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BeltFaults
Beltdrivescancausemanystrangelookingspectra.
Toanalyzeandtroubleshootbeltdrivesitis
imperativetohaveahighresolutionanalyzer.Iuse
onewith3200linesofFFT.Tothosestillusing400
linesthatmightseemlikeoverkill.Thispaper,
though,willshowthenecessityofhighresolution
whentroubleshootingmanyvibrationproblems.

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Beltandsheaveproblemscancomeinmanyforms.Abadbeltseamora
dishedbelt,outofroundsheavesoneitherthedriverordrivenshaftorboth,
angularmisalignmentofthesheaves,axialmisalignmentofthesheavesand
anycombinationofanyoralloftheabove.Whenfacedwithwhatappearsto
beabeltproblem,realignthesheavesaxiallyandangularly,thentakeyour
readingsagain.Sheavealignmentisrelativelystraightforwardandastring
willoftengetyoualltheaccuracyyouneed.Therearemanyexpensivekits
onthemarketforalignmentofsheavesbutformostapplications,astringor
astraightedgewillgetyoutheaccuracyyouneedtoridyourselfofvibration
andwearproblems.

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Onceyouaresureofalignment,thenyourproblemscanbeattributedto
oneoftheotherthreecauses:badbeltoranoutofroundsheaveonthe
driverordrivenshaft.

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Thispaperlooksatthevibrationsproducedbyabadbelt.
Forourpurposes,weassumethebelthasabadseam.Thatcausesalump
onthebeltatonelocation.Wesimulatethisbywrappingapieceoftape
aroundthebeltseveraltimesproducingthelump.

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Thinkaboutwhatthisisgoingtodo.Onceperrevolutionofthebelt,this
lumpisgoingtogooverthedrivensheave(andthedriverbutwearent
measuringthedriver.)Theriseofthebeltisgoingtoincreasebelttension
andputaharddownwardforceonthedrivensheave.Wewouldexpect,
then,tofindvibrationfrequencyat1Xthebeltpassfrequency.
Wecouldcalculatethebeltpassfrequencybyknowingthedrivenshaft
speedinrpm,thepitchdiameterofthedrivensheaveandthebeltlength:
BPF=pi*dia*speed/BL.But,wecanalsomeasureitandbemuchmore
accuratebyusingatachorastrobe.Wedidthisforourunitandfoundthe
BPFto577cpm.
Lookatfigure1.Remember,thesimulatorhasalotofloosenessinitthat
wenotedinthefirstpaper.So,wealwayshavetoreferbacktotheinitial
spectrumandmentallysubtractoutthespikesthatarethereundernormal
conditions.Figure1showsbothspectra.Theorangespectrumisournormal.
Theblueistheonecausedbythetapeonthebelt.

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CriticalityAnalysis

Ifyoulookcarefullyyouseethattherearetwospikesatnearlyevery
location.Anorangeandbluespikeappears.Closetoitisabluespikewithno
orangecomponent.

DefectElimination

Youcanplainlyseethatthebluespikesarenotharmonicsoftheshaftspeed
(shaftspeedismarkedwithacross.)Thetapedidsomethingbutwhat?

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Figure2
Figure2isjustthespectrumofthemachinewiththetapeonthebelt.
Thenormalspectrumhasbeenremoved.Itbecomesevenmoreclearthat
therearetwospikesclosetogetherateachlocation,aswellassomeothers
thatweretherefromthenormalcondition(rememberthatbigspikeat
7200cpmisduetoelectricalproblemswiththecheapmotorIbought.)
Figure3isthesamespectrumbutexpandedonthelowendsoweareonly
lookingat0to2600cpm.Nowitbecomesveryclearwhatisgoingon.The
cursorissettingatBPF.TheredarrowsareattheharmonicsofBPF.Ihave
markedtherotorspeedandthemotorspeedspikesforyou.Itbecomes
obviousthatthetapehasproducedaforcingfunctionwithafrequencyof
577cpm.Becauseoftheloosenessinthesimulator,thatsmallforcing
functionhasproducedeveryharmonicouttoatleastthe19thharmonic
(20X.)

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Figure4
Figure4isthespectrumoutto12Kcpmagainwiththeappropriatespikes
marked.

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Figure5
TheclassicbeltfaultisaspikeatBPF.Sincethisisasubshaftspeedspike,it
shouldbeprettyobviousthatitisabadbelt.Theexperimenttodayshows
thatitisnotalwaysthatobvious.AverysmallBPFforcingfunctioncan
resultinaverymessyspectrumonamachinewithloosenessthatleadsthe
eyeuptohigherandhigherfrequencies.Dontgettrappedbythat
deception.Alwayslookverycarefullyatsubshaftspeedspikes.
Ithinktheneedforhighresolutionbecomesobvious.Therotorspeedand
thefirstBPFharmonicwereonlyseparatedby21cpm.A400linemachine
hasaresolutionof300cpmonaoverallspectrumof120kcpm.Ona
12kcpmspectrum(likewetook)thatisstillonlyaresolutionof30cpm.A
400linemachinewouldhaveshownthatasonlyonespike.Useasmuch
resolutionasyouhave.
PublishedbypermissionfromSystemaiecInc.
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INTRODUCTIONTOMACHINE
VIBRATION
ByGlennD.White

Thepurposeofthisbookistoserveasa
referencetextforthemaintenanceengineer
andtechnicianwhoisworkingwithcondition
monitoringandpredictivemachinery
maintenancetechnology.Broadlyspeaking,
thesubjectistheprinciplesofvibrationtheory
andanalysisastheyapplytothe
determinationofmachineoperating
characteristicsanddeficiencies.Thefirst
chapterunderscorestheimportanceof
vibrationanalysisinthefieldofpredictive
maintenanceandrootcausefailureanalysis.

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