Where seconds matter to your overall operation, technology and data combine to allow you to see beyond the big picture. After all, the savings and profits are in every tweak of the finer details. SpotSee’s products help you see where to apply these adjustments to maximize your efficiency, save time, and save money.
What is Vibration Monitoring?
Vibrational monitoring provides industries with a short feedback loop for mechanical equipment, goods in transit, as well as product/packaging design and research. It allows you to record the movements you are unable to see and track it with a simple sensor. Throughout the life cycle of a motor, it vibrates at a given frequency. As that motor approaches the end of its life, the vibrational frequency and amplitude tends to change in a linear way until the motor fails. Packages shipped will vibrate at a consistent frequency relative to their input frequency. Everything we touch throughout our day has a resonant or natural frequency, or a frequency that it ‘likes to shake’ at. Using a vibration monitoring system provides real time data to track unseen motion either due to small oscillations or proximity.
Why is Vibration Monitoring Important?
The feedback loop from vibrational monitoring provides insight that operators and handlers cannot gain without assistance. How many times have you walked by the same piece of equipment and heard that familiar hum that lets you know the machine is running? Have you ever noticed that hum moving up or down in pitch; faster or slower? That is the machine’s way of saying “hey, something has changed inside me.” When monitored over time these changes in frequency can reveal how a machine is aging and provide advanced warning to machine failure. Typically, an aging motor will rise in pitch until it fails. If that machine is in a loud atmosphere or perhaps has operators who run it, frequency changes may go undetected until it’s too late. Replacement parts can be days, weeks, or months away. Expedited shipping costs only add salt to the wound. Vibration monitoring helps predict eventual failure so replacement parts or service can be pre-ordered or scheduled in advance. That leaves your equipment down only for the amount of time of the repair, saving fabrication and shipping time. Further, a machine under increased stress will also change how it is vibrating. So, if an operator is pushing a piece of equipment too hard, monitoring can show you this in real time. After shipping a package, it’s more than certain that it’ll vibrate while in transit. It may be the medium frequency- low amplitude vibration of the truck while it drives down the road. Perhaps it’s the low frequency-medium amplitude vibration picking up the package or setting it down. Or it could be a low frequency-high amplitude vibration of the package falling off a shelf onto the floor, being shoved into a truck, or the worst-case scenario of an in-transit accident. Without proper monitoring and assessment, all you may know is that the packaged arrived damaged. Do you have a product that often incurs damage during shipping? Vibration monitoring can show you why. Perhaps your shipping partner is doing all they can to keep your products safe, but too many of your products are arriving damaged. Every object that has mass has a natural frequency as well as other resonant frequencies. When you knock on an object, the sound you hear is a result of the combination these frequencies. These resonances are where the object ‘likes to shake.’ These resonances are just a function of the shape and materials we use to design our products. However, if a truck, elevator, conveyor line, etc. vibrates with a resonant or natural frequency that matches your product, it can dramatically increase the amplitude at which that frequency occurs. This can cause the product to literally shake itself apart. Studying packages in transit shows us what to expect during transit as well as where our products ‘like to shake’, making tools like our tilt indicators and condition monitoring equipment extremely helpful. Changes in geometry, materials or packaging can alter resonant frequencies away from those known to cause damage.
How Does Vibration Monitoring Work?
Vibration monitoring uses sensors that convert the force of physical movement into voltage that is then translated into data. Systems extract data from the sensor and provide a response loop to the designer, operator, maintenance staff, management, etc. who then monitor and analyze the information. Once baseline data is available, future data can be cross referenced to interpret changes in vibration. Some changes in frequency are a natural part of a machine’s life cycle or are the result of an operator’s unique use of the equipment. Vibrations from truck to truck, boat to boat or plane to plane will be within a comparable range. Once you can identify these normal changes or ranges, anything outside of this norm can trigger a series of responses. There’s no need to have a bunch of replacement motors on the shelf if your machine is more than a year away from failure. Nobody wants to blame their shipping partner for a design flaw. Effectively assessing your equipment can save you money through reduced downtime and damage.
A Top Vibration Monitoring Product
OpsWatch provides a real-time feedback loop for frequencies up to 5,000 Hertz to identify changes in vibration as well as impact. Our vibration monitoring system can be configured to give audible alerts to operators when vibrations outside of the identified normal range occur. This immediate feedback allows an operator to make quick corrections before current use can cause further damage. Also, OpsWatch can communicate this feedback loop to others via condition-based data through a WiFi network. The data is analyzed and communicated back to operators, partners and designers who can make changes that will lengthen the life of your equipment and products. You can then establish best practices based on this detailed information. You can alter training programs and re-educate operators on how to better use your equipment. Vibration monitoring will enhance your preventative maintenance program, reduce unneeded replacement parts on the shelf and lessen the burden of an eventual failure. OpsWatch is available in an intrinsically safe version that limits electrical and thermal energy that ensures safe operation in hazardous areas where fumes, dust or other particulates may be of concern. Take the time to learn more about SpotSee, OpsWatch, and the full range of monitoring and impact sensors available to provide you with the information you need to be effective. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable member of our team to see how we can help.