vibration monitoring

Vibration monitoring in a compressor is very critical to its continued performance. Of all the components of a compressor, the screw element or the air-end plays the most important role.

Read on to learn more!

Being where actual compression takes place, it is also the most likely contributor to machine casing vibrations. A rotary screw air compressor supplies a steady air flow with minimal vibration and only light maintenance throughout its lifetime.

Usually, they can work for up to 40,000 hours, but if not properly maintained, they can become less reliable.

machine casing vibration, vibration monitoring

4 Most Important Checkpoints

The four most important checkpoints include:

  • Overheating
  • Vibrations
  • Contamination
  • Dirty fluid

There should to be an effort to inspect the air-end regularly to prevent any issues before they occur. All the four aspects mentioned above contribute to the overall heating and vibration pattern of the compressor.

For instance, overheating may occur even though the air-end is built to withstand system temperature. Check the temperature regularly just in case some fault in the internal components causes too much heating.

machine casing vibration, vibration monitoring

Lubrication and Corrosion

Lubrication is a key factor to watch out for. Friction is an enemy to the moving parts since it can cause excessive heat. Friction can also cause machine case vibrations and set off a chain of related problems.

Closely related is corrosion, caused by wearing of parts, largely because of poor lubrication and poor draining of the air-end.

When machine parts are corroded, they no longer have the correct tolerance and this can cause instability and vibrations. As a remedy, parts should be regularly drained and lubricated.


Parts should be regularly drained and lubricated.


Excessive Operating Pressure

Excessive operating pressure happens if the compressor exerts too much pressure during routine operation. Commonly caused by grinding due to poor lubrication, this again leads to overheating.

It could also be caused by improper adjustment of the controls. As such, control settings should be a daily maintenance tracking target.

Unusual Vibration Patterns

Machine case vibrations are caused by unusual vibration patterns of the air compressor. This is the clearest indicator of excessive strain. When detected, the machine should be shut down and inspected.

This goes hand-in-hand with bearing noises, which are also a red flag to a broken system. Bearing noises are caused by worn out bearings in the rotary screw compressor air-end. The most likely cause for failing bearings is poor lubrication, leaks and instabilities that lead to vibrations


Bearing noises are a red flag of a broken system.


Vibration Monitoring Can Help

machine casing vibration, vibration monitoring

Having a dependable vibration monitoring system in place saves you a lot of trouble. High frequency accelerometers can proactively detect faults from vibration machine casing patterns.

All types of rotary screw compressors are known to cause problems to maintenance professionals.

As such, any accelerometers used for predictive maintenance must have a wide range of vibration detection frequency and discern the different issues from rotor mesh, oil injection problems, and bearings instability.

How to Mount Vibration Sensors

Vibration detectors should be mounted on the casing close to the radial bearings. Preventive maintenance programs can help improve system efficiency, reduce downtime, and avoid catastrophic failures.

Nonetheless, check the drains on a weekly basis and take readings on the compressor, motor and gearbox. Your settings should also be checked and recalibrated to remain consistent with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Get Vibration Monitoring Solutions from Machine Saver, Inc.

Machine Saver’s vibration sensors are high-quality and top of the line. You can count on our products to help you save money, time, and worry.

With vibration sensors, you can finally run your business more efficiently and at a more affordable cost. Contact us today at 1-832-471-8761 to learn how we can assist you.

machine casing vibration, vibration monitoring

How to Detect Excessive Machine Casing Vibration and/or Temperature Before It’s Too Late | Machine Saver, Inc. – Houston, TX