on September 12th, 2022

Out of all the components and areas of study, few are as unique and ultimately vital within a subsect of Mechanical Engineering as Vibration Engineering and Analysis.

Photo by Thomas Galler on Unsplash

It is the make or break within mechanical engineering that either optimizes if moving components will last or fail.

While anyone that has worked within the field of industrial and mechanical engineering knows that there is almost no world where machines without vibrations can exist, vibration analysis sets the goal to reduce these vibrations – or know how and where they occur.

Vibration reduction has a number of benefits for machines:

  • It increases the lifetime of the machine
  • There is a reduction in the downtime or maintenance time of machines,
  • It offers better quality output.

As a result, mounting machines using vibration isolators is important and one way to analyze vibrations effectively.

To design mounts that can isolate or reduce significant vibration within machines, Vibration Analysis (VA) is done. It is essential.

What is Vibration Analysis?

This kind of analysis is helpful to save time in identifying faults within machines without having to dissemble machines to find the fault. This reduces the cost of operation significantly.

Vibration data is collected from equipment or a foundation and it cannot be studied in a time domain.

Rather frequency domain transformation is required.

For this purpose of transformation, Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) is applied to data that is collected and data is filtered throughout for error reduction. As data captured using a probe like an accelerometer also captures errors, some trend or offset, shift, noise, etc.

The vibration study, design and analysis include a number of concepts from mechanical theories, calculus and signal processing.

Why it’s so important

One example is the fact that in industries, machines or equipment are attached with mounts that can provide high stability as the foundation.

Mounts are manufactured from one single material as a single product and they can also be made out of the assembly of multiple components, which is known as a Vibration Protecting System (VPS). For specific purpose equipment where precision, accuracy and measurements are required at a high level, selection of mount plays a very important role.

The simple use of mounts gives insight into why Vibration Analyzes is an important aspect of mechanical engineering within any space where machines are used and are the cornerstone of production.

Within Industry 4.0 Vibration Analysis will play an important role in predictive maintenance.

Intelligent sensors are able to provide highly predictable monitoring, and they in turn provide multiple predictive techniques for consistent analysis.

It means there will always be a multitude of options to know what is happening, but also accumulate data to know how different conditions such as weather impact vibration.

This can all be used to better understand the failure process of machines and that gives expert technical and financial indicators.

Some interesting aspects of Vibration analyzes

Here are some fascinating, and diverse areas, where Vibration Analysis is vital.

Train Doors

Intelligent Vibration Sensing is a fault-detection that will allow low-cost repairs during scheduled maintenance on trains. Automatic Door Control in trains is part of nearly 19% of technical faults that delays transport.

In total it’s estimated that door control contributes to 4% of all transport delays, and door failure is a major safety issue. Premature door opening can lead to the loss of life while closing too early can lead to failure in the force control systems of trains.

Vibration technology uses accelerometers for vibration detection and provides online monitoring of captured data. Vibration changes are the most direct indication of mechanical faults on door mechanisms.

Doors can in turn be monitored effectively and as a result, reduce delays significantly as pristine functioning doors will be on the tracks.

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

Process Piping

The risk analysis of pipelines is of high importance within pipelines. Vibration-induced fatigue is a common cause when it comes to failure in process piping systems.

The resulting unexpected hydrocarbon release may lead to financial losses and impact both health and safety and the environment.

To combat these negative consequences constant vibration analysis is needed to monitor the flow through the pipeline and a list of other aspects.

The technological advancement in this is important and a major new area for engineers to sink their teeth in.

Condition monitoring at Wind Farms

Although predominately still in research, condition monitoring of wind farms is an exciting new area within sustainable energy.

Vibration analysis allows the utilization of techniques designed for wind turbines and their components that allows the system to improve wind turbine machinery reliability by up to 50%.

Analysis systems allow unnecessary maintenance and time out of service for wind turbines to be reduced or even eliminated, leading to improved reliability and operation of electricity grids fed by this form of energy.

Vibration analysis, AE and MCSA techniques are respectively used to monitor the condition of the gearbox, rotary components and generator (which together account for 53% of wind turbine downtime).

Photo by Kit Suman on Unsplash

How to learn it

The above are just three examples to show the value of keen Vibration Analysis and why it is at the forefront of productivity and why new technology and sensing can create an exceptional workflow.

From February 2023 EIT offers a Professional Certificate of Competency in Vibration Analysis, Balancing, Alignment, Predictive and Precision Maintenance of Machinery.

The 3 Month course aims to give students the opportunity to explore vibration analysis, balancing and alignment techniques.

This course will benefit students from diverse backgrounds that include engineers, technologists, technicians and maintenance personnel.
It's aimed at anyone who wants to gain a strong functional knowledge of predictive and precision maintenance techniques to improve their current work skills and to further their job prospects, including:

  • Mechanical/Mechatronics engineers, technologists and technicians
  • Industrial/Production engineers, technologists and technicians
  • Process technicians, technologists and engineers
  • Process control engineers and supervisors
  • Plant operators and maintenance personnel
  • Mechanical equipment sales engineers
  • Automation engineers
  • Consulting engineers
  • Electrical engineers
  • Electricians
  • Instrumentation and control engineers
  • Maintenance engineers and technicians
  • Rotating Equipment Engineers
  • Condition Monitoring Technicians

For more information on the course, or to apply visit the Vibration Analysis, Balancing, Alignment, Predictive and Precision Maintenance of Machinery course page.

References:

Kovtun, I., Boiko, J., Petrashchuk, S., & Kałaczyński, T. (2018). Theory and practice of vibration analysis in electronic packages. MATEC Web of Conferences, 182, 02015. https://doi.org/10.1051/MATECCONF/201818202015

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The latest news

EIT News

How to Become a Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineering is vast, and if you were from a career perspective to box it in, it won’t be an easy task. Prospective careers for qualified mechanical engineers include work... Read more
Global employment megatrends highlight opportunities for engineers

Global employment megatrends highlight opportunities for engineers

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia (CSIRO) identified key megatrends shaping our lives for decades to come. A megatrend is seen as a long-term trend that affects... Read more
The Power of Fungi

The Power of Fungi

As food fungi are renowned for their meaty, Unami flavor. In engineering, it’s equally beefy as part of sustainability. These fungi can do a lot more than we thought. For... Read more
Made to Move: a Deep Dive into Vibration Analysis

Made to Move: a Deep Dive into Vibration Analysis

Out of all the components and areas of study, few are as unique and ultimately vital within a subsect of Mechanical Engineering as Vibration Engineering and Analysis. Photo by Thomas... Read more
EIT | Engineering Institute of Technology