How Vibration Monitoring Prevents Downtime
Monitoring the vibration characteristics of a piece of machinery or equipment can identify any potential problems before a breakdown occurs.
This means that pro-active preventative maintenance tasks can be built into regular servicing schedules, so that breakdowns and costly downtime can be avoided.
Vibration Monitoring at Small Scale Sites
Carrying out continuous vibration monitoring needn’t be an expensive exercise. In fact, ADM Instrument Engineering stocks a low cost hand held vibration meter that can be used in the field for this very task. The Lutron VB-8206SD comes in at under $700 and features a built in SD card data logger.
This hand held vibration meter can be used to conduct regular testing on vital machinery and equipment to ensure that it is performing at its optimum level. The vibration data can be recorded onto an SD card, not supplied, which can then be downloaded onto a PC or laptop later for analysis using your preferred spreadsheet software. No special software is needed, making this a highly cost-effective vibration monitoring solution for small scale operations.
Fully Integrated Vibration Monitoring Systems
For larger scale operations, it may be more beneficial for vibration monitoring to be conducted on a continuous basis.
This is usually done by permanently installing an accelerometer onto the equipment that is to be monitored, which then sends an analogue electrical signal, usually 4-20mA or 0-10VDC to a PLC, where an alarm signal, or other action can be triggered if the vibration reading moves beyond a range that is considered to be normal for the piece of equipment in question.
ADM Instrument Engineering supplies the Monitran range of accelerometers. Monitran is a British manufacturer that started production of good quality vibration sensors in 1986. One of their specialties is accelerometers and vibration sensors. ADM Instrument Engineering has sold many Monitran vibration sensors over a number of years and have found them to be proven reliable.
Selecting a Suitable Vibration Sensor
In many instances the supplier of your machinery will be able to advise what its usual vibration characteristics are. If this is not known, then a hand held vibration monitor, such as the one mentioned above can be used to ascertain the usual vibration characteristics.
After that you need to decide how small a change in the output of the sensor you wish to detect.
For example, one model of accelerometer may have an operating range of ±80g but be available with different sensitivities. If you are using a device that has an operating range of ±80g and 100m/vg sensitivity, then at full operating range this sensor will output -8v~+8V, with a 1g change of acceleration corresponding to a 100mv change.
If this vibration sensor was only going to be used to monitor vibrations of around ±8g, then you may find that this is not enough of a change in the output. In which case it would be much better to use an accelerometer with a sensitivity of 1V. This is because the change of 1g would correspond to a change of 1V instead, making it easier to monitor.
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If you have any doubt as to what vibration sensor or accelerometer you need for your application, then do not hesitate to contact ADM Instrument Engineering on 1300 236 467. A member of our expert team will gladly answer any questions that you may have.