Traditionally, machines were used until they broke down or some part needed servicing. In today’s world of complex machinery, you can monitor machine health on a regular basis, and take preventive measures before the machine or any of its parts fail.
The way in which a machine vibrates is a key indicator in detecting whether it is functioning efficiently. In case of a blockage, wear and tear of a machine part, or a breakdown in any part due to prolonged use, the vibration or sound emitted by the machine will be significantly different. This is where a vibration sensor helps to improve ROI.
Industries That Use Sensors
Machines usage is in practically every industry. Industries that use vibration monitoring sensors avidly include:
- Food and beverage
- Oil and gas
- Portable (specialized)
- Power generation
- Wind power
You can detect problems or potential problems before they can turn into full-blown breakdowns. Vibration sensors help pinpoint specific locations and parts – such as the gears, teeth, bearings, or belts – that require servicing. The sensor detects issues through fault diagnosis long before the human ear can detect them – thus the advantage to install a machine mounted vibration sensor.
Types of Sensors
Different machines function in different ways. By monitoring levels of variation, you can look at the health of different components:
|Machine Aspect Being Monitored||Type of Sensor|
|Shaft motion||Displacement sensor|
|The frequency of rotating machinery parts||Velocity sensor|
|General purpose motion sensors||Accelerometer|
Monitoring machine health and documenting can help predict when the next service is due and, in the long run, when the machine needs replacement.
Selecting a Vibration Sensor
Vibration sensors come in many variants, depending on the application.
Specific machines with set limits and standard parameters are monitored:
|Output of Measurement|
|Measuring Range||Different parameters are used for measuring the range of a sensor. For example, calculate Gs to measure acceleration, while linear velocity measures in in/sec and displacement and proximity in terms of inches. Make use of other distance measurements.|
|Frequency Range||Measured in Hertz or Hz. Measure the number of vibrations that typically occurs in a set period or cycle.|
|Accuracy||The accuracy is determined on the basis of an error percentage allowable for the complete range of measurement of a device.|
|Ambient Conditions||Here, you need to consider factors like temperature, maximum vibration, and shock levels that can be handled by the sensors. It represents the maximum abuse a device can withstand before it breaks down. This is in contrast to the amount of acceleration or vibration that sensors can accurately calculate or measure.|
|Transverse Sensitivity||A force that’s orthogonal to a measured range has a direct impact on the readings taken. Impact measured represents a percentage denoting allowable interference without any scale restrictions.|
Let’s examine what this will mean for different industries:
- Vibration and frequency range – For example, in the case of the wind power industry, turbines rotate very slowly. It requires a sensor that detects a low frequency of about 1Hz or less. On the other hand, the oil and gas industry utilizes turbines that rotate at much higher speeds; a vibration sensor that detects high frequencies to the tune of 10Hz to 10KHz.
- Temperature range – Paper industries and the like will require the sensors to be temperature-resistant in addition to being fluid-resistant.
- Corrosive or combustible environments – Preventing exposure to toxic chemicals is a primary concern at hazardous sites such as in the metalworking and mining industries. Most sites contain a variety of chemical substances in gaseous, liquid, or solid form. These substances can enter the unprotected body by inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, or through a puncture wound (injection). You can use vibration sensors to get measurements in dangerous and hard-to-reach spots. Receive graded alarms. Increase up-time. Similarly, in the food and beverage industry one will require that the machine-mounted sensor is liquid-resistant and able to withstand frequent washing.
- Electromagnetic or acoustic fields –Oil and gas and other power generating industries involve Radio Frequency Interference (RFI); hence, the vibration sensor needs RFI shielding.
- Electrostatic discharge – This can occur in certain manufacturers of microchips, integrated circuits, and other electronic devices; thus, ESD shielding is a requirement for sensors.
- Size and weight of the sensor – In addition to being able to withstand various environments, vibration sensors need to be the right size and weight when mounted on a machine. If they’re too big, the sensor may not capture accurate data. On the other hand, small sensor data may not be relevant to the device monitored. For example, food and beverage, wind power, and other portable machines require sensors that are compact and small in size for easy installation.
Examples of Vibration Sensors
- The Minisense 100 is a simple cantilever type of vibration sensor, economically priced and suited to
sense continuous vibration and sudden collisions in vehicle motion sensing devices, anti-theft units, monitoring vital signs, washing machine load imbalance, and detection of tampering.
- ADIS16223 Tri-Axial Digital Vibration Sensor: The ADIS16223 iSensor is a tri-axial, digital vibration sensor system that combines industry-leading sensing technology with signal processing, data-capture, and a convenient serial peripheral interface (SPI). It offers a digital temperature sensor, digital power supply measurements, and peak output capture with trigger options to meet the needs of many different applications.
- Midé Technology Volture Piezoelectric Energy Harvester: The Volture Piezoelectric Energy Harvester uses mechanical vibration to consumable electrical energy, ensuring effective electrical insulation and power wireless sensors, while also working as a defense system to combat humidity and other harsh contaminants. It is used sensors for Wireless HVAC, mobile asset tracking, industrial health monitoring network, battery, hard-wired power replacement, tire pressure measurement, condition-based maintenance, vehicle sensors, and oil and gas device monitoring. To apply the Volture, vibration characterization is essential. An accelerometer captures data and performs a Fast Fourier Transform (FFF) and derives applicable frequency details.
To utilize the vibration sensor to its highest potential you must install equipment and follow instructions pertinent to that specific sensor on the said machine.
Machine Saver Inc. provides you with the next generation solution in machine protection. We also offer supplementary services to help you monitor and read your machine’s vibrations accurately. Improve your machine up-time, improve plant reliability, and reduce overall maintenance cost. Call one of our executives on 1-832-471-8145 for more information.
What to Look for When Buying a Vibration Sensor | Machine Saver – Houston, TX