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Vibration analyser needs no history

03 March, 2010

Fluke has introduced a handheld vibration tester which, it says, uses a new approach to provide rapid, on-the-spot diagnoses of mechanical problems in equipment such as motors, fans, belts, chain drives, gearboxes, couplings, pumps and compressors. The Fluke 810 tester (below) can diagnose problems such as imbalance, looseness, misalignment and bearing failures, without needing a history of previous measurements.

Usually, vibration analysers for condition-based monitoring or predictive maintenance, compare a machine’s condition over time to a previously established baseline condition to evaluate its current condition and estimate its remaining operating life. These analysers often need special training and investment.

By contrast, the new tester identifies faults by comparing vibration data to an extensive set of rules developed over years of field experience. It determines fault severity by simulating a fault-free condition and establishing a baseline for instant comparison with the collected data. This means that every measurement is compared to a “like new” machine and helps maintenance personnel to understand the root cause of equipment conditions and to address critical problems first.

In use, a tri-axial accelerometer is placed on the machine being tested, and fixed either magnetically or using adhesive mounting pads. As the machine runs, the accelerometer detects its vibration along three planes of movement and transmits that information to the tester.

When it detects a fault, the tester identifies the problem and produced a plain-text diagnosis. It rates the problem`s severity on a four-level scale and recommends repairs. Context-sensitive help menus provide real-time guidance and tips.

PC software supplied with the tester allows vibration spectra to be viewed in detail, and generates diagnostic reports as PDFs. It can also be used to transfer machine setup data.

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