How Does a Vibration Monitoring System Work?

What Is Vibration Condition Monitoring?

Vibration monitoring is a technique that uses speed sensors to measure and analyze vibration levels, which are characterized by variations in amplitude, intensity, and frequency, to identify defects. These sensors detect the rotation and magnetic fields of the machines and analyze the resulting data to detect any unusual vibration patterns or frequencies that may indicate potential issues. By monitoring machine vibrations, it is possible to optimize their performance and prolong their lifespan. 

In simple terms, a vibration condition monitoring system is a tool used to monitor the health of rotating machines like engines, shafts, etc. by measuring their vibration patterns. By detecting any changes in these vibrations, the system can alert operators or maintenance personnel about potential problems before they become serious.

The Importance of Vibration Condition Monitoring

  • Analyzing Vibration Data To Detect Issues
    By analyzing the vibration monitoring data, it is possible to detect patterns that may indicate potential issues with the machinery. This can help identify problems early before they escalate and result in machine failure.
  • Detecting mechanically Specific Defects
    This approach is particularly effective in detecting mechanical defects such as misalignment, friction, and bearing wear
  • Especially Used For Rotating Machinery
    Vibration monitoring is essential in industries such as marine, oil & gas , where rotating machinery like engines, gearboxes, motors, bearings, and shafts are used. By monitoring the vibration levels of the machinery, it helps ensure that the equipment is operating as intended.
  • Part of a Predictive Maintenance Strategy
    This technique is a key tool in predictive maintenance, where maintenance activities are scheduled based on the results of the vibration analysis. By addressing potential issues before they become significant problems, this strategy can help lower maintenance costs and extend the life of the equipment.

A Typical Process of How Vibration Monitoring is Carried Out In The Industry

Step 1: Determine the Expected Vibration Profile
Creating a model of the equipment’s expected vibration profile based on its design and specifications enables you to identify and distinguish normal vibrations from abnormal ones.

Step 2: Establish a Benchmark
Having a benchmark vibration profile is crucial to detecting changes in the equipment’s behavior over time and identifying potential problems before they lead to equipment failure.

Step 3: Convert the Analog Signal to Digital
Converting the analog vibration signal into a digital format is necessary for processing and analyzing the data accurately.

Step 4: Convert Time Domain to Frequency Domain
By using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm to convert the time domain signal to a frequency domain signal, you can identify frequency spikes that correspond to specific physical characteristics of the equipment.

Step 5: Analyze Harmonic Frequencies
Analyzing the harmonic frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental frequency can provide insights into issues related to the rotation of the equipment’s components.

Step 6: Time-Waveform Analysis
Time-domain analysis provides additional insights into equipment vibration patterns, especially for low-speed applications.

Step 7: Phase Analysis
Phase analysis helps to determine the location of vibration sources in relation to the equipment’s components and can be used in conjunction with frequency and time-waveform analysis.

Step 8 : Separate Steady-state and Transient Signals
Separating steady-state signals from transient signals can help to identify patterns in the vibration data that are indicative of underlying issues.

Step 9 : Analyze Synchronous, Asynchronous, and Sub-Synchronous Frequencies
Categorizing the vibration frequencies into synchronous, asynchronous, and sub-synchronous can help to identify the root cause of the problem in the equipment.

Step 10: Evaluate Equipment Condition and Performance
Vibration analysis can provide quantitative measurements of equipment condition and performance, enabling you to detect issues such as bearing wear, misalignment, or unbalanced components that could lead to equipment failure.

The most popular method for carrying out vibration analysis involves using a variety of devices and tools such as data loggers, oscilloscopes, and accelerometers. These tools are typically used by experts to measure and analyze the vibration data from a mechanical system. The collected information is then displayed on the devices, which require interpretation by experts.

Manual monitoring of machines can be time-consuming, as it requires the constant attention of an expert to collect and interpret the data. Additionally, manual monitoring may not provide real-time analysis of the vibration data, which could result in missed opportunities to address potential issues before they become critical.

At Neptunus, The entire process is automated and presented in an easy to understand dashboard. Our innovative technique eliminates the need for a vibration monitoring expert to interpret the data and rather the results can be understood clearly.

You can read more about our Engine Condition Monitoring System based on torsional vibration that is carried by Neptunus

Vibration Condition Monitoring Using Torsional Vibration at Neptunus

Neptunus uses a vibration condition monitoring solution that is based on torsional vibration technology. This advanced technology allows us to monitor the health of machines in real-time, detecting faults at an early stage and providing sufficient time to design a maintenance schedule.

However, what sets us apart from other vibration monitoring systems in the industry are the following few key features that we offer:

  • Usage of Torsional Vibration: 
    It is highly sensitive to small variations in rotational speed or torque, providing an early indication of problems. It offers a comprehensive analysis of the entire rotational system, enabling a detailed understanding of sources of vibration and potential issues. Torsional vibration is a flexible technique that can be used in a wide range of applications and industries.
  • Simple Setup:
    Our setup requires only 1 MPU sensor as compared to 12 sensors used in other condition-based monitoring setups, resulting in savings on the initial setup cost.
  • Non-invasive Sensors
    Our setup involves a sensor with a once-in-a-lifetime calibration, i.e., unlimited life with the same accuracy, whereas for others, the setup requires the sensors to be mounted to the equipment being monitored.
  • No Prerequisite of Historical Data
    It is an in-situ solution that doesn’t require historical or baseline data to predict emerging faults.
  • Most Accurate
    The accuracy of the product has been tested and validated by the likes of Indian defense organizations such as the Indian Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and other prestigious companies in the marine, oil and gas, industrial, locomotive, and energy sectors.
  • IRS “Class Approved” System
    Our engine condition monitoring system based on torsional vibrations is the first condition monitoring system in the world to be class approved. It is “Class Approved” by IRS (Indian Register of Shipping)

Why Choose The Torsional Vibration Condition Monitoring Method Over The Traditional Linear Vibration Method?

Linear Vibration Torsional Vibration
Definition Movement or mechanical oscillation about an equilibrium position of a machine or component Changes in the relative angular displacement between two points on a rotating shaft
Sensor Lateral vibration can be measured mostly using accelerometers Torsional vibration can be monitored using a sensor such as an MPU, speed sensor, and encoder
Sensor location Very critical parameter. If the site is wrong, there will be lots of false alarms The sensor is positioned on the rotating shaft
Repeatability/ Calibration Often require sensor calibration to ensure accurate and repeatable results This technique comes with a sensor with a once-in-a-lifetime calibration. i.e., unlimited life with the same accuracy
Summary The measurement of lateral vibrations is an indirect measurement of the forces on the component that could fail. The measurement of torsional vibrations is a direct measurement of the forces on the component that could fail.

The vibration monitoring system is one of the most important parts of asset reliability management solutions and is used to minimize maintenance costs and reduce the risk of failure.

As vibration monitoring is used to identify faults in machines, in a similar way, we address the need for a real-time oil equipment monitoring system to deliver immediate insights into oil health, ensuring the seamless operation of your assets.