What is Vibration Measurement?

Vibration measurement is a key tool in today’s fast-advancing Industrial Internet of Things-driven maintenance and reliability world. To ensure you select the best tool for your organization, it’s important to know if a given vibration sensor or industrial vibration measurement device will interface with your present and future systems, including hardware and asset management software.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) powers the interface between people, systems, and machinery. The connectivity it provides offers maintenance teams new opportunities to extend machine lifespans and increase overall efficiency.

For instance, with remote condition monitoring tools, reliability professionals can predict asset failures and receive critical machine health data instantly from anywhere. And soon, vibration analysis combined with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) will drive repair recommendations. But unlocking that future will mean maintenance teams must be prepared with the right vibration measurement tool.

vibration measurement data helps analyze and determine the cause of the machine fault
3563 Analysis Vibration Sensor Software Data

Which Vibration Measurement Tool Should I Use and Why?

Vibration measurement tools all have the same purpose: to identify and solve machine vibration problems. Before deciding how to measure vibration, take a hard look at where your organization stands in its reliability journey. Are you happy with your current maintenance practices and operations status? Do you have the connectivity and infrastructure to implement predictive maintenance (PdM) strategies or a vibration monitoring program?

A lack of resources, technical know-how, in-depth knowledge, and weak organizational backing often halt progress and lead to improper vibration measurement tool selections. Fluke Reliability offers comprehensive remote condition monitoring services, hardware, and software to get you started, keep you on track, and ensure you continue to expand.

6 Types of Vibration Measurement Tools

The following vibration measurement tools often help reliability professionals start a predictive maintenance (PdM) or remote condition monitoring program.

1. Handheld Vibration Meter Tools

Fluke 805 FC Vibration Meter

Best Usage:
A handheld vibration measurement tool like the Fluke 805 FC Vibration Meter is best when you need a highly reliable screening device that can provide repeatable, overall vibration readings. Unlike a pen, the Fluke 805 also measures specific variables, including bearing condition and temperature.

The severity scale is easy to understand and displays simple texts (Good, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, Unacceptable) to indicate bearing condition and overall vibration. The vibration measurement device reads a wide range of low and high frequencies, and the data is accessible from anywhere via a smart device such as a laptop or mobile phone.

2. Portable Vibration Tester Tools

A portable vibration tester is vital for vibration measurement so your team can analyze and diagnose machine faults.
Fluke 810 Vibration Tester

Best Usage:
A portable vibration tester is the best tool for maintenance organizations with enough resources to collect route-based data. These handheld vibration tools are a strong option when critical machines can be safely and easily reached by a technician. And while both handheld vibration testers and vibration analyzers can capture vibration data and diagnose machine faults, they do have different capabilities.

For example, the Fluke 810 Vibration Tester uses an analytics engine to diagnose machine issues and provides onsite vibration analysis on one screen. It captures a narrow data window.

3. Handheld Vibration Analyzer Tools

The VibXpert II is a vibration analyzer that also lets your team conduct vibration measurement.
VIBXpert II by PRUFTECHNIK

Like vibration testers, a portable vibration analyzer can provide users with immediate vibration measurement information about machinery health, including motors, fans, and blowers. Both can identify the four most common faults: imbalance, misalignment, looseness, bearing damage. They can also often tell you the fault location and severity.

However, unlike vibration testers, a handheld vibration analyzer tool such as the VIBXpert II by Prüftechnik can collect almost any type of vibration measurement data. These vibration measurement tools also can help teams correct machine imbalance and connect to multiple types of sensors. However, because of their sophistication, vibration analyzers often need an expert to interpret the detailed data.

4. Wireless Screening Vibration Sensor

Best Usage:
A wireless vibration screening sensor such as the Fluke 3562 works best if you have many semi-critical machines. Rather than tell you what’s wrong, a screening vibration sensor simply measures vibration and indicates if your machinery is operating correctly or poorly. If the sensor detects an issue, a reliability professional can decide whether to investigate further or not, depending on the machine’s history.

A screening vibration monitoring sensor works best for vibration measurement of hundreds of semi-critical machines.
Fluke 3562 Screening Vibration Monitoring Sensor

What Does a Wireless Screening Vibration Sensor Do?

Screening vibration sensors collect real-time vibration data continuously and send an alarm notification when vibration measurements exceed a certain threshold. They’re extremely helpful for vibration monitoring of machinery in hard-to-reach areas that can’t easily be checked with handheld vibration measurement tools. Because the Fluke 3562 Screening Vibration Sensor is batteryless, there’s no need to constantly worry about changing it.

5. Wireless Vibration Analysis Sensor

Best Usage:
A wireless vibration analysis sensor is best if your organization has dozens of critical machines. When a critical asset fails, it can shut down production and even harm other machines. These wireless vibration sensors alert you of a machine fault quickly (imbalance, misalignment, bearing damage, looseness) and show the severity of the problem so maintenance teams can act to prevent failure.

a wireless vibration sensor performs condition monitoring
Fluke 3563 Analysis Vibration Sensor

What Does a Wireless Vibration Analysis Sensor Do?

Wireless vibration sensors like the Fluke 3563 Analysis Vibration Sensor track machine performance and have a powerful piezo sensor that allows deep analysis of vibration measurements. The data provides reliability professionals with immediate insight into production-critical machinery problems. Quick results give maintenance teams enough time to make informed decisions before machines fail.

6. Wired Vibration Monitoring System

Best Usage:
A wired vibration monitoring system is best for condition monitoring of production-critical machines. For example, the VIBGUARD IIoT from Prüftechnik can monitor turbine generators, paper machines, high-speed spindles, and multiple drive machines. These advanced vibration measurement tools provide complete vibration analysis for complex machines.

A vibration monitoring system provides detailed vibration analysis on complex machinery such as turbines
VIBGUARD IIoT by PRUFTECHNIK

What Does a Wired Vibration Monitoring System Do?

A wired vibration monitoring system captures large amounts of high-resolution vibration measurement data. It allows vibration analysis for a vast range of machinery faults, resonances, processes, and structures and enables predictive maintenance.

Helpful Tips for Choosing a Vibration Measurement Tool

  • Think about the machinery problems you want to solve first and why. Carefully review your most costly maintenance problems. Which of your machines fail constantly, what caused the problem, and how did it impact production?
  • Take advantage of a manufacturer’s pilot program if they offer one. A trial lets your organization test drive a vibration measurement tool before buying it. Depending on the vendor, the organization also receives expert support to ensure proper pilot setup and success better. For example, Fluke Reliability offers extensive training and remote condition monitoring services.
  • Perform an asset criticality analysis (ACA) to ensure your vibration measurements are focused on the right machinery. An asset criticality assessment uses data to accurately identify the actual business value of your most essential assets and remove biases. Organization stakeholders use agreed-upon criteria to assess, classify, and rank assets and group them as production critical, semi-critical, and less critical.

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