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DoctorKnow Application Paper

Operating Deflection Shape Analysis, An Overview
Source/Author:Robert J. Sayer
Technology: Vibration

Operating Deflection Shape Analysis, hereinafter referred to as ODS Analysis, provides an
animation of the deflected shape of a vibrating system under actual operating conditions. ODS
testing can be performed with either a single channel or multi-channel analyzer, although the use
of single channel techniques limits the scope and affects the accuracy of the analysis. This
discussion shall be limited to multi-channel ODS methods.
Multi-channel ODS testing not only provides the animated deflected shape at the operating
frequency of the equipment but also provides animated deflection shapes at any other frequency.
Single channel ODS is limited to the animation of the deflection shape at lx operating speed of
the equipment or integer multiple thereof. Multi-channel ODS testing can be used to define the
response of a vibrating system to forces produced by drive belts, gear mesh, bearings, turbulence
and other aerodynamic affects which usually do not occur at an integer multiple of the operating
The most common reasons for performing ODS testing and analysis include:
Defining areas of structural "weakness", including looseness in bases and bolted joints. This
information can be used to direct the analyst toward the area for which structural/mechanical
modifications will be most effective.
Prove that a natural frequency is actually being excited. If Experimental Modal Analysis (EMA)
testing is performed along with ODS testing and the animated mode shape associated with the
excitation of a resonance matches the animated ODS shape, then it can be concluded that
dynamic forces are present which are exciting a natural frequency.
Identify the nature and source of a troublesome dynamic force produced by the equipment.
Information relative to the magnitude, direction and type of force can be inferred from an ODS.
Obtain a mode shape for a natural frequency. EMA testing is usually the best method for
determining a mode shape associated with a natural frequency. However, there are cases where
tune and/or access restrictions do not permit the performance of a complete modal test.
Test Procedure:
The test procedure for multi-channel ODS analysis is very similar to EMA testing, except that a
reference transducer is used in place of an impact hammer or shaker. An ODS test is performed
while the equipment is operating as opposed to an EMA test which can be performed only if the
equipment is removed from operation. EMA software can be used to curve-fit and animate ODS
Minimum test equipment required to properly perform a multi-channel ODS includes at least two
transducers (accelerometers or velocity transducers); a multi-channel analyzer such as CSI
Wavepak, CSI Consultant, or CSI Model 2400; and all necessary cables and power supplies for

the transducers. A digital tape recorder or multi-plexor is not required but provides a luxury that is
sometimes necessary when field conditions limit the amount of time during which an entire test
procedure must be completed. Case History # 1 presents a case where data collection for an
ODS test containing 64 data points had to be completed in less than two minutes!
The reference transducer remains stationary during the entire test. It should be placed near a
location and in a direction of maximum vibration. Operating data is obtained by roving with a
response transducer amongst all of the other data points. It is important to note that one set of
data should be obtained with the reference and response transducers at the same location and in
the same direction.
The amount of data required to accurately construct an ODS is dependent upon the vibrating
system to be analyzed. An understanding of structural dynamics together with experience in
performing ODS tests is required to define the minimum data necessary for the test. Absent this
experience, it is recommended that the novice analyst obtain as much data as possible. Since the
ODS test is performed with the equipment operating, the extra time required to obtain extra data
should not affect the productivity of the equipment, although the same cannot be said for the
productivity of the analyst.
The Transfer Function of transmissibility ('lps/ips for velocity transducer & g's/g's for an
accelerometer), which is calculated by the multi-channel analyzer, is used to determine the
relative magnitude of the deformation at any data point. Transient peaks and beats do not affect
the ODS since transmissibility is used instead of the actual vibration level. If the vibrating system
is nearly linear, the vibration level at the response transducer will increase or decrease in
proportion to the reference transducer.
Curve Fitting & Animation:
The ODS shape can be developed manually by plotting the transmissibility and phase at each
data point for every frequency of concern. Each data point should contain three pieces of
information; magnitude of transmissibility, direction and phase. The phase relationship between
data points can be obtained from the phase relationship of each of the individual data point
responses with that of the reference transducer.
The time required to manually develop an ODS can be prohibitive, especially for tests containing
a large amount of data and/or for analyses requiring ODS shapes at several different frequencies.
Commercially available EMA software can be used to simplify this procedure. Besides the
obvious advantage of saving time, EMA software also provides an actual moving animation of the
ODS shape which can be rotated in space, zoomed and magnified to provide a closer and more
detailed view of a particular area of concern. It can be superimposed upon the undetected shape
to provide a better perspective of relative motion. EMA software contains many other advantages
that computer generated graphics afford that a manually plotted sketch cannot provide.
However, the analyst must be careful when using the curve fitting subroutines resident in
commercially available EMA software. These program offer a variety of curve fitting algorithms
which can generally be classified as either "single degree-of-freedom" or "multiple degree-offreedom" techniques. ODS curve fitting should be restricted to the use of the "single degree-offreedom" algorithms; coincident, quadrature or complex peak methods. The use of the "multiple
degree-of-freedom" curve fitting techniques, such as the polynomial or global methods, can result
in major errors in the ODS animation.
The problem with using the higher order curve fitting methods is that the Frequency Response
Function of transmissibility, which is sometimes referred to by EMA analysts as a "pseudo" FRF,
contains many "junk peaks" associated with the noise floor of the reference transducer. Peaks
occur in this FRF at frequencies other than that at which maximum response occur since this

"pseudo" FRF is obtained by dividing the frequency spectrum of the response transducer by that
of the reference transducer.
Figure 2 illustrate the problem associated with curve fitting ODS data. It contains a typical FRF
obtained from a transmissibility measurement. The cursor has been assigned to the machine
operating speed (30 Hz) which also corresponds to the maximum response of the vibrating
system. However, peaks in the FRF are present wherever the magnitude of vibration in the
reference transducer were very low, since dividing any number by a much smaller number
provides a large number. The use of the higher order multiple degree-of-freedom curve fitting
methods, which search for peak responses in the FRF, would actually provide an ODS at the
frequency of one of these "junk" peaks instead of at the frequency of concern.

Figure 1. Typical Frequency Response Function for an ODS Test

Advantages & Disadvantages:
The major advantages of an ODS analysis are:

The test is performed while the equipment is operating. This is significant in

industrial facilities which operate around the clock with only limited downtime for scheduled
The test is much easier and quicker to perform than an experimental modal test.
The ODS test can be used to identify areas of structural weakness or looseness, which could
be the reason for excessive vibrations, even for cases where the excitation of a natural frequency
is not involved.
The major disadvantages of ODS analysis are:
The ODS test, by itself, does not provide enough information to insure that the problem of
excessive vibration is caused by the excitation of resonance. Additional testing techniques are
required to verify that a natural frequency exists at/near a natural frequency.
Once the existence of a natural frequency has been established by other test procedures, the
ODS analysis provides a good estimate of the mode shape associated with that natural
frequency. However, the ODS may not provide information regarding the nature of other mode
shapes. This could lead to the development of structural modifications which favorably affect the
mode shape at the frequency studied by the ODS but could adversely affect another mode of
natural frequency.
The ODS data is not scaled properly within EMA software for Structural Dynamics Modification
subroutines. The ODS model cannot be used to quantify the affect that proposed structural
modifications may have on the magnitude of a natural frequency.
An in depth dissertation of Operating Deflection Shape Analysis is beyond the scope of this
overview. Reference books are available in the technical literature for more information. CSI also
offers a short course on "Applied Modal Analysis" which present ODS test and analysis
procedures in more detail.
The following case histories are included to illustrate current trends in the use of ODS Analysis.
Case History # 1:
A multi-stand aluminum rolling mill was experiencing chatter which affected the quality of the
finished sheet. The rolling mill operates at different speeds depending on the product. The
vibration monitoring program identified a frequency range in which the rolling mill appeared to be
more sensitive. The excitation of a natural frequency was suspected as the probable cause of the
chatter problem.
It was not possible to perform an EMA test for several reasons. The rolling mill is a massive
structure which could not easily be excited. Access to the mill was limited. Finally, time
constraints made an EMA test impossible. Therefore, an ODS test was performed to identify the
relative motion of the work rolls, back-up rolls and mill housing in the frequency range of concern.
A work roll with a known defect was used as an exciter. This work roll supplied a harmonic force
with a frequency equal to many times the rotational speed of the roll.
One major drawback to this test setup was that the defective work roll would produce a reject
product. Because all material rolled during this test would have to be scrapped, the test was
limited, for economic reasons, to using only two coils of aluminum. The total rolling time for two
coils was less than ten minutes and ODS shapes at several different speeds were desired.
Therefore, the time provided to collect a complete set of ODS data was approximately 2 minutes
for each test.
A ODS model containing sixty three degrees-of-freedom was developed for the test. Sixty three
accelerometers were attached to the mill. These transducers were connected to 2 CSI 32channel multi-plexers. The signal for one of the transducers was split a sent to each of the multi-

plexers to serve as a common reference signal. Two computers equipped with CSI WAVEPAK
were used to control the multiplexers. A computer program was written which automatically
provided the keystrokes in Wavepak to obtain and archive the Transfer Functions and advance
the multi-plexor. A complete set of ODS data was obtained for each test in approximately 2
minutes! However, it should be noted that the reduction of this data took several man-days.
Figure 2 includes one of the ODS shapes Obtained from the data. This analysis provided some
interesting information regarding the relative motion between the work rolls. This relative motion
can affect the deformation process, resulting in a chatter pattern being established in the finished
coil. The size of the chatter pattern will be dependent upon the frequency of the vibration.

Figure 2. ODS Shapes of Rolling Mill

This analysis also showed that the deformation of the mill housing was not a significant
contributor to the chatter problem. Therefore, redesign efforts could concentrate on the roll stack
dynamics (work roll & backup roll). The ODS data was subsequently used to correlate Finite
element models developed to investigate design changes which would eliminate the chatter

Case History #2:

The vibration levels of a large centrifugal fan that operates at 900 rpm (15 Hz) had been
excessive. A single set of impact tests were performed to determine whether the excitation of a
resonance could be the reason for the undesirable vibration. Figure 3 contains the frequency
spectrum and coherence obtained from preliminary impact testing. Several spectral peaks were
measured. However, the coherence function indicated that background noise emanating from
adjacent equipment dominated the spectrum below 12 Hz (Coherence was less than .66). There
was a spectral peak at around 16 Hz with coherence in excess of .995, which indicated that there
was a good probability that a natural frequency existed near the operating speed of the fan.
Based upon the preliminary impact testing, it was concluded that the only natural frequency was
at 16 Hz.

Figure 3. Frequency Spectrum and Coherence of Impact Test

It was not possible to remove the fan from service for the extent of time needed to perform a
complete. experimental modal analysis. Therefore, the mode shape associated with this natural
frequency could not be defined with EMA test data. However, since the equipment operates at 15
Hz, which is very near the natural frequency, it was concluded that an ODS at operating speed
would provide a close approximation of the mode shape.
The mode shape predicted by ODS testing is shown in Figure 4 (solid line) to an exaggerated
scale and superimposed upon the undeflected shape (dotted line). This mode shape can best be
described as rigid body rocking of the fan, pedestal and foundation on top of the soil. It is

interesting to note that the motor was 180 out-of-phase with all of the other components of the

Figure 4. ODS Prediction of Mode Shape

One of the disadvantages of ODS analysis is that the animated shapes are not properly scaled
for the Structural Dynamics Modification subroutines that are resident in many of the EMA
software packages. In other words, these ODS models cannot be used to evaluate the affect that
any structural modification may have on the magnitude of natural frequency.
For this reason, a finite element analysis (FEA) of the fan-foundation system was developed to
evaluate several possible modifications. A finite element analysis is a numerical technique used
in modal analysis. Reference should be made to another paper in these Proceedings titled "An
Overview; Experimental & Finite Element Modal Analysis" for more information regarding this
analysis technique.
The finite element analysis predicted two natural frequencies containing a rigid body rocking
action of the foundation and pedestal on top of the soil-foundation interface. Figure 5 contains
these mode shapes.
The predicted magnitude of the first mode of natural frequency was 10.5 Hz. In this mode shape
the motor is in-phase with the fan, pedestal and foundation. The predicted magnitude of the

second mode of natural frequency was 15.3 Hz. In this mode shape, the motor is 180 out-ofphase from the rind body rocking action of the rest of the system, which correlated quite well with
the ODS at this frequency.

Figure 5. FEA Prediction of 1st & nd Mode Shape

This analysis showed that another natural frequency existed which was not identified during the
ODS testing due to the presence of background noise that masked it's existence.
This is important since any modification made to the system for the express purpose of increasing
the magnitude of the natural frequency associated with the second mode would in all probability
result in an increase in the magnitude of the natural frequency associated with the first mode. A
modification could have a beneficial affect on the second mode of natural frequency while
adversely affecting the magnitude of the first mode. Vibration levels could continue to be
excessive after a modification if the 1st natural frequency of the system were excited.
This case history has been included to illustrate some potential shortcomings of utilizing ODS

analysis in place of Experimental Modal Analysis.

Case History #3:
ODS testing was utilized to identify the reason for excessive vibrations of another large
centrifugal fan. The design of this fan was similar to that of the fan in the previous example.
However, in this case excessive levels of vibration were not the result of the excitation of a
natural frequency.
The frequency spectrum for the vibration level of the outboard motor bearing is contained in
Figure 6. The existence of many multiple orders of fan running speed indicated that a mechanical
might exist. An ODS analysis was performed to evaluate the response of the system and to
determine whether a mechanical looseness was present.

Figure 6. Frequency Spectra (Vibration @ OB Motor Bearing)

A three dimensional view of the ODS model is included in Figure 7. The top view and end views
of the ODS shape are shown to an exaggerated scale in Figure 8. Both views of the ODS indicate
that the base of the pedestal is lifting off of the foundation. The end view indicates that horizontal
translation at the outboard bearing of the motor is caused by a looseness in the base plate of the
pedestal instead of flexure of the pedestal itself, of the
The non-linearity at the base of the pedestal results in an impacting which produces dynamic
forces at multiples of running speed of the fan. Subsequent investigations identified a local panel
resonance that affected the response at 2x operating speed. The solution to this problem was to

merely re-establish the connection of the pedestal to the foundation.

Figure 7. 3D View of ODS Model

Figure 8. End View & Side View of ODS Shape