Accelerometers are electromechanical components that can detect accelerating forces. They are critical in detecting dynamic machine vibrations, but can also measure static forces such as gravity.
Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity in any axis of measurement. With the use of accelerometers, we can better understand the motion of an object, its mechanical health, its tilt direction and stability.
Accelerometers – Best Practices
Machine Saver uses the most advanced accelerometers in the industry with multiple axes of measurement. A three-dimensional sensor is able to measure all lateral and vertical movements with the possibility of a positioning element for 3D.
3D is not very useful in machines, but being able to monitor all lateral and vertical movements is critical to accurately sensing machine vibrations. With that in mind, there are some best practices to observe when installing and using sensors:
Connecting an Accelerometer
For the most part, connecting an accelerometer is a rather straight-forward process. The device needs both power and communication outputs as described by the manufacturer.
The accelerometer should have a functional communication interface of either analog, digital, or pulse-width modulated type.
When connecting an accelerometer with an analogue interface, use an ADC on the microcontroller to read the output value, which is usually in the form of varying voltage.
With digital accelerometers, SPI and I2C protocols should be implemented for communication. Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) accelerometers have square waves as the output, with the acceleration being determined by differences in the duty cycle.
Notably, analogue accelerometers are considerably cheaper than other types of accelerometers.
Do not connect your devices to high power sources as their power requirements are minimal. The typical requirement ranges from several milli-amp with a supply voltage of about 5V.
However, power consumption varies across applications or setting such as power saving mode or normal operation. When mounting on a machine, match the right setting with the intended application.
Selecting an Accelerometer
For consistency, always use the same accelerometer type for a particular measurement. It is, therefore, very important to choose the correct device for the intended application.
For instance, mounting them on light machinery can cause distortions and vibrations.
Ensure your accelerometer is mounted on the same location in a machine for consistent readings. Furthermore, vibration sensors should be mounted in rigid positions since unstable surfaces cause distortion of the readings.
The suggested sensor weight is less than 10% of the vibrating machine.
Sensors need to be as far from distortions as possible. Therefore, mount your accelerometer as close to the bearings as possible.
Bearings located where movement is most intense provides an ideal location for mounting your sensors.
Vibration sensors are not delicate, but if not installed correctly, they are prone to possible damage.
- Place them carefully to avoid damage during installation
- Place far from strong magnetism
On the same note, be safe and avoid injury while taking measurements. Watch out for naked wires to avoid electrical shock.
Accelerometers should be fastened securely and maintained in that position. It is common to obtain incorrect readings if a device is not secured and having identical vibrations as the monitoring machine.
Vibration sensors protect your machine from catastrophic failures and unnecessary downtime.
In conclusion, accelerometers are very sensitive devices that can measure even the slightest vibration patterns. This article has looked at how to properly install and use your accelerometers for vibration testing.
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Vibration Sensoring Using an Accelerometer Device | Machine Saver, Inc. – Houston, TX