Fluke Corporation has made available at its Website a glossary of the key vibration terms that those involved in equipment maintenance and vibration diagnosis may encounter when evaluating machine vibration.
In the world of mechanical maintenance, vibration remains one of the earliest indicators of a machine's health and the effects of vibration can be severe. Unchecked machine vibration can accelerate rates of wear (i.e. reduce bearing life), damage equipment, create noise, cause safety problems and lead to degradation in plant working conditions. Vibration can cause machinery to consume excessive power and may damage product quality. In the worst cases, vibration can damage equipment so severely as to knock it out of service and halt plant production.
Of course, vibration is not always a problem. In some tasks, vibration is essential. Machines such as oscillating sanders and vibratory tumblers use vibration to remove materials and finish surfaces. Vibratory feeders use vibration to move materials. In construction, vibrators are used to help concrete settle into forms and compact fill materials. Vibratory rollers help compress asphalt used in highway paving. In other cases vibration is inherent in machine design. For instance, some vibration is almost unavoidable in the operation of reciprocating pumps and compressors, internal combustion engines and gear drives. In a well engineered, well maintained machine, such vibration should be no cause for concern
There is also a positive aspect to machine vibration. Measured and analyzed correctly, vibration can be used in a preventive maintenance program as an indicator of machine condition, and help guide the plant maintenance professional to take remedial action before disaster strikes.
Consequently, knowing the basic terminology of machine vibration and analysis is essential for anyone who is part of a preventive maintenance program or plant maintenance team.
Fluke’s “Glossary of Vibration Terms” can be viewed at fluke.com/.