously recorded. and trending vibration levels over time becomes impossible. and should not vary from one collection time to the next by more than a few percent. the following points should be considered in order to assure consistency of the data from one measurement time to the next. must also be the same for each data collection time. Propulsion diesels must be operating at the same speed for each data collection session! Operating Conditions 61 . If this is not the case. These operating parameters include such things as running speed.Sensor Mounting Pad Vibration Surveys When performing a vibration survey of a group of machines. The machine must be in its normal operating condition when vibration data is collected. load. and compressor delivery pressure. The vibration level contributed by extraneous sources. pump discharge pressure. Running speeds of induction motors depend on the load. This is especially true with strong background vibration levels. This means that load conditions must be as nearly as possible the same. as in the engine room of a ship.
62 . or Displacement. and it must be running at a constant. the test RPM is very near the RPM that was used for the previous tests. the speed should be verified by the use of a portable stroboscopic or other tachometer. sometimes extremely different.. for valuable clues to machinery condition can often be uncovered. In turbine-driven equipment. it is possible to examine the same vibration signal in terms of Acceleration. Visual Inspection Visual inspection of an operating machine while vibration testing is important.It is imperative that when collecting data. which means it is also equal to displacement times frequency squared. and the acceleration at any frequency is proportional to velocity times frequency. Pump testing with discharge valves closed is discouraged. not varying. should be noted. speed! Gauge pressures should reflect normal operating conditions. Warm-up All machines should be tested in a fully warmed-up condition. Machine temperature will affect alignment and operating clearances due to thermal expansion. etc. the recirculation valve may be partially closed to attain a normal discharge pressure. but if a pump must be tested in a recirculating condition. Velocity. RPM and discharge pressure. It is seen that velocity at any frequency is proportional to the displacement times the frequency. A cold machine will have a different vibration signature than a warmed-up machine. The following items should be checked: Are there any unusual noises present? Do any bearings feel hotter than normal? Can you feel any excessive vibration level? Is there anything unusual about the operation of the machine? Are there any fluid or steam leaks obvious? Do the gauge readings look normal? Does the machine operator have any comments on machine condition? The Concept of Spectrum Comparison More: Vibration Measurement Parameters Machinery Testing Schedule Trending of Vibration Data The Reference Spectrum Forcing Frequencies Order Normalization Evaluating Machine Vibration Spectra Vibration Measurement Parameters As we saw in the Introduction to Vibration chapter.
Most equipment should be tested monthly. it is important to tailor your measurement schedule to suit the machines and their condition. it will be easy to revise the testing schedule accordingly. When performing the spectral comparison there are several important points that need to be addressed: 63 . and reciprocating machines should not be included at first. In any case. The simplest way to utilize the concept of vibration trending is to establish a representative vibration spectrum of a normally operating machine as a reference. Variable speed machines. which will be discussed shortly. and compare this reference to spectra measured at later times on the same machine. Weekly testing is common for critical machines. with certain less important machines on a 3-month schedule. As experience is gained. For a successful monitoring program. extremely complex machines. The comparison of the spectra is made possible by order normalization. time. An upward trend in level indicates a developing problem. machinery measurements must be carried out on a scheduled periodic basis. Trending of Vibration Data Trending is the storage of vibration signatures recorded at specific time intervals and plotting the changes in vibration levels at the forcing frequencies vs.Machinery Testing Schedule It is important to begin a vibration-monitoring program of manageable size and then gradually expand it as you gain experience. The most important machines to monitor should be those that are critical to the plant's productivity and/or have a poor maintenance record.
and its calibration must be accurate. the same transducer should be used for all successive measurements on the machine. longer averaging times may be needed. In this case. One of the most important jobs of the vibration analyst is to be sure that the average reference spectra are valid and representative of the machines in question. Some types of machines are so individualistic that when averaged together. or data collector. and generating a mask from this average reference spectrum.• The operating conditions of the machine when measuring the new vibration data must match as closely as possible the conditions under which the reference spectrum was recorded. When taking vibration data with an FFT analyzer. care must be taken to see that the spectra to be averaged are valid and that the machines they come from are not defective. If possible. A rule of thumb is to record a spectrum with several averages and then immediately record another one with twice as many averages. the standard deviation between the vibration magnitudes is so great that the average is essentially meaningless. each machine must be used by itself to produce a meaningful reference by averaging a series of measurements over a fairly long time period. If the spectra are significantly different. 64 . If there are a number of similar machines in a plant the statistical average of their reference spectra is a good indication of the overall characteristics of that particular machine. The number of spectral averages recorded to produce the spectra must be sufficient to produce a uniform and steady signature. There are many situations where a large selection of similar machines is not available. the spectra will not be comparable and gross errors can be made. Otherwise. the averaged reference spectra are taken on the same machine at different times. but on some machines with a relatively high random noise content in their vibration signature. The transducer must be mounted in exactly the same location. but will have random variations in level. and in this case. it is extremely important to be sure that the reference spectrum to which the subsequent test spectra will be compared is truly representative of the machine. If the latter two spectra are similar. The vibration data must be recorded in exactly the same way that the reference data were measured. A series of similar machines in good working order will produce vibration spectra that are similar to one another. it is important to average several instantaneous spectra together to reduce random variations and the effects of extraneous noise in the measured signal. Do not confuse reference spectrum averaging to produce a reference signature with spectrum averaging done at the time of vibration data collection. as described above. When averaging spectra from a group of machines to make a reference spectrum. More: Averaged Vibration Signatures The Spectrum Mask Averaged Vibration Signatures Long experience has shown that an excellent way to generate a meaningful reference is to average several spectra together from machines of the same type. • • The Reference Spectrum When performing trending. then the previous number of averages is adequate for this machine. The spectra of the machines are averaged together and the standard deviations in level at each significant frequency are calculated. the number of averages should be doubled again and another spectrum recorded. Usually from six to ten averages will do this.
healthy machines will show minor deviations in their vibration spectra because of small load variations. A large class of machines will be found to produce averaged spectra with fairly small standard deviations.The Spectrum Mask As we have seen. The so-called bearing tones. the ceiling fan illustrated below would produce vibration component each time a blade struck the fly swatter. and with these machines in particular it is a good idea to perform the spectrum averaging and then generate the mask by adding one standard deviation to the average spectrum at each frequency. temperature variations. As an example of a simple forcing frequency. and background noise level fluctuations. A good staring point for establishing the mask is to add one standard deviation in level at each spectral peak to the averaged reference spectrum. are forces generated by defects in the races and rolling elements of the bearing itself. One of the most important of the forcing frequencies is the RPM of the shaft. These variations in vibration signatures can cause false alarms to be generated if the raw spectrum is directly compared to a valid reference spectrum. giving rise to a peak in the spectrum at 5 times the turning speed. causing the structure to vibrate at the 1X. This imparts a radial centripetal force on the bearings. line voltage variations. This can only be determined by looking at a series of historical spectra and applying good judgment and a good knowledge of the machine itself. it is desirable to generate a so-called mask spectrum from the reference spectrum. Thus the frequency indicates the type of problem and the amplitude indicates its severity. For this reason. and the tooth-mesh frequency is equal to the number of teeth on the gear times the gear RPM. Each forcing frequency will create a peak in the vibration spectrum. the amplitude of the peak being dependent on the severity of the condition that causes it. and it arises from the fact that any rotor will always have a certain amount of residual imbalance. Forcing Frequencies The value of vibration analysis of machinery is based on the fact that specific elements in the rotating parts of any machine will produce forces in the machine that will cause vibration at specific frequencies. The mask is a new spectrum made by increasing the levels in the reference spectrum by various amounts at different frequencies. Gear tooth-mesh frequencies come from the individual impacts of gear teeth against each other. The determination of the shape of the mask spectrum can be fairly complicated. which are characteristic of each bearing geometry. and the mask levels will have to be higher than one standard deviation above the reference. frequency. or fundamental. but only 4 dB above the reference at 2X. For instance the mask might be 6 dB above the reference at 1X. 65 . Vane pass or blade pass frequencies are similar to tooth mesh and are equal to the number of vanes in an impeller or number of blades in a fan times the RPM. A group of machines which exhibits large standard deviations in level when making the reference will be more difficult to deal with in generating the mask. and it depends on the machine in question and normal variation in its vibration spectral levels at different frequencies.
we must consider that the fundamental frequencies of the motor and fan shafts are different. Let us assume that the motor is again running at 1780 RPM. To find this we would look at the number of gear teeth on each of the gears. 66 . showing a centrifugal air compressor. Divide the drive pinion tooth count by the driven gear tooth count: or Next. Following is an example of forcing frequency calculation for a gear-driven machine: Let us assume that the motor/gear/fan components have the following element counts: Machine Component Motor Cooling Fan Motor Rotor Drive Pinion Driven Gear Fan Elements of Component Fan Blades Rotor Bars Gear Teeth Gear Teeth Fan Blades Number of Elements 11 42 36 100 9 In this case of a multiple shaft machine. we must first find the reduction ratio of the gearbox. To calculate the fan shaft RPM. illustrates some of the forcing frequencies in the spectrum.The figure below. multiply this ratio by the motor shaft RPM to find the fan shaft RPM.
you have several choices of units for the frequency axis. and many other people prefer to use Hz because the smaller numbers are more convenient.2 The Frequency Axis When plotting vibration spectra from rotating machines. To make this easier.8 CPM. or Cycles per Minute (CPM). Hz is converted to CPM by multiplying by 60.767. This practice results in quite large numbers for the frequency axis.580 74. Machine Vibration Analysis 67 .8 CPM. Probably the most natural unit is the cycle per second.We would now say that the fundamental frequency of the motor is 1780 CPM and the fundamental frequency of the fan is 640. CPM 1. or hertz (Hz).8 64.080 5. The components that are on the motor shaft will be multiplied by 1780 CPM and the components on the fan shaft will be multiplied by 640.760 64. Another unit in common use is Revolutions Per Minute (RPM).080 Fan Shaft Rotation Driven Gear Fan Elements 1 100 9 Forcing Frequency 640. however. We multiply the number of elements on each component by the fundamental frequency of the shaft from which it rotates.780 19. Many people feel that CPM is a convenient scale to use because the machines are described in terms of RPM. let us separate the components with their corresponding shafts: Motor Shaft Rotation Motor Cooling Fan Motor Rotor Drive Pinion Elements 1 11 42 36 Forcing Frequency.
and the forcing frequencies to be expected. Making the appropriate repair recommendations based on the severity of the machine problem. several tools are needed: If the vibration spectra are being analyzed on a computer. Previous vibration data and average vibration data are also helpful if available. The VTAG should be consulted before any vibration analysis is attempted. a calculator and Vibration Test and Analysis Guide (VTAG) for the machine in question are required. Following is an example of a VTAG: 68 . In order to do a proper job of vibration analysis. the frequency ranges to be tested. then a straight edge and ten-point divider are desirable. • More: The Vibration Test and Analysis Guide (VTAG) Checking for Data Validity Step-by-Step Analysis of Spectra Identifying the First Order (1X) Peak The Vibration Test and Analysis Guide (VTAG) The VTAG contains important information about the design of the machine. the test points and their locations.More: Introduction Time Domain Analysis Cepstrum Analysis Statistical Properties of Vibration Signals Amplitude Demodulation Root Cause Failure Analysis Introduction The steps in manual (non-automatic) machine vibration analysis are: • • Identifying vibration peaks in the spectrum and relating them to forcing frequencies Determining the severity of machine problems from the amplitudes and relationships between the vibration peaks. If the vibration spectra have been printed on paper.
similar test conditions must be maintained. especially machine speed. the vibration analyst must check the validity of the spectrum. and incorrect machine operating conditions. Data validity can be corrupted by such things as incorrect labeling of accelerometer orientation or position. improper accelerometer attachment. and operating temperature. When data are to be compared to previously collected data from the same point.Checking for Data Validity After determining the shaft rotation rate and locating it on the spectrum (it will be the first order in a normalized spectrum). load. 69 . rapid accelerometer temperature changes.
This will be the 1X in a normalized spectrum. the 60 Hz line frequency will produce a series of 120 Hz harmonics in the vibration spectrum. Note the harmonics of blade pass frequency if they are prominent. When viewing spectra on the computer screen. then the pump speed is: 70 . and if the cable shield is intermittent or broken. This is the number of blades multiplied by the RPM. (50 Hz in countries with 50 Hz power lines. but most give up the ghost at about 200 degrees F. Identifying the First Order (1X) Peak The first step in machine vibration analysis is to identify the spectral peak corresponding to shaft rotation rate. the measured signal will consist mostly of random noise.The integrity of the accelerometer cable is crucial to the collection of valid data. The pump RPM can be found from the VTAG. and this can greatly change its sensitivity at high frequencies. If the element is cracked. reducing the resonant frequency of the accelerometer. the first steps of analysis should be performed as follows: This procedure assumes the vibration spectra are printed on paper. it will become desensitized. Care must be taken that the accelerometer is not dropped onto a hard surface lest the piezo-electric element be damaged. Multiple-shaft machine Identify and mark the 1X and harmonics of the pump on the spectra. each shaft will have a characteristic 1X peak.3 to 1. as explained in the software instructions. Identify the fan blade pass frequency and mark it on the spectra. Step-by-Step Analysis of Spectra In preparation for the diagnostic techniques described in the next chapter.) In electrically driven machines. If the central conductor in the cable is intermittent or open. It is also called the first order peak. In multiple-shaft machines. Probably the most common one is belt drives. More: Single-shaft machine Multiple-shaft machine Single-shaft machine Mark the harmonics of 1X on the spectra. Note that all the following steps are greatly simplified if the spectra are order normalized. Some accelerometers will operate up to 400 degrees F. There are other machine components besides bearings that generate non-synchronous tones. Look for bearing tones. similar procedures are used. Mark them on the spectra. or can be calculated from the motor speed and gear ratio as follows: If the motor is turning 1780 and the gear ratio is 2. It is important to check to be sure the normalization was done correctly. and these are then located by the analyst. which are between the harmonics of the 1X run speed and not synchronous with it. If an accelerometer is exposed continuously to a higher temperature than that for which it is rated. as explained in the section on electrically induced vibration. or the so-called 1X peak. the data will be contaminated with 60 Hz noise and harmonics. the stiffness of the internal assembly will decrease. This is simplified if you use a ten-point divider. and the data it senses from then on will be worthless.
on the spectra. The time record length used to calculate this spectrum is 1/2. if any. the spectra of an impulse or transient and of a random signal may look almost exactly alike.Identify and mark the pump vane pass frequency and harmonics. or 2. will show details that happen in that 0. however. As we learned in the frequency analysis section of the Vibration Fundamentals course. or resolution. Most FFT analyzers. the Spectrum Time Domain Analysis is simply the use of the waveform instead of the spectrum to help diagnose machine problems. This is true even though the parent time signals are very different in character. and therefore it is a good idea for the analyst to examine the waveform when the spectrum may not provide all the information needed to make a complete diagnosis. FFT Analyzer Setup for Waveform Collection When setting up an analyzer to store waveforms. do not allow you to set up specific sampling rates or time domain record lengths – you must set them up in terms of frequency span and frequency resolution. we are often looking for events that occur over a much longer time than that. Velocity Phase in the Time Domain The Wave Form as an analytical tool Synchronous Averaging Analyzer Set-Up for Synchronous Averaging Case Histories using Synchronous Averaging The Waveform vs. Search the spectra for non-synchronous components that could be bearing tones. or consult the VTAG for bearing tone frequencies. and that is that the frequency range normally convenient for looking at a spectrum is usually not suited to looking at the waveform. but in practice. a 400-line spectrum extending from DC to 1000 Hz will have a line spacing of 1000/400. which is the actual waveform. with a few notable exceptions. Time Domain Analysis More: The Waveform vs. The vane pass is the number of vanes times the pump RPM. Remember from the FFT Analysis chapter that the time record length used by the analyzer to calculate the spectrum is the reciprocal of the line spacing.5 Hz. This time record. After performing all these tasks. when looking at a machine vibration waveform. and mark them on the spectra.4 seconds. or 0.4-second time span. For instance. The waveform immediately shows the difference. and the FFT analyzer of necessity acquires a short time record. Spectra are generally scaled so relatively wide frequency ranges can be examined.5. the Spectrum FFT Analyzer Setup for Waveform Collection Acceleration vs. an important point should be born in mind. you are ready for the work described in next chapter on Machine Diagnostics. of the spectrum. If 71 .
again we need to get the information from the spectrum characteristics. or 19.53 Hz. The sampling frequency of the time record for most analyzers is 2. Remember that a meaningful time record contains many more data points that the usual spectrum. A good rule of thumb to memorize is that the time record length depends only on the line spacing of the FFT spectrum and the sampling rate depends only on the frequency range of the FFT spectrum. So you can select 20 Hz in the frequency span set up. Thus a frequency span of 100 Hz implies a sampling frequency of 256 samples per second.we are looking for beats in the vibration signature of an electric motor. On the other hand. You might sample at 1000 samples per second. when we look into Synchronous Averaging. 72 . it is best to use the lowest sampling rate and the shortest time record length that will provide the needed data. To acquire a waveform lasting five seconds. or about 390 Hz. and this can be done by adjusting the number of lines of resolution and the frequency span to suitable values. if you want to examine a waveform that might have interesting glitches at 50 times per second. We will return to this subject of time resolution versus frequency resolution soon.56 times the highest frequency in the spectrum. and thus it time resolution. For example if you just want to resolve beats in waveform that only occur once in several seconds. then you need to sample fast enough to resolve each glitch. To find out the sampling rate of the waveform. This corresponds to a frequency span of 50/2. and they are independently adjustable. and this requires a frequency span of 1000/2.56. and therefore you need to take care that you have enough memory available in your data collector to store the waveform data. or of the combined vibration of two machines running at slightly different speeds. we need to see a waveform that is at least several seconds long. and a span of 1000 Hz requires a sampling rate of 2560 samples per second. For this reason. the sampling rate need not be very high – 50 samples per second is probably fast enough.56. we need to set up a line spacing of 1/5 Hz.
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