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Published in IET Electric Power Applications
Received on 19th April 2012
Revised on 10th August 2012
Accepted on 19th September 2012
doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2012.0129

ISSN 1751-8660

Experimental study of induction motor misalignment

and its online detection through data fusion
Subimal Bikash Chaudhury1,2, Mainak Sengupta2, Kaushik Mukherjee2
Tata Steel, Automation Division, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India
Department of Electrical Engineering, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Abstract: Most of the induction motor (IM) fault detection schemes are based on one sensor with one detection logic which are
generally incapable of bringing out any consistent feature related to rotor misalignment. Moreover, these logics do not consider
simultaneously the asymmetric load condition with variable speed operation. In this study, a data fusion-based misalignment
related fault identication algorithm is presented, which isolates fault features from similar features generated because of other
operating conditions. In the proposed scheme, the feature vector is constructed by using signatures created from frequency-
domain characteristics obtained from stator vibration and line current measurements. Thereafter, the feature fusion technology,
by means of the weighted linear combination concept, is adopted to take advantage of the best features from both sensors and
to discern the pattern of misalignment with other signatures. The technique is validated experimentally on a 5.5 hp IM and
the results are presented.

1 Introduction combination of different detection logics will signicantly

reduce the chance of false alarm generation. The technique
Induction motors (IMs), used particularly in the steel industry proposed in this paper simultaneously considers monitoring of
rolling mill area, experience a wide range of electrical and both the radial vibration of motor frame and the phase current
mechanical faults. A survey conducted in a hot strip steel of motor to identify the motor misalignment fault.
mill (HSM) of steel industry, revealed that the IM failures This paper investigates the effect of load imbalance (i.e.
are mainly related to bearing problem, rotor-stator rubbing dynamically unbalanced rotor) on motor current and stator
or jamming of rotor, eventually leading to burnt motor frame vibration of IMs in HSM. This investigation puts
failure. Some of these failures are shown in Fig. 1. Further forth the genesis of motor current harmonics and stator
examination of these motors reveals that the rotor motion frame vibration under different operating conditions. This,
was eccentric prior to nal failure in most cases. The in turn, elicits some important information related to motor
eccentric motion of rotor is a common consequence of misalignment.
various mechanical problems. The work in this paper provides a novel concept of feature
The authors [1, 2] have presented different faults related to (obtained from motor current and vibration signals) fusion
IMs. An Ishikawa diagram (Fig. 2) is drawn to represent the using weighted linear combination (WLC) of feature
different causes related to motor misalignment, which lead vectors, generated from vibration and current signals to
to air-gap eccentricity. make the detection logic more informed, robust and
Several classical papers have concentrated on calculation of reliable. The experimental validation on a 5.5 hp IM
the air-gap eld as a function of eccentricity [35]. They have demonstrates, how feature fusion improves fault
indicated that eccentricity leads to obvious air-gap permeance identication related to air-gap eccentricity and misalignment.
variation causing harmonic generation in air-gap ux. These
air-gap ux harmonics introduce harmonic currents in the 2 Existing method of analysis
stator and harmonic components in stator frame vibration.
Motor vibration or motor current signal monitoring, are 2.1 Air-gap ux analysis and motor current
widely practiced for eccentricity related fault identication. spectrum
Most of the commercially available solutions for motor fault
identication, are either based on the spectral analysis of The specic air-gap permeance wave variation because of
vibration or motor current. Identication of air-gap eccentricity air-gap eccentricity is well documented in the existing
becomes elusive in the presence of other harmonics which literature [9, 10]. The magnetic ux density wave in the
can be superimposed because of the different [2, 68] air-gap is the product of the permeance waves and MMF
electrical or mechanical problems in IM or the plant-operating waves. Multiplying the permeance and MMF waves gives
conditions. It is expected that the use of multiple sensors and a the expression for ux density. Based on Cameron et al.

58 IET Electr. Power Appl., 2013, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, pp. 5867

& The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2013 doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2012.0129

Fig. 1 Different mechanical faults observed in medium size HSM motors because of high degree of rotor misalignment
a Shaft crack
b Bearing Cease
c Rotor rubbing
d Circlip opening

Fig. 2 Main contributing factors for creation of motor misalignment

[9], the resultant air-gap ux density can be expressed as harmonic currents in the stator winding. The eccentricity
   related harmonics present in motor current [9], can be
B(u, t) = Bms ,Vs cos ms u Vs t expressed as
ms ,Vs
  fecc = (Krs R + Kd ) fr + 2Ksat p fs ) (2)
+ Bmr ,Vr cos mr u Vr t
mr ,Vr
where, fr and fs are rotor frequency (rps) and supply
where frequency. Replacing fr with ((1 s)/p)fs and rearranging
(2) gives
ms = Krs R + Kss S + Ks + Kd + 2Ksat p + kp  

Vs = Krs R + Kd )vr + 2Ksat v + v fecc = fr slot + Kd + 2Ksat fs (3)
mr = Krs R + Kss S + Ks + Kd + 2Ksat p + lp
where fecc and frslot are the eccentricity and slot harmonic
Vr = Krs R + Kd )vr + 2Ksat pv + sv related frequencies. Theoretically and experimentally, it has
been established in [5, 10] that under a mixed eccentricity
where Ks and Kd are the harmonic order related to static condition, side-band frequencies also appear near a
and dynamic eccentricity, Kss and Krs are the harmonic fundamental frequency.
order related to stator and rotor slot harmonics, Ksat is
the harmonic order related to saturation, R and S are f ecc| fund = fs + n fr|n=1,2,3,... (4)
the number of rotor and stator slots respectively, k and l are
stator space harmonic and rotor space harmonic components 2.2 Motor frame vibration analysis
respectively, s is the slip is the angular position of the
stator at time t, and r are the fundamental supply Many electrical and mechanical forces are present in IM that
frequency and rotor speed in rad/s, respectively. can cause vibrations [11]. The magnetic forces acting on the
The net air-gap ux density (1) because of stator and rotor stator of IMs because of the electromagnetic interaction
MMF, varies both in space and time. The time-dependent between the rotor and stator circuits, contributes to a great
harmonic ux components will produce corresponding extent to the generation of stator frame vibrations. The

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doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2012.0129 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2013
mechanical problems such as motor misalignment, unbalance all types of motors. Applicability of the referred relation
and so on also inuence the rotor and stator magnetic circuits. also depends on knowledge of the motor constructional
The analytical expression for the radial force acting on the details, which is difcult to obtain. In such cases, the
stator frame under mixed eccentricity condition is given in characteristic frequency dened by (4) will be most useful
[10]. It is also demonstrated that this radial force is as it does not require any knowledge of motor details.
responsible for stator frame vibration. From the analysis of
vibration signal as a function of air-gap eccentricity [9, 10,
3.3 Low-frequency operation
12, 13], it can be concluded that the eccentricity will
produce frequency components given by 2fs, fr, 2fr, 2fs fr, Depending on the different sections of metal rolling, motor
2( fs fr). RPM varies typically from 30 to 60% of rated rpm. At a
lower-speed operation, the lower band of characteristic
3 Problem definition frequencies ( fecc = fs kfr where k > 1) are merged on top
of a higher frequency (i.e. operating supply frequency). The
Although there are well-established relationships pertaining peak of the carrier frequencies (supply frequency in case of
to eccentricity related fault identication, yet, under some motor current and rotational frequency in case of motor
operating conditions, fault analysis becomes multifarious. vibration) become dominant whereas the information related
Some of them are discussed, as follows. to lower band characteristic frequencies are lost in the noise
oor of the spectrum. Hence, it becomes difcult to
distinguish between the fault frequency and the frequency
3.1 Problem related to asymmetric load condition related to asymmetric load. In such a case it is important to
In industry, particularly in metal industry, a motor is coupled improve the signal-to-noise ratio by applying proper signal
through a gear box for transferring the torque to the load. The processing.
demand of rolling process, interaction between the mill
structure and motor-gear arrangement creates a wide 3.4 Induced vibration signal
variation in motor torque and speed demand.
This asymmetric torque requirement, which commands on The misalignment-related fault frequencies ( fr; 2fr; 2fs fr
drive system, introduces the additional current. The typical etc.) of motor frame vibration may get contaminated
motor shaft torque demand (measured directly on motor because of surrounding vibrations generated from other
shaft) and corresponding modulated motor current in nearby operating machines.
nishing stand motors of HSM are shown in Fig. 3. After The above factors limit the ability to accurately identify the
metal entry in the rolling stands, the rolling torque and fault using a single feature alone. To achieve improved
current (marked with circle) oscillation remains for 3040 accuracies and more specic inferences, it is proposed to
s., before these parameters stabilise. This modulation fuse the characteristic features, in a way that enables more
introduces the current harmonics at a multiple of kfr [10, reliable identication of the presence of eccentricity fault.
13]. The frequency components given by (3), which Considering the metal rolling mill applications, where low
contains potential fault information, may be totally motor speed operation is in demand, the applicability of the
eradicated because of similar frequencies generated by the proposed scheme focuses specically on a low-speed
oscillatory load [7] demand. operation.

3.2 Lack of information on motor-details 4 Proposed algorithm

It was shown by Nandi et al. [13] that the characteristic The framework for implementation of the feature extraction
frequencies related to eccentricity (3) may not be present in from current and vibration signals and their fusion using

Fig. 3 Typical load torque demand and corresponding motor current in 6-stand nishing mill of steel hot rolling process
X-axis is time in seconds, Y-axis (top plots) load torque in KNm and (bottom plots) motor current in Amps

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& The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2013 doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2012.0129

Fig. 4 Block diagram representing WLC algorithm

WLC algorithm is shown in Fig. 4. The features considered in spectral components into a manageable number. A
the present work are listed here rule-based lter is proposed which, not only considers the
spectral components above a xed dB difference to the
1. Fourier features present in current and vibration signals, fundamental (50 dB), but also considers the dB difference
related to rotor eccentricity fault and asymmetric load of small components with respect to large components.
2. Motor shaft load and rpm The steps for adaptive threshold calculation are
3. Floor noise level
4. Strike rate of the presence of similar pattern of signature 1. Calculate mean of the feature set |jmf | = m jmf /M .
under same operating conditions 2. Identify components with magnitude less than |jmf |.
3. Compute mean of small components (|jsmall |) and mean
of remaining components (|jrest |).
f f
The different stages of the proposed system are discussed 4. Evaluate adaptive cutoff l f (= ((jsmall + jrest )/2),
here 50 dB).
5. Extract feature set f as large components from jmf with
magnitude > f
4.1 Data processing 6. If f is persistent for few (6 in this case) frames then
The acquired line current and stator frame vibration signals consider else ignore.
are ltered using a third-order Butterworth lter,
with cut-off frequency near the Nyquist frequency
( fcutoff 0.99 fnyquist or 495 Hz). This removes the 4.3 Feature fusion using WLC
switching frequency component of variable speed drive and To improve the fault identication rate, feature fusion by
also improves the signal-to-noise ratio. means of the WLC concept is adopted. The mathematical
Further signal processing is carried out, to eliminate the DC denition of WLC can be given by (5)
component which may appear during the low-speed operation
of the motor or from the sensors. DC levels for the signals are 
estimated for each digitised frame using a Fourier transform. S= wi (dB)i (5)
The estimated DC level is XDC F
= X 0 where F signies the i=1
current frame of signal, X 0 is the non-sinusoidal component F where wi is the ith weight for ( fi)th characteristic frequency.
in the signal. The DC corrected frame is X F = (X F X DC ), (dB)i is corresponding dB value of signal. Weighted score
(S) for current (Sc) or vibration signal Sv. The characteristic
4.2 Spectral component extraction frequencies [7, 8, 11] of interest are listed in Table 1. All
the features appearing in column (3)* of Table 1(a) and in
Fast Fourier transform (FFT) is performed with Hanning column (3)*, (5)* and (6)* of Table 1(b) with mark are
window (50% overlapping) on X F . A normalised Fourier potential indicators for identifying the misalignment related
transform (X ) using (Welch) power spectral density (PSD)
faults. Weights of relative importance (i.e. more the weight
is calculated. A feature set jmf , (where m = 1, 2,) is more important the characteristic frequency) are assigned
created by detecting the frequency peaks in this normalised directly to each feature and a weighted map of features are
spectrum. constructed. The weight criteria for different combination of
It is proposed to remove small frequency peaks (less features are given in Table 2. The weights are divided
affecting) from the feature set jmf to reduce unmanageable into four categories. W = 0 (feature not to be considered),

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Table 1 Tabulation of diagnostic frequencies stator frame Table 3 Boolean logic for isolating fault from asymmetric load
vibration spectrum condition

Types of faults (d/dt)|

Frequency component (1)* (2)* (3)* (4)* (5)* (6)* First layer Load for fs
Sc Sv decision change fr Final decision
(a) Characteristic frequencies in stator current spectrum
fs F F F No no Fault
nfs kfr for n = 1 and X eccentricity or
k = 1, 2, 3, asymmetric
nfs kfr for n = 3, 5, and X X load
k = 1, 2, 3, T F not considered other faults (not
fs 2sfs X X part of the
(b) Characteristic frequencies in stator frame vibration present
spectrum investigation)
1*fr F T not considered other faults (not
2*fr X part of the
fs 2*fr X X X X present
0.5fr, 1.5*fr X X X X X investigation)
2*fs X X X T T T eccentricity T T load asymmetry,
2( fs fr) X X X X X or asymmetric No eccentricity
load fault
where (1)* winding fault, (2)* rotor faults, (3)* air-gap ecc., T F not considered
(4)* Bent shaft, (5)* misalignment and (6)* mech. F T eccentricity fault,
looseness. No load
*Mark used to differentiate with equation numbers. asymmetry
F F no decision

W = 0.25 (low importance), W = 0.5 (medium importance)

and W = 0.75 (high importance). creates static eccentricity of 19.7% (originally measured
A score factor matrix Sj (where j denotes load condition) is air-gap = 0.52 mm, measured using a feeler gauge). Dynamic
created for a particular operating speed. In this case, j = 1 eccentricity is created by machining rotor shaft by 150
(<25% load), 2 (2560% load), 3 (>60% load). After (21%). Combination of both creates mixed eccentricity and is
feature level fusion of information obtained from current considered here as rotor misalignment. Fig. 5a shows the
and vibration sensors a voting-based decision making photograph of lateral view of rotor assembly arrangement after
technique is applied in which the presence of fault machining operation. The stator frame (motor) misalignment
frequency will be accepted or rejected depending on is created by lifting the motor at one side by inserting 50100
whether the Sj is above the acceptable threshold value. shim at motor base. Effect of load torque oscillations (rotor
Thereafter, to isolate characteristic frequencies related to imbalance condition) on motor misalignment are studied by
eccentricity from asymmetric load conditions, a Boolean applying different levels of rotating imbalance mass (25, 50
overlay logic is applied as given in Table 3. and 100 g) tted on the rotor shaft. Details of mounting
arrangement of imbalance of mass are shown in Fig. 5b.
An experimental set-up (Fig. 5c) consists of motor current
5 Experimental set-up arrangement sensing using Hall effect transducers LTS15-NP,
vibration sensing using MEMS accelerometer ADXL322,
An experimental set-up is designed and built, to study rotor motor speed sensing using pulse encoder, a data acquisition
misalignment and to test the proposed diagnostic scheme. system Advantech USB 4716 and a PC. Arrangement is
A four pole, three-phase, 5.5 kW IM is used here. made for symmetric and asymmetric loading arrangement
The test motor consists of custom built (modied) end bells for generating torque pulsation. Asymmetric loading is
and rotor shaft to create rotor misalignment, which in turn emulated by xing a mass on the disc as shown in Fig. 5b.
creates air-gap eccentricity. The off-centring of rotor centre In the experiments, the IM is fed from a 440 V AC power
with respect to stator bore centre, is created by machining supply through a commercial vector-controlled drive. The
bearing housings of the machine end bells by 100 , which block schematic of the experimental set-up is shown in Fig. 5.

Table 2 Weight factor for different features under different operating conditions
Characteristic frequencies in motor Characteristic frequencies in stator
current frame vibration

Loading condition Motor RPM fs + fr fs fr fs 2fr fs + 2fr 2fs 2fr 2fs + fr 2fs fr

low (030%) speed (<25%) 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.75 0.0 0.0
speed (2560%) 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.75 0.0 0.0
speed (>60%) 0.5 0.5 0.25 0.25 0.5 0.5 0.25 0.25
medium (3060%) speed (<25%) 0.5 0.5 0.25 0.25 0.5 0.75 0.25 0.25
speed (2560%) 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.5 0.75 0.25 0.25
speed (>60%) 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
normal (>60%) speed (<25%) 0.05 0.05 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.25 0.25
speed (2560%) 0.05 0.05 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
speed (>60%) 0.05 0.05 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5

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Fig. 5 Experimental set-up mechanical and electrical detail

a Motor bearing and shaft assembly, [1, 2] bearing housing arrangement different views, [3] machined portion for eccentricity (exaggerated view) and [4] bearing
housing arrangement (with off-centre)
b Arrangement for asymmetric motor loading
c Single-line diagram of set up

6 Results and analysis The effect of adaptive cut-off threshold on motor current
is illustrated in Fig. 7. With adaptive cut off threshold
Tests are conducted at different speeds by setting different the unwanted large spectral frequency peaks are reduced
stator supply frequencies through the drive. FFT is signicantly. This in turn reduces the dimensionality of
performed on vibration and current signals at different feature vectors, and makes detection logic more robust with
operating speeds and load conditions. reduced computational time.
The performance of the signal processing function is Figs. 8 and 9 show the low-frequency spectra of the motor
illustrated in Fig. 6. It may be observed (Fig. 6b) that, current and vibration of stator frame. The results are presented
because of poor signal strength, the side band frequencies here under three loading conditions and at different speeds 5,
are overshadowed by the low-frequency noise signal after 15 and 25 Hz. The points 1, 2 and 3 indicated on graph
performing a normal FFT. The desired signal components (Fig. 8), represent the frequencies fs, fs fr and fs + 2fr,
are enhanced using a rule-based lter and the characteristic respectively. Similarly, the marking on Fig. 9 indicates
features like side-band frequencies near fundamental different characteristic frequencies corresponding to fr; 2fr;
frequency are now discernible (Fig. 6c). 2fs; 2( fs fr).

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Fig. 6 Performance of frequency spectrum with and without rule-based lter

a Raw motor current signal obtained using Hall current sensor
b FFT of the signal without any signal pre-processing
c Depicting improvement in signal-to-noise ratio after the implementation of a rule-based lter

Fig. 7 Post-processing of spectral density features with adaptive cut-off

Fig. 8 Frequency spectra of the stator current at different speeds and at different loads
a fs = 5 Hz; fr = 2.42 Hz
b fs = 15 Hz; fr = 7.0 Hz
c fs = 25 Hz; fr = 12.07 Hz

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& The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2013 doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2012.0129

Fig. 9 Frequency spectra of the measured vibration at different speeds and at different loads
a fs = 5 Hz; fr = 2.42 Hz
b fs = 15 Hz; fr = 7.0 Hz
c fs = 25 Hz; fr = 12.07 Hz

The FFT and PSD analysis of the experimental data Comparative studies are also made for healthy motor,
presented here, reveals that motor with (mixed) eccentricity and motor loaded with an
asymmetric load under different operating speeds and motor
1. At low speed the observability of feature vectors are low. loading. One such result, is shown in Fig. 10. The analysis
However, two characteristic frequency components (for four gives an insight in helping us to distinguish
pole machines and at low speed assuming s 0), are fr = 0.5fs position-dependent load torque oscillation from rotor
and fr + fs = 1.5fs. These frequencies are present in the eccentricity faults. The most dominant features in motor
motor current under any operating condition. current resulting from a rotor eccentricity or load torque
2. Amplitude of fault frequency components are sensitive to oscillation are the side-band frequencies ( fecc = fs fr) near
load variation, however, these are not ideal under all loading fundamental [Fig. 10a(2) and 10a(3)]. The dominant
conditions. frequency in case of a healthy motor is only fs Fig. 10(a1).
3. The rotational frequency component fr and supply Other, higher-order side-band frequencies are only present
frequency component fs are clearly visible in all cases of in case of a faulty motor.
vibration and motor current signal. However, fr is more Similarly, in case of vibration signal, twice the line
prominent than fs in vibration signal. frequency vibration (2fs) component is present in both

Fig. 10 Appearance of characteristic frequencies for (1) the healthy motor (2) eccentric motor (3) healthy motor with asymmetric load
condition. fs = 25 Hz and fr = 11.9 Hz
a Spectral component of stator current space vector
b Spectral component of radial vibration signal space vector

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Fig. 11 Performance of WLC of feature vector for

a Healthy motor
b Eccentric motor

eccentric and motor under oscillatory load (Fig. 10), whereas Table 2. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of the
one time rotational speed ( fr) dependent frequency is technique, the frequencies of higher importance have
prominent in case of eccentric motor only. Another become more prominent in comparison with less important
important point which was observed during experimentation features.
was that the amplitude of 2fs component is independent of After feature level fusion for current and vibration, the
load variation in case of an eccentric motor but is scores Sc and Sv are assigned true (T) or false (F) based on
dependent under an oscillatory load. Other, higher order whether the values are above the threshold (present
side-band frequency components are only observable in case it is 40 dB). From Figs. 11a and b, it is clear that in
case of eccentricity. case of a healthy motor the higher order side-band
Fig. 11 depicts the fault feature amplitude in motor current frequencies in both signals (current and vibration) will
and vibration after applying the WLC algorithm for the not be considered since their WLC values are much
characteristic frequencies as indicated in Tables 1. Fig. 11a below the threshold value whereas in case of motor
(1 and 2) show the spectral density plot for current and eccentricity, WLC values of these frequencies are much
vibration for healthy motor. For a motor with eccentricity higher and hence the frequencies are identied as fault
the same are indicated in Fig. 11b(1 and 2). Marks on the frequencies. The inuences of asymmetric load variation
graphs in Fig. 11(3 and 4) indicate the appearance of same on side-band frequency near fundamental (even these are
features in consecutive data frames (in this study six strong) are discriminated from the eccentric case, since
frames). Vertical lines in Fig. 11(5 and 6) indicate the the higher-order side-band frequencies are not present (or
weighted amplitude of characteristic frequency present in very low) in asymmetric load conditions [Figs. 11a(3)
the spectrum, which is computed using (5) and considering and b(3)]. The nal decision for eccentricity-related fault

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& The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2013 doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2012.0129
identication is taken based on decision level fusion as per 8 References
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doi: 10.1049/iet-epa.2012.0129 & The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2013