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Vibration M J Rhoades

Use of vibration instrumentation should be an integral part of any plant maintenance


program. This is especially true for large expensive rotating equipment such as turbine
generators and diesel generators as well as rotating safety related equipment such as
pumps and amplidynes.

A program for vibration monitoring should be established prior to the first plant start
up. This is important because base line data can be recorded for each device in the
program as it is started for the first time. All of the experts/vendors will be there for input
and no degradation of parts will be impacting the readings. This does not mean that there
won't be any problems, but when the equipment is accepted by the plant, the machine will
be in the best condition. (Excluding run in time) Below is a flow chart that could be used
in the initial readings and planning for a vibration program.

Vender and plant


engineering input.

Purchase and calibration of Base line data assessment during For that equipment not
the vibration equipment for start up, and application to being continuously
both installed and hand held physical inspections within the monitored, establish
vibration instruments. Prior maintenance program for safety periodicity of vibration
to initial start up. related and large equipment testing as opposed to
physical inspection

Establish readings at Maintenance dept, perform Maintain a history


which point a trigger vibration testing and of readings taken
would occur for doing calibration as required by the for review of data
a physical inspection schedule and after any major and applications
of components work to re-establish a new to the equipment
base line monitored

Plant engineering
review of periodic
testing, and after
major repair
The data should be put in easily understandable forms that make it easy for review.
Plant procedures should be established on how and where to take the readings and specify
the tolerance for out of specification readings. This will ensure the data is reproducible
and predictable and can be scrutinized for any repairs that may be required. The testing
instruments should be listed for the type of readings taken and each test device should be
calibrated prior to use. (And during use for installed instruments) As the history and
experience grows on a specific piece of equipment, the physical inspection program
could be modified accordingly.

Noise monitoring is another consideration that could be incorporated at the same time
as the vibration monitoring. Suitable noise (DB) monitors could detect problems
developing (Or not) in equipment that vibration instruments don't pick up on. If a noise
monitoring program is to be used it should be planned and created during the process
indicated above and followed as required by procedures.

By establishing a well thought out program of vibration and noise testing, and
monitoring, major plant down time and undue physical inspections can be avoided. This
is not only beneficial for the maintenance department responsible, (reduced man hours)
but also for the plants bottom line.