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Knowledge Base Article

Modulation Fault Frequencies

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Publish Date:

26 Mar 2011
General Product Technical Information
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Article Revision History:

26 Mar 2011
Affected Products:
Product Line

Machinery Health
Machinery Health

Description of Revision
Original release of article

AMS Machinery Manager
AMS Machinery Manager

Data Analysis


Database Apps / System

Some have become confused over Modulation fault frequencies. These are the dotted lines that are drawn on either side
of a gearmesh typically, indicating the sidebands, a diagnostic indicator as to machine condition. They are entered in the
detailed fault frequency set using the MOD designator.
The Reference Frequency is the center frequency of interest, which will be modulated by the sidebands. The default is
"0", meaning the frequency determined by the ratio of the machine speed to the point speed upon which this fault
frequency set is tied too. For a gearmesh, it would be the fault frequency line item number that is the product of the
number of teeth on the gear times the turning speed.
The Component or Set ID is the modulating frequency around the reference frequency, i.e., the sidebands whose distance
from the center frequency is determined by the fault frequency line item entered here under Component or Set ID
multiplied by the First Modifier.
The First Modifier is the harmonic multiplier time the Component or Set ID to obtain the desired harmonic sideband.
Although 1X TS is the most common modulator, some faults do require other settings.
Lastly, the Second Modifier contains the number of harmonics you wish to display that are set apart from the reference
frequency at the frequency harmonic determined by the First Modifier.
In the below example, Figure 1 shows line item 5 that is set up for looking for 60 Hz sidebands around 120 Hz line
Figure 1

The "3" under Reference Frequency refers to line item 3--a fixed frequency of 120 Hz-line frequency, which will be the
center frequency of interest. The "1' under Component/Set ID refers to line item 1, which is 3X turning speed. The ".3"
under First Modifier is the multiplication factor times the Component/Set ID that will give you 60 Hz, the sidebands you
desire to see around 120 Hz ([3 x TS] x .3= 60 Hz). The "4" under Second Modifier gives you the four sidebands you see
in figure 2 below.
Figure 2

(Note the center frequency, though unmarked, is 120 Hz with four 60 Hz sidebands. Further note that three of the four
sidebands to the left of the center frequency do not display on the plot. This will happen when the frequency of the
sidebands falls above or below the maximum and minimum frequencies of the plot, respectively.)

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