Database Creation, Optimization and Maintenance:
One of the first steps to achieve a world class vibration program is using computer software to develop your database. But to properly use this software, the ‘developer’ must know how to ‘create’ the machines and test points. The ‘developer’ must also be able to select the correct data analysis parameters, waveform ‘overlap’ values, frequency ranges, amount of data resolution, type of data averaging, windows, frequency filters, amplitude measures and units, and much more. This knowledge is typically obtained in technical vibration training courses. In addition, Analysts need training on how to USE the vibration software AND vibration test equipment. Without the correct vibration training, Analysts must take time to read lengthy and complicated operating and instruction manuals. One company who later selected VAI as their service provider, purchased expensive vibration test equipment and software, but became frustrated when the items arrived (the operating manuals were each 500 pages long) and shelved the material.
The following screen prints show just a few of the terms and definitions analysts must be familiar with when creating a new vibration database:
And just because your staff is able to collect and analyze vibration data does NOT mean it’s being done correctly! Please be aware that the quality of your data analysis is directly related to the quality of the data collected. If incorrect data analysis parameters are used, you can loose data, have unexpected component failures, and other challenges. The following are just a few of the problems VAI has uncovered and corrected for our clients:
- One client had the power to their vibration sensor turned off. All they were doing, for months, was collecting and analyzing the background ‘electronic’ noise within their hand held analyzer. And they wondered why their vibration levels were always low but still experiencing machine failures.
- Another client was routinely collecting data up to 20,000 Hz, but they were using magnetically attached vibration probes. They didn’t know that magnetically attached sensors only have a reliable frequency range up to ~2,000 Hz. This meant 90% of their data was of little to no value.
- One Analyst who was not sent to formal software training, became frustrated trying to setup his new database and requested reassignment. The plant then shelved the vibration test equipment and software.
- Another client had ~250 machines, divided into 32 databases, with some databases containing as few as two (2) machines, resulting is a very inefficient database.
Be aware, vibration database management doesn’t end with it’s creation. On-going maintenance is required to optimize the data analysis parameters and routes. Many clients don’t know how to, or want to do this, but it is a necessary process to achieving a world class vibration program.