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DoctorKnow® Application Paper

Title: Advanced Troubleshooting

Source/Author: Tony Dematteo
Product: RBMware
Technology: AMS Machinery Manager
Section One



ƒ Review the concepts of Phase

Phase Review
Phase can be defined in two ways. First, phase is that part of a cycle (0o
to 360 o ) through which a particular part of a machine travels relative to
a fixed reference point. Second, phase refers to the location in degrees
that marks a machine's high vibration peak and its frequency relative to
a fixed reference mark on a rotating component of the machine. This
second type of phase is also known as synchronous phase.
Phase varies with the monitored frequency. For machinery diagnostic
work, synchronous phase refers to 1xTS or any harmonic of turning
speed. CSI measures phase counter to the rotation of the shaft
Specific Fault Types
In the following examples, the use of phase to analyze faults is

Use Phase to confirm unbalance. Static Unbalance shows a zero degree
phase shift across the rotor radial to radial or horizontal to horizontal and
a 90 o (within 20 o ) phase shift from vertical to horizontal at the same
bearing location. Dynamic unbalance shows a phase shift across the
rotor radial to radial or horizontal to horizontal that is related to the heavy
spots on each end of the rotor. If the heavy spots are 180 o out of phase
on each end, then the phase measurements will also be 180 o out of
Reactionary Forces

Use phase to find problems that look like unbalance but are really caused by
something else. In the following example, the predominant frequency is turning
speed of the large pulley. Comparative horizontal to vertical phase readings
indicates a zero or 180o phase shift from horizontal to vertical. It looks like unbalance
but it' s really an eccentric sheave -- a well balanced, eccentric sheave. An orbit of
this data would indicate an elliptical shape in line with the drive belt.

Angular misalignment will typically show a 180 o (within 30 o ) phase shift across the
coupling in the axial direction. Parallel misalignment will tend to show a 180 o (within
30 o ) phase shift across the coupling in a radial direction. Phase measurements,
made on all bearings in the horizontal, vertical and axial directions will confirm the
misalignment type.

Looseness and Soft Foot

Phase reading with looseness will be erratic from point to point around the machine
train. A soft or loose component usually shows a phase shift between the tight and
loose joints. Often this shift will be greater than 90 o and as much as 180 o . To
identify the source of looseness on a machine, measure phase across all bolted or
welded joints. When the phase shifts, the looseness has been found. For soft foot,
measure phase across the bolted joint and compare to the other machine feet.

Through resonance, phase shifts 180 o . At resonance, a 90 o phase shift will be

present. A Bode plot of coast-down data is an excellent test to verify resonance. As
the amplitude peaks, the phase shifts 180 o

Bent Shafts/Bearing Twist

Phase can easily identify a shaft bent through its bearing or a self aligning bearing
where the outer race and housing are not perpendicular with the shaft. To test for
this condition, take phase measurements around the face of the bearing. If the
phase is steady (within 30 o ) the bearing is not twisting. If the phase is constantly
changing at each position measured, it is an indication of twist in the bearing or bend
in the shaft through the bearing.
Operational Deflection Shapes

Operational deflection shapes (ODS) use phase and magnitude data to animate the
motions of machines and structures during normal operation.

Modal Analysis

The transfer function response to a known input force is used to animate the shapes
of machines and structures at its natural frequencies.

Section Two

Phase and Magnitude Collection Techniques


ƒ Review four different ways of making Phase and

Magnitude measurements using a 2120

Phase and Magnitude Measurements

A vibration sensor gives magnitude and frequency information. When
phase data is also measured the vibration direction is known.

Phase is the position of a part (at any instant) with respect to a fixed

Phase can be defined in two ways. First, phase is that part of a cycle (0°
to 360 ° ) through which a particular part of a machine travels relative to
a fixed reference point. Second, phase refers to the location in degrees
that marks a machine's high vibration peak and its frequency relative to
a fixed reference mark on a rotating component of the machine. This
second type of phase is also known as synchronous phase.

If you've ever given your car's engine a tune-up with a strobe light, you
have used phase. During an engine tune-up, a strobe light is used to
freeze the image of the flywheel so that the position of a mark, scribed
on the flywheel, is viewed and compared to a fixed gauge on the engine
block. That's phase!

In vibration analysis, phase describes the direction of vibration. Many

vibration problems have similar frequency patterns. For example, a high
axial vibration at turning speed may be an indication of coupling
misalignment, unbalance on an overhung rotor, a bent shaft or a
misaligned bearing.

Phase analysis is probably the most important "tool" that an

analyst has to confirm defects suggested by spectra and waveform

A phase analysis job consists of a collection of phase and magnitude

values from points on a machine. The phase relationship, between
points on a machine, identifies specific defect types such as
misalignment, unbalance, looseness, bending and weakness. Once the
data has been collected, it must be analyzed. Operational Deflection
Shape testing (ODS) simplifies the analysis of phase and magnitude
data through software animation.

This chapter describes four different methods of measuring phase and

magnitude data for the purpose of ODS testing. The four methods
include two single channel techniques that can be done with any CSI
21xx analyzer and two, dual channel techniques that require a CSI
2120-2 analyzer.

1. Monitor Peak/Phase
This method is part of the Analyze functions on all 21xx analyzers. It is a
single channel technique that requires a tachometer trigger signal and
one vibration sensor. The figures below show the set-up screens for the
monitor peak/phase measurement.

On the analyzer, press ANALYZE, MONITOR then MONITOR

PEAK/PHASE . Set the order of rotation to monitor, bandwidth and
active channel. Press ENTER to begin the measurement.

Measurements are made during normal machine operation. The

tachometer reflects light off a piece of reflective tape placed on a rotating
shaft. Magnitude and phase are measured at any synchronous

Phase is the angle measured between the tape, as it passes in front of the
tachometer and the high spot on the rotor.
Move the sensor to each measurement point and direction. Press CLEAR to begin
the measurement. The 21xx analyzer display shows the speed of the machine,
magnitude and phase at the triggered synchronous frequency.

As the sensor is moved from point to point on the machine, the phase and
magnitude data must be written down since there is no way of storing the values. A
typical phase analysis data sheet includes phase and magnitude values at each
position measured. A table is needed for each synchronous frequency measured.
On ODS jobs where many points are measured on the machine and structure, the
points can be recorded as numbers and directions such as 1X , 1Y, 1Z, 2X, 2Y etc.

An alternative method of recording phase and magnitude data is to use a bubble

diagram. An example is shown below.
Monitor Peak/Phase Summary
Method Type: Single Channel

Analyzer Model: 21xx

Firmware: Standard – Data collector Program

Sensors: one required

Tachometer: one required


ƒ Measurements can be made with any 21xx analyzer

ƒ Monitor Peak/Phase is a standard feature of the analyzer


ƒ Tachometer required
ƒ Limited to synchronous frequencies
ƒ Manual data recording (can't save data)
ƒ Manual (typed) input in ME'scope for ODS

2. MasterTrend or AMS Suite: Machinery Health Manager Route

This method uses a route database with analysis parameters configured

to measure phase and magnitude. Like method #1, this is a single
channel collection technique requiring a tachometer signal and vibration
sensor. The method is limited to synchronous frequencies. The
collection points are predefined in a route. After measuring the points,
the data is downloaded to MasterTrend or AMS Machinery Manager and
imported directly into ME'scope ODS software.

This method of collecting phase and magnitude data is useful when

ODS measurements will be made several times on a particular type of

In order to automatically transfer MasterTrend or AMS Machinery

Manager databases to the ODS software, measurement point
descriptions must be defined in a specific format. CSI provides template
databases that are already configured for certain machine types. If your
ODS software was purchased through CSI, a floppy disk was provided
containing MT or AMS Machinery Manager templates.

In a MT or AMS Machinery Manager database, the point ID's (limited to

three characters) identify the measurement point number and direction.
For example, 01H identifies measurement position 01 in the horizontal
direction. Do not use ID's like MOH. Use point numbers followed by
directions. Each point on the machine must have a unique measurement
point ID. Some examples of acceptable measurement point ID's are:







Machine coordinate directions H, V and A can be used, although it is

recommended to use X, Y and Z coordinates for point directions.
In a ODS route, the point description field is the most important field and insures
proper transfer of MT or AMS Machinery Manager data to the ODS software.
Measurement point descriptions must have the following format:

DOF = degree of freedom

A = A minus sign (-) if the sensor was inverted

B = the measurement point number (01 or 001...999)

C = the measurement direction (H, V, A or X, Y, Z)

d = any text description of the point (optional field)

A few examples of point descriptions follow:

DOF[01H] Motor Outboard (right) Horizontal

DOF[-04H] Motor Inboard (left) Horizontal

DOF[010X] Pump Outboard Axial

DOF[-007X] Pump Inboard Horizontal

An example of the MasterTrend Database, measurement point set-up screen is

shown below. The first eight points in the route are shown.

Notice the minus sign in front of some of the point descriptions signifying an
inversion of the sensor. Think about measuring horizontal points along the left side
of a I-beam frame under a machine. To measure the horizontal points on the right
side of the frame, it is necessary to invert the sensor (i.e. the sensor is turned 180
degrees). The negative sign infers the sensor rotation. Since this is a route program,
the sensor directions must be considered in advance of the measurements.

In the figure above, the analysis parameter set and alarm limit set numbers refer to
the specific set configurations for measuring phase and magnitude data. A special
analysis parameter set must be developed which contains the parameters for
measuring phase and magnitude at each order of rotation of interest. An example
parameter set is shown below.

The spectrum parameters tab of the parameter set identifies that Fmax, lines of
resolution and number of averages.

The next page of the parameter set lists the twelve parameter slots available. Not all
of the parameter slots need to be used. Peak and Phase are two separate
parameters that must be defined for each order of rotation of interest. If the only
interest is phase and magnitude at one times turning speed then only two of the
twelve parameter slots are needed. If interested in data at 2x and 3x rotating speed
then additional pairs of parameters are needed. A total of six orders of rotation can
be configures in one parameter set. Cross channel phase cannot be configured in a
MT or AMS Machinery Manager route.

The screen shown below is an example of a route parameter set to collect peak and
phase data at the first six orders of rotation. The parameter units type controls the
measurement units (acceleration, velocity or displacement). Peak or Phase
parameter types is selected in the "type of parameter column" ;. The last two
columns on the right define the order of rotation and measurement bandwidth.
The "Units Type" is selectable from a drop-down menu. Choose a parameter type of
"N-rpm-A" for measuring the amplitude at peak and "N-rpm-P for measuring the
phase at peak. The "Low Freq" column contains a number indicating the order of
rotation and the "High Freq" column is the bandwidth around the peak. A bandwidth
of 0.1 means that the filter around the peak has a width that is equal to 10% times
the frequency of the order. For example, if 1x=1790 cpm is specified with a
bandwidth of .1, the filter width would be 10% of 1790 or 179 cpm. The bandwidth is
adjustable between .02 - 1.0 and is used to exclude other vibrations close to shaft
turning speed.

Alarms are not needed for ODS testing, however an alarm set number is required.
To deactivated the alarms in a set used for ODS testing, change all numerical entry
fields to zero.

MT and AMS Machinery Manager Summary

Method Type: Single Channel

Analyzer Model: 21xx (2120 for AMS Machinery Manager)

Firmware: Standard – Data collector Program

Sensors: one required

Tachometer: one required


ƒ Measurements made with predefined routes

ƒ Measurements with 21xx analyzers
ƒ Data stored and downloaded
ƒ Automatic transfer to ODS program


ƒ Tachometer required
ƒ Limited to synchronous frequencies

3. Cross Phase (standard feature of 2120-2)

This method requires the CSI 2120-2 (dual channel analyzer) and two
accelerometers. The benefit of using cross phase is that no tachometer
or reflective tape is needed. Phase is measured between the two

A phase study is made by leaving one accelerometer at a fixed position

on the machine while the second accelerometer is moved to other
positions and directions. The position and direction of the fixed
accelerometer is arbitrary. It is recommended to use channel "A" as the
fixed sensor. Phase is measured relative to the fixed and roving sensors.
The figure below shows an example of a cross-phase measurement set-

Cross phase is a standard feature of the 2120-2 analyzer and is found

under the "ANALYZE" function button. The item labeled "CROSS
PHASE" is active on the 2120-2 analyzer when both channels are
enabled in the UTILITY FUNCTIONS menu.

Two cross phase measurement modes are available: SINGLE FREQUENCY

MONITOR and FULL PLOT ACQUIRE . In both modes, the data must be written
down in a table or on a bubble diagram as the measurement cannot be saved to
analyzer memory.
Analyze Function Menu – to measure Cross-Phase Single Frequency

In the single frequency monitor mode, the Fmax, Frequency to monitor and lines of
resolution are entered. Any frequency may be monitored. The monitor screen shows
the cross phase between the two sensors, coherence and channel A and B
magnitudes. The channel "B" magnitude and cross phase is recorded for each
measurement point.

Cross Phase Mode – Full Plot Acquire

In the full plot acquire mode, a full plot of phase is presented. Move the cursor to
each frequency of interest and record the phase and magnitude.

Data cannot be saved using this method. All information must be written down in a
bubble diagram or table.

Cross Channel Phase (standard) Summary

Method Type: Cross Channel
Analyzer Model: 2120-2

Firmware: Standard – Data collector Program

Sensors: two required

Tachometer: none


ƒ Standard feature of the 2120-2 analyzer

ƒ No tachometer required
ƒ Phase at any frequency


ƒ Manual record keeping

ƒ Manual input to ODS software

4. Advanced 2-channel DLP Cross-Phase

A DLP is additional (optional) firmware that is loaded into the 2120-2
analyzer to increase analyzer capability. DLP stands for downloadable
program. Advanced Transient, Cascade, FastBal II and Pro-Align are
other examples of the many different DLP's available for the 2120
analyzer. Each DLP enables the 2120 to do special test functions. The
Advanced 2-channel DLP enables the 2120-2 analyzer with cross
channel measurement capability. Just as in method #3, one sensor is
kept at a fixed position on the machine and the other sensor is moved to
each measurement position/direction. Unlike method #3, the completed
measurement is saved to analyzer memory. Data collected using the
Advanced 2-channel DLP is transferred to ODS or Modal Analysis

Once loaded into the 2120-2 analyzer, the Advanced 2-channel DLP is
selected by pressing the "Program Select" button on the top of the
analyzer. A list of all DLP's loaded into the analyzer will be shown.
Beginning with firmware version 7.43, the advanced 2-channel DLP
firmware has four modes of operation. One of the modes, "ODS" has
specifically configured menus for ODS measurements. The ODS mode
is a very easy to use program that makes short work of measuring large
ODS jobs.

The automated collection of cross-channel data results in a cross phase plot that is
identical to the data measured in method #3. It is not necessary to move the cursor
and read values at each frequency of interest since the entire plot can be saved. No
manual data recording is necessary.
Once collected and saved to analyzer memory, the advanced 2-channel DLP
downloads data to a CSI software program called VibPro. VibPro is a standalone
program. VibPro is a display and analyze program for the 2120 advanced transient
and advanced 2-channel DLP's.

Cross Channel Phase (standard) Summary

Method Type: Cross Channel

Analyzer Model: 2120-2

Firmware: Advanced 2-channel DLP

Sensors: two required

Tachometer: none

Other software: VibPro


ƒ No tachometer required
ƒ Phase at any frequency
ƒ Data stored and downloaded
ƒ Automatic transfer of data to ODS software


ƒ Requires a 2120-2 analyzer with Advanced 2-channel DLP

In this section we have discussed four ways to measure phase and
magnitude data for ODS measurements. Of the two single channel
methods, the route based method is more automated but requires
preparation time to configure the route. Of the two dual channel
methods, the Advanced 2-channel method is more efficient and provides
automatic data transfer to the ODS software.
Section Three


ƒ Learn about Operational Deflection Shape Measurements,

analysis of ODS data and how ODS can be used as a tool to
solve complicated vibration problems.
ƒ Provide a basic overview of the four methods of acquiring
ODS data with a 2120 and 2120-2 analyzer.

What is an ODS?
An Operational Deflection Shape (ODS) is a measurement technique
used to analyze the motions of rotating equipment and structures. An
ODS is an extension of another technique that has been around for
many years called phase analysis. In an ODS, a computer generated
model of the machine comes alive with motion as the phase and
magnitude data, for each structure point is animated. ODS is a non-
intrusive test made on machines during normal operation.

The ability to measure and study ODS data is beneficial to everyone

involved in vibration measurement and analysis. A common
misconception in the predictive vibration business is that route vibration
measurements are the only data needed to analyze machine vibration
problems. Not so! Nobody ever said that an analyst must be able to
completely explain machine vibrations after collecting one piece of route
data. Think about it for a moment ¼ the route was designed to be fast
and economical. It is based on a series of assumptions about how the
data should be collected including: Fmax, lines of resolution, weighting,
averaging, and so on. Once collected, the analyst may be able to
understand the defects in the machine. On the other hand, he may not.
Additional testing could be required before a problem is understood.
ODS testing is not as quick and inexpensive as predictive vibration route
measurements. ODS can, however, lead an analyst to a thorough and
accurate diagnosis.

Uses for ODS Testing

ODS testing has many practical uses. As analysts, we spend most of our
time trying to analyze machine vibration problems by measuring only
bearing positions. Many machine vibration problems result from defects
in foundations, base plates, machine feet and other structural
components. If we were to attempt to analyze spectra and waveforms,
measured at 25, 50 or more positions on the machine, it would be a
difficult task.
An ODS animation says volumes about the source of mechanical
vibrations. A picture truly is worth a thousand words. The following list
identifies some of the used for ODS measurements.

ƒ Animate the shape of an operating and vibrating machine

ƒ Confirm fault type
ƒ Identify weak structures
ƒ Suggest resonance
ƒ Troubleshoot problem machines
ƒ Evaluate transient responses.

ODS Data Acquisition Methods

ODS testing is accomplished with a single or dual channel analyzer. The
key requirements for an ODS are phase and magnitude data. If a single
channel analyzer is used to collect ODS data, a tachometer is required
for phase data, thus limiting the frequencies that can be analyzed to
synchronous peaks.

There are four different methods of measuring phase and magnitude

data for the purpose of ODS testing. The four methods include two
single channel techniques that can be done with any 21xx analyzer and
two, dual channel techniques that require a 2120-2 analyzer. The four
methods are:

1. Monitor Peak/Phase

2. MT or AMS Machinery Manager Route

3. Standard Cross Channel Phase

4. Advanced 2-Channel DLP

General Steps in an ODS

The following list outlines the general steps in an ODS job.
1. Evaluate the machine to test
2. Choose measurement points and
coordinate axes
3. Measure data
4. Transfer data to VibPro Software
5. Export data to ME'scope ODS software
6. Draw structure in ME'scope software
7. Importdata into ME'scope software
8. Assign data to structure points
9. Animate the results
10. Create Shape table
11. Create AVI movie files of the animation
12. Analyze the animations

Section Four

ODS Case Examples


ƒ Review Case Studies

Interpreting ODS Results

After viewing the animations, the ODS results need to be interpreted. In case you
didn't know it, the picture does not talk. The ODS analysis involves studying the
views, analyzing the motions and determining what is wrong with the machine. Some
mechanical faults will be more obvious than others. For example, misalignment or
looseness between bolted joints is easily spotted. Some analysis tips are listed

ƒ Look for global motions -- where the entire machine is

moving together with no relative motion between
components. This could be a result of a machine mounted
on isolators or floor and building vibrations
ƒ Look for relative motions between bearing housings or
shafts (if shaft data was taken) -- an indication of
ƒ Look for phase lag and relative motion between bolted or
welded joints -- indicating looseness
ƒ Look for twisting of the machine base -- indicating torsional
bending modes or structural weakness
ƒ Look for bending of structural components such as I-beams
– an indication of resonance (note: ODS does not prove
ƒ Look for localized motion on machine feet or bases – an
indication of soft-foot
Being a good vibration analyst means being a good detective. Study the ODS
animation and look for clues that will help solve the problem.

Case Studies

Case 1 -- Direct Coupled Fan

Problem: A motor is direct coupled to a fan. Rotational speed is 29.8 Hertz (1788
cpm). A
vibration analysis of the machine indicated that the problem was on the motor –
possibly on the
steel base supporting the motor that bolts to the concrete. Both motor bearing
readings were over 1.0 inches/second – peak (IPS) at turning speed. The vertical
and axial
readings were less than 0.2 IPS. The fan bearing vibrations were less than 0.15 IPS.

Figure 1-1 – Motor Structure

Because of the large difference between horizontal and vertical readings on the
motor, resonance was suspected. Impact testing on the motor did not show any
natural frequencies near turning speed.

An ODS test was made on the motor bearings, motor feet, motor base, concrete
base and
concrete floor.

Figure 1-2 – As Found Vibration Data

Figure 1-3 – ODS Structure

Case 1 Results:

The ODS animation showed that there was a soft-foot condition between the steel
base and the concrete. It also indicated that the motor base was weak – flexing from
to side horizontally. The rocking motion of the base resulted in high horizontal
vibrations. The vertical vibration levels were low because center of the motor was a
point for the motion.

With the fan still in operation, each corner of the steel motor base was loosened (one
at a time) while watching for a change in vibration level. Shims were added or
as needed until the soft foot was reduced as much as possible. The outcome
resulted in a
74% reduction in vibration at the horizontal positions on the motor (see figure 1-4).
vertical and axial positions on the motor increased slightly. The motor base was not
strong enough to support the motor side-to-side. It was recommended that the steel
base be replaced before additional improvement could be gained.

Figure 1-4 – Before and After Motor Vibration Data

Case 2 -- Direct Coupled Blower

Figure 2-1 – Direct Coupled Blower

Problem: Figure 2-1 shows a new blower that was installed at a water reclamation
facility. The 1500 HP motor was direct coupled to a blower. The entire machine was
supported by an I-beam frame that was isolated from the concrete base with springs.

During installation, the machine was aligned to the manufactures specifications. The
vibration analyst at the facility believed that the machine was not properly aligned.
His readings showed high, vertical, turning speed vibration on the motor and blower
outboard bearings. The largest reading was 0.39 inches/second. The manufacturer
insisted that the machine was aligned properly and warned that changing the
alignment would void the warranty.

To reduce the vibration on the machine, the manufacturer installed a tuned absorber
on the outboard bearing of the motor (figure 2-2). A tuned absorber soaks-up
vibration at a particular frequency. The steering column in your car probably has a
tuned absorber installed inside of it to prevent the column from vibrating. The tuned
absorber installed on this machine was continuously failing due to fatigue. The flat
steel bars were replaced several times within a few months.
Figure 2-2 – Tuned Absorber on OB Motor Bearing

The analyst wanted to prove to the manufacturer that the machine was misaligned.
He decided to do an ODS test.

The ODS test was completed using a single channel CSI analyzer. Phase and
magnitude data was collected in the Analyze mode using the monitor, peak/phase
function. Measurements were made on the motor and blower bearings, steel I-beam
support and at the tops and bottoms of the isolators.

Figure 2-3 – ODSStructure

Case 2 Results:
The animation clearly showed misalignment between the motor and blower.
Weakness in the front rail at the motor outboard end is visible as well.

Is it possible that the rails are resonating in the vertical direction causing the
The ODS does not make that distinction. It would take a bump test on the rails to
confirm a resonance.

The machine has not been realigned as the manufacturer said that doing so would
void the warranty.

Case 3 -- Misaligned Boiler Feed Pump

Problem: Figure 3-1 is a boiler feed pump. The electric motor is direct coupled to a
fluid drive which is direct coupled to the feed pump. All six bearings are sleeve type.
The motor had failed three inboard bearings one year.

Figure 3-1 Boiler Feed Pump

The vibration group believed that the problem was misalignment. The spectral
patterns indicated misalignment. They couldn't convince the mechanical group, who
actually did the alignment, that the machine was misaligned.
CSI services was called in to diagnose the problem. Vibration measurements on the
bearing housings showed the first three harmonics of turning speed. The highest
levels were at 1x on the motor bearing. The values were only about .2 IPS -- not
severe levels at all. Figure 3-2 shows the data for many of the bearing positions and
figure 3-2 Bearing Housing Vibration
Shaft reading were also measured at every possible location. The shaft data
indicated severe horizontal shaft vibration at the inboard motor and inboard flywheel
positions. The shaft readings were over 1.0 IPS (almost 6 mils p-p) at the inboard
motor horizontal position. The shaft readings were up to five times higher than the
housing readings at the inboard motor position. The vertical shaft readings were
much lower. Figure 3-3 shows the shaft readings compared to the housing readings.

Figure 3-3 Bearing housing and Shaft Vibration

Figure 3-4 shows the ODS model that was constructed. Measurements were made
on the bearing hosings, shafts, machine frames and sole plate.
Figure 3-4
A heat rise study was made using a CSI 510 Infrared temperature gun and an
UltraSpec analyzer loaded with the Thermal Growth Firmware. Temperature
measurements were made on every bearing of the machine. Points were measured
from the sole plate up to the center of the bearing (figure 3-5).

The hot and cold temperature readings are listed in figure 3-6.

Figure 3-5 Temp Points

figure 3-6 Hot & Cold Thermal Growth Temperatures

Figure 3-7 Thermal Growth Results

Case 3 Results

The ODS indicated severe side to side motion of the motor and flywheel shafts -- an
indication of vertical misalignment.

The results of the heat rise study indicated that the pump and motor changed very
little in the vertical direction. The fluid drive, on the other hand, grows about 10-11
mils figure 3-7). It was determined that the wrong thermal growth compensation was
used. The flywheel alignment needed to be changed. It should be set about 10 mils
low so that the fluid drive grows into alignment with the motor and pump when the
machine heats up.

The machine was eventually realigned – but not to the recommendation given. The
spectrums of the bearing housings show a different picture before and after
alignment. Both sets of data show misalignment. The distribution of amplitude
between the first three harmonics changed as a result of the alignment. The overall
velocity did not change significantly.

Figure 3-8 Before and After Alignment Vibration

Case 4 – Misaligned Motor Generator Set – Or was it?

Problem: Figure 4-1 is a motor generator set. The machine is a motor, flywheel and
generator -- all were direct coupled. Based on the vibration spectra that were
collected and analyzed, the vibration people at the power plant believed that the
machine was misaligned. Two separate attempts at laser alignment had not resulted
in decreased vibration levels.
Figure 4-1
MG set
The vibration group at the plant did not own ODS software. They did, however, take
phase and magnitude readings on the six bearings using a 2120-2 analyzer.

CSI services first involvement on this problem was by phone. The phase and
magnitude data was sent to CSI via email. The data was entered into ME'scope
SHAPE software and animated. The animation results indicated that the machine
was misaligned. Figure 4-2 shows the ODS structure file. The motor is to the right
and the MG set is to the left. Figure 4-3 shows the shape of the machine at turning
speed (3592 rpm).

Figure 4-2
ODS Structure File
Figure 4-3
ODS Animation at 1x
Since two laser alignments had not fixed the problem, the misalignment might be
caused by something besides shaft to shaft alignment. It was believed that
weakness, looseness or twisting of the machine base was creating the misalignment
condition. A more complete ODS was scheduled. The job included phase and
magnitude measurements on the bearings, mounting feet, machine base, sole plate
and concrete floor. A total of 156 measurements were made on the machine. Every
bolted or welded joint was measured. As a result, the ODS structure was more
complex. Every fastened joint was represented and measured. Figure 4-4 shows the
ODS structure file. Figure 4-5 shows the twisting of the machine base at turning

Figure 4-4
ODS Structure File of Machine and Base
Figure 4-5
ODS Animation of Machine and Base
Case 4 Results
The animation of the phase and magnitude data showed that the machine base was
twisting. The twist was occurring between the flywheel and MG set. The motor and
flywheel were in-phase and out of phase with the MG set.
Section Five

Resonance Testing


ƒ Review the single-channel analysis tools available for

diagnosing resonance

Measuring Resonance
Resonance testing should be performed whenever vibration levels or spectral
patterns cannot be explained by forcing frequencies. When diagnosing a high
amplitude vibration problem, the analyst needs to consider the possibility of
acceptable vibration exciting a resonance and causing unacceptable levels of

Several techniques can be used to detect resonance. Most are single channel
techniques. The most common single channel resonance tests are described below.

Negative Averaging
Negative averaging is a very powerful technique that has the capability to subtract
energy from a previously collected, normally averaged spectrum. Negative averaging
is the only good way of detecting resonance on an operating machine. Negative
averaging subtracts the "noise" (as defined for the job) from two spectral
measurements. The "noise" is basically, any signal that appears in both spectrums.
For example: In the first measurement, a machine is operating normally and is also
impacted for resonance. In the second spectrum, the machine is operating normally.
The negative averaging process subtracts the two measurements -- leaving only the
data resulting from the impacts. The overall reduction of those amplitudes defined as
noise is proportional to the square root of the number of averages.

Normal Operation + Impacts - Normal Operation = Data from Impacts

To perform Negative Averaging, follow these steps:

Collect data in the acquire spectrum mode with negative averaging
selected. The analyzer will take the first data set in normal
averaging. (All data receive the same weight.) Ten averages
should be enough. During the averaging, the machine is operating
normally. In addition, impact the machine with a rubber mallet or
block of wood. If hanning weighting is used, impact the structure
several times to be certain that the impact has been properly
measured. Use 1-2 second intervals for the impact. Just be sure
the machine has enough time to "ring down" before striking again.
If uniform weighting is used, it is only necessary to impact the
structure 1-2 (or more) times during the averaging.

2120 Set-up for Negative Averaging

The first data set in normal averaging is stored in a buffer until the second data set is
subtracted from the data contained in the buffer.
At the end of the predefined number of averages, the analyzer will
stop and display the message, Begin the negative averaging
process by pressing Enter. At this time, the machine is operating
normally with no impacting. As the averaging begins, any signal
that was present in both sets of averages will begin to average out
of the spectrum. The averager will not stop until the enter button is
pressed. Continue averaging until no additional change is seen in
the spectrum. Press Enter to stop averaging. Store the final
spectrum if desired.
The above data comparison shows:
Top - Impact.
Middle - Linear Minus.
Bottom - Impact during operation.
Monitoring Peak and Phase Data (Bode Plots)
The monitor peak/phase data defines the location (in degrees) of a machine's
vibration peak with respect to a fixed reference mark on the rotor. The general
characteristics associated with monitoring peak and phase are different depending
on the data to be gathered. Within the context of this lesson, we will discuss two
types of measurements.

ƒ Monitoring Peak and Phase for Phase Analysis

ƒ Monitoring Peak and Phase during coastdown or ramp-up

Vibration alone indicates how much and what frequency a machine is vibrating.
Adding a phase measurement tells the direction of vibration. If the vibration
magnitude and direction are known, a phase analysis can be performed. Phase
analysis reveals the directions components are moving in
relation to each other. Phase also reveals information about specific mechanical
faults. For example, phase can confirm suspected unbalance or misalignment and
looseness. Resonance may be identified due to unstable phase readings,
unexplainable phase relationships, and significant phase shifts during startup or
coastdowns. To complete a phase analysis, it is necessary to measure, record and
analyze the phase and magnitude values from the monitor peak/phase screen. Data
must be measured on each bearing in the horizontal, vertical and axial planes.

If monitor peak/phase is measured during a coast-down or ramp-up, the changes in

magnitude and phase can be studied and evaluated for resonance. The steps
outlined below describe using monitor peak/phase for resonance detection.

2115/2120 Monitor Peak/Phase set-up screens

Monitor Peak/Phase Measurement and Display

The data plot below is a Bode plot. A Bode plot is a rectangular plot of peak vibration
magnitude and phase vs. speed. The data below indicates that during coastdown,
the vibration magnitude peaked out at 1134 rpm. At the same time, the phase
changed about 180 degrees through the area of amplification. This combination of
events proves, without doubt, that a resonance is present at 1134 rpm.

The phase reading should change by approximately 180o through the resonance
area. The phase reading always becomes unstable at the resonant frequency.
Phase at resonance should, however, differ by roughly 90o from measurements off
of the amplification curve.
A Nyquist plot is the same peak and phase data viewed in a polar plot format. As the
phase changes rapidly at resonance, it traces out a circle on the polar plot. Every
loop in the plot is another resonant frequency.

Bode plots (Peak and Phase vs. RPM) yield important information about resonance.
The presence of run-out or a bow in the shaft, however, can significantly alter the
appearance of the plot. Nyquist plots, on the other hand, remain unaffected by run-
out and bowed shafts. Always use Nyquist plots to confirm any conclusion based on
Bode plots.

Peak-Hold Data Collection

Peak-hold data collection retains the highest amplitude at every frequency from all
the averages acquired. It is most commonly used for coastdown data for all
frequencies when a once-per-revolution (tach) event marker is not available. You
can also use peak-hold averaging when amplitudes are unstable from sample to
Set up the Acquire Spectrum menus as shown below. The number of averages will
depend on the time it takes the machine to coast down and the configuration of the
analyzer. Three items control how long it takes the analyzer to process data. They

ƒ The frequency span of the measurement

ƒ Lines of resolution
ƒ Signal Overlap.

Without optimizing the analyzer's processing speed, the peak hold coastdown plot
could look like what is called "picket fencing". This condition is simply missed data
during the coast-down. The spectrum consists of a series of peaks rather than a
smooth trace of the coast-down.

In the Utility menu/Change set-up/Measurement Control, change the overlap from

the default value of 67% to 99 percent. This means that after the first average, the
analyzer will use 99% old data and 1% new data for every average. This results in a
faster processing speed.

Choose a frequency span that places the frequency of interest away from the left
edge of the spectrum without sacrificing analyzer speed (lower frequency spans
mean longer data acquisition time).

Use 100 - 400 lines of resolution. Usually, for peak hold coast-down testing, it is not
important to have high resolution to identify resonance.
Select Peak Hold averaging and no trigger on page 2. Press Enter twice to acquire
the data. Shut down the machine when your analyzer starts displaying a spectrum.

An example Peak Hold Averaged Spectrum is shown below.

If any vibration frequency passes through a resonance during coastdown, its
amplitude will peak – suggesting a resonance. Resonance is not proved completely
unless phase is measured as in a Bode plot.

Cascade Plots

Cascade or Waterfall Plots provide a three-dimensional view of the coastdown or

startup data. A finite number of spectra are stacked over time. The vertical axis may
be Time or RPM. If the cascade data is collected without the aid of a tachometer
input, then Time becomes the only available option. The cascade shown below
demonstrates the coastdown of a 100+ megawatt gas turbine that passed through a
resonance (critical) during its shutdown.

Single Channel Impact Testing

In single channel impact testing, a sensor placed on the machine, measures the
result of impacting the structure with a rubber tipped mallet or block of wood. The
amount of input energy and the frequency response of the impact device determines
how many natural frequencies are excited. An impact test identifies resonance. It
does not indicate the shape of the structure at resonance nor reveal how to correct a
resonance problem.

Resonance is directional and can be localized. It is important to impact different

locations on the structure.

There are many ways to measure impact data on the 2115 or 2120 analyzer. The
method shown below triggers the analyzer when the amplitude on channel "A"
exceeds the trigger level value. In other words, the analyzer will take a measurement
when it senses the impact.

The trigger function provides the analyst with the ability to collect data based
on a specified input to the analyzer. The pre-trigger of 10% moves the impact
away from the left edge of the time window by 10% of the total time.

When performing impact testing, we should establish a full-scale (FS) range

amplitude. The purpose of setting this full-scale amplitude is to prevent the data
collector from wasting time during the impact test procedure. The FS setting
provides the analyst the ability to maintain control of the data acquisition process.
When impacting (bumping) the machine, the person performing the impacts should
attempt to maintain consistent force with the hammer. The FS setting may help in
achieving this goal. As a second option, the analyst can enter a zero in the FS range
to tell the analyzer to autorange. However, during the impacting process, a full-scale
amplitude should be used. This will prevent the need for excessive impacts to the

When determining this full scale, using the analyzer's monitor mode allows the
analyst to monitor the impacts as they occur to determine the amount of energy
being placed in the machine structure. The monitor waveform option can be used to
evaluate the machine's response to the impacts.

The waveform shown above displays the impact as seen from the response
transducer. The analyst is able to set the trigger amplitude by viewing the waveform.
Additionally, the monitored waveform provides the ability to see the decay of the
response. This enables the analyst to select an appropriate
time to ensure the data is not cut off prior to the completion of the impact decay.

Dual Channel Impact Testing

Only the response to the impact is being measured with a single-channel analyzer,
so the machinery must be shut off to do this properly, unless the data collection is
being performed with negative linear averaging.

Phase is a test that clearly identifies resonance. Phase cannot be measured during
an impact test with a single-channel analyzer. In order to confirm the presence of a
shaft resonance, phase must be collected using other methods. For the most useful
information from a single channel analyzer, it is a good practice to have both bump
test data and startup or coastdown information.

Resonance is best measured using a multichannel analyzer to measure impact and

response data at the same time. Phase, coherence and the transfer function are
products of a cross-channel measurement. (Coherence is a dual-channel function
that relates how much of the input signal caused the output signal.) This means that
resonance frequencies can be identified more rapidly.
Hammer Considerations for Impact testing

Force level and frequency content are important considerations when choosing a
hammer. An improperly sized impact hammer results in missed data. The hammer
must input enough force to excite the natural frequencies to measurable amounts.
For example, when you test the springs in your car, do you tap the bumper with a
steel hammer? Of course not….you stomp on the bumper with your foot forcing the
springs to bounce up and down. The hammer tip hardness determines how much
frequency is delivered in the blow. Most impact hammers have replaceable tips of
different hardness.

The graph below demonstrates the relationship between frequency and force. Softer
tips deliver more force but less frequency. Harder tips deliver more frequency but
less force. Harder hammer heads also tend to bounce multiple times on the surface,
making the data invalid due to multiple impacts in each
time window.
Section Six

Filtered Orbits


ƒ Measure Filtered Orbits

Orbit Measurements
In vibration analysis, an orbit plot is the trace of the relative movement of the
centerline of a rotating shaft within the clearance of a plain (journal) bearing. Orbit
plots are used to detect and investigate abnormal movements of the shaft in a
bearing. This movement often characterizes a developing fault, such as unbalance,
misalignment, bearing rub, shaft or rotor whirl, etc. Two probes mounted at 90
degrees to each other are required for making shaft orbits. Shaft orbits are typically
made with displacement probes such as proximity probes.

A proximity probe emits an eddy current field at the tip of the probe. The probe is
spaced away from the rotating shaft by a small amount (typically 0.060"). The
probe's output voltage is proportional to the gap.

Orbit measurements can also be made using case-mounted accelerometers on a

bearing housing. An orbit, measured with two accelerometers mounted 90 degrees
to each other on a motor housing, indicates the vibrational pattern of the motor

Typically, the measurement is made by using the output of two non-contacting

displacement transducers (proximity probes). According to the American Petroleum
Institute (API) Standard 610, the first probe to sense the vibratory energy is
considered the vertical probe, Y. The trailing probe is considered to be the
horizontal, X. The probes must be mounted 90o from each other. This mounting may
be a true vertical and horizontal relationship as shown below, or in an X and Y
configuration 45o both sides of true vertical. Typically, the two signals are taken as
outputs from a supervisory panel and fed into the inputs of an oscilloscope. The
signals produce a trace on the screen corresponding to the
total shaft motion, which is the orbit of the shaft in the bearing.

A tachometer signal is not required for an orbit. If a tachometer signal is present, the
pulse provides both frequency and phase information. On an oscilloscope display, a
reference pulse appears as a bright or blank spot on the orbit plot. On the 2120,
phase is indicated as a line radiating out from the
center of the orbit.

An unfiltered orbit refers to vibration energy at all frequencies measured in the set-
up. A filtered orbit is a trace of vibration at one particular frequency (usually 1x or
harmonic). A sample orbit plot is shown below.
In the 2120-2 analyzer, orbit plots can be measured four different ways:
1. Analyze / Monitor Waveform
2. Analyze / Acquire Spectrum
3. Analyze / Monitor Orbit
4. As part of a predictive route.

The Analyze, Monitor Orbits feature was added in 7.43 firmware. It is an easy to use,
automated function for measuring orbits.

Measuring Orbits using Analyze/Monitor Orbits

The Monitor Orbit function was implemented in 7.43 firmware. This function offers
filtered orbits. Bandpass and Lowpass filtering are available as set-up options.
Monitor Orbits is found under Analyze/Monitor Mode.

Monitor Orbit is easy to use and does not require any calculation.

Two filtering options are available: Bandpass and Lowpass. The Bandpass option
filters out the signals above and below the bandpass frequency and passes the
signal for the order specified. A Bandwidth parameter specifies the width of the band
that is passed. The Bandwidth parameter is adjustable between .02 and 1.0 (2-
100%) of the order specified. It determines how much of the signal around the order
specified passed.

For example: If a 1X order (1800 rpm) is measured, using a bandpass filter of 0.1,
the width of the frequency band that is "passed" is 180 cpm (1800 x .1 = 180).

The shape of a Bandpass filter is shown below. All data above and below the filter is
removed from the signal. Only the data within the specified band is allowed to pass.
Bandpass filtering requires a tachometer signal.

The other filter option is Lowpass. Lowpass filtering removes all signal above the
specified filter setting and passes the signal below the filter value.

For example: If a 1X order (1800 rpm) is measured, using a lowpass filter, the signal
that is "passed" includes all frequencies at or below the filter value – in this example,
the orbit includes all frequencies at or below 1800 cpm.

The shape of a Bandpass filter is shown below. All data above the specified order
are removed from the signal. Only the data at or below the specified order is allowed
to pass.
A tachometer signal is optional when using Lowpass filtering. If a tach signal is
not available, the orbit frequency is manually entered into the set-up. The exact
frequency must be entered

Filtered Orbits

Filtered orbits, measured using the ANALYZE/MONITOR/ORBITS function, can be

saved if a dual measurement point from a route or OFFROUTE is currently active on
the 2120-2 analyzer.

What can an Orbit do for me?

An orbit display provides a visual representation of the shaft centerline rotation.
This information may provide a number of different fault characteristics. Orbits
are said to be good only when using non-contact eddy current probes (proximity
probes). However, this has been proven incorrect. If performed correctly, orbit
data may provide some additional insight into the condition of a machine. The
illustration below displays orbit characteristics of typical faults.
Orbit Lab
Follow the instructor's directions to measure orbits on a motor demonstration

Section Seven

Modal Testing


ƒ Define modal analysis and describe when/how to use it

ƒ Discuss methods for correcting resonance

What is Modal Analysis?

Vibration analysts use the Time and Frequency domains to analyze machine
vibrations. Many vibration problems are traced back to mechanical defects. Some
vibration problems are a result of resonance. Identifying resonance problems may be
as simple as performing an impact test or coast-down study.
Correcting resonance requires analysis of data in the Modal Domain.

Modal analysis is the process of characterizing the dynamic properties of a structure

in terms of its modes of vibration. Modal analysis derives the system properties from
experimental testing. Modal analysis is used for simulation, troubleshooting and
design. It is performed with the machine shut down.
Modal animation shows the shape of a structure at each of its natural frequencies.
Dynamic Properties
Modal analysis is experimental – it involves physical measurement (testing) of a
system and derives its properties. Modal analysis is used for troubleshooting,
simulation and design.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) uses a mathematical model of a structure to estimates

its modal parameters. FEA is a theoretical prediction used in machine design.


Natural Frequency – Every part of a machine has natural frequencies. A natural

frequency is the frequency at which a part likes to vibrate at when excited by a single
input force. For example, when a bell is struck, it vibrates at its natural frequencies.
Remember the Memorex commercial on TV? The
singer sings a note that causes the crystal glass to vibrate and shatter. The note was
close to or at the natural frequency of the glass. The glass shattered because it
vibrated more than its tensile strength would allow.

Machines and structures have many natural frequencies. Each one has a distinctive
shape. When parts of a machine are assembled, the machine takes on new natural
frequencies with characteristics based on the mass, stiffness and damping of the
assembled machine. If a machine is exposed to a force,
momentary or periodic, with energy near a natural frequency, the machine will begin
to vibrate. The closer the forced vibration is to a natural frequency, the more
amplification there will be.
Resonance – is defined as a natural frequency that is excited by a forcing function,
like unbalance. All mechanical systems have natural frequencies which, if excited by
a forcing frequency, will result in greatly amplified vibration on the machine. Several
factors work together allowing resonance to
occur, such as low stiffness and/or low damping at the resonant frequency.
Resonance is not necessarily a problem unless machine defects create vibration or
nearby machinery transmits vibration at the same frequency as the resonant
frequency. Resonance does not create vibration; it only amplifies it. Resonance is
not itself a defect, but it is a property of the whole mechanical system. The mass,
stiffness, and damping of the system at each frequency determine how the system
will respond to the forces acting on it. If the natural frequency is not excited by some
forcing function, resonance will not be a problem.
Critical – A critical is a special case a resonant frequency that occurs when a rotor's
rotational speed is the forced vibration coinciding with one of the rotor's natural

Modal Testing

Modal testing is performed with the machine shut down. Modal testing is composed
of a series of multi-channel impact tests using an impact hammer and one or more
response accelerometers. The data is fed into a modal analysis program like
ME'scope where the machine motions, at the natural
frequencies, are animated.

Impact hammers are instrumented with load cells. The load cell measures the impact
force in the hammer when the machine is struck. The amount of energy transferred
into a structure depends on the size of the hammer. The amount of frequency put
into the structure is determined by the hammer tip hardness.

When a machine is hit with an impact hammer, the impact puts broad band spectral
energy into the machine exciting its natural frequencies.
The machine's response to the impact is measured with one or more
accelerometers. The vibration on the machine is amplified for a period of time as it
"rings" at its natural frequencies. The vibration decays quickly and disappears. The
machine's internal damping determines how long the machine
responds to the input force. The picture below shows waveform examples of the
impact hammer hit and machine response accelerometer.

The impact, measured from the load cell on the hammer, is a sharp spike. An impact
produces low level energy over a broad frequency range. Any natural frequencies on
the machine are excited and amplified by the impact.

Impact testing can be done without using an instrumented hammer. Striking a

machine with a block of wood will excite the natural frequencies. A single
accelerometer is all that is required to measure machine's response. Without
measuring both the input and response, the system properties are unknown and
therefore, correcting a resonance problem will be difficult if not impossible. By
measuring both the input force and output response, the mass, stiffness, and
damping properties of the machine may be estimated. Both channels of data are
related mathematically in the form of a transfer function (output / input).

The plot shown above shows the transfer function of the accelerometer response
divided by the hammer input. The units are acceleration divided by pounds force
(G's / LbF). The display shows three natural frequencies excited by the impact.

When transfer function data is fed into a modal analysis program, the shapes of
each natural frequency are seen and can be analyzed for a solution to a resonance
problem. Put another way, single channel "bump" testing may reveal natural
frequencies in a machine, but only multi-channel impact testing reveals the shape of
the machine at each natural frequency.

Mode Shapes
When a machine or component vibrates at one of its natural frequencies, it has a
unique and predictable shape called a Mode Shape or Bending Mode. A
mechanical engineer can predict mode shapes using finite element analysis. There
are mechanical engineering books that show mode shapes for typical structures.
The important point to remember is that when something is vibrating at one of its
natural frequencies (resonating) it is not straight – it is bent. At resonance, a
machine or structure is no longer a rigid body. It is flexible.

Take the case of a shaft supported at both ends. The shaft will have many
natural frequencies. Each one has a unique mode shape. The first three
bending modes are shown above.

Notice that the bearing positions are stationary in each mode and that the points of
maximum motion
change in each mode.
The figure above shows the first two bending modes of a cantilevered shaft.

Although machinery has many more than three bending modes, at least the first
three modes are evaluated in a modal analysis for two reasons:
1. the frequencies of the first three modes are more likely to
coincide with forced vibrations and result in resonance
2. the displacements are higher for the lower bending modes

Every mode shape has Nodes and Anti-nodes. Nodal points are points of no
motion and anti-nodes are points of maximum motion. It is necessary to know where
these points are when correcting resonance problems.

Who needs Modal Analysis?

Anyone involved in vibration analysis knows that analyzing frequency spectra and
time waveforms is not easy job. Too many mechanical defects have similar looking
frequency spectrums. To make matters worse, all machines have natural
frequencies. Usually, we don't know where or when to expect
these natural frequencies to come into play. One thing is certain – when they do,
solving vibration problems becomes more difficult. Some experts suggest that more
than 60% of vibration problems are the result of natural frequencies.

Do you need modal analysis? Probably. It is one of several advanced diagnostic

tests that confirm suspected faults in machinery. Other advanced diagnostic tests

ƒ Operational Deflection Shapes

ƒ Phase Analysis
ƒ Impact Testing
ƒ Run-up and Coast-down testing
ƒ Negative Averaging

These diagnostic tests are usually not as quick and inexpensive as predictive
vibration route measurements. They can, however, lead an analyst to a thorough
and accurate diagnosis.

Modal testing is used to identify natural frequencies, mode shapes and determine
damping levels. It can also be used to verify FEA designs. Mostly, modal analysis is
used to troubleshoot problem machines and structures.

Modal testing should be performed after a problem has been detected and
resonance has been found using one of the many resonance testing methods
described in the previous chapter. A modal test is the first step towards correcting a
resonance problem.

How to do a Modal Analysis

The following CSI products are needed to do modal testing using:

ƒ Impact hammer
ƒ 2120-2 with Advanced 2-channel DLP
ƒ VibPro Software
ƒ Accelerometer
ƒ ME'scope Modal Software

The 2120-2 analyzer, in its standard form, has the ability to make cross channel
measurements but it cannot save the data. The Advanced 2-channel downloadable
program (DLP) is required for modal testing. The Advanced 2-channel DLP stores
measurement data to analyzer memory. The stored data is dumped to VibPro
Software. VibPro is the CSI software product for the Advanced 2-channel and
Advanced Transient DLP's. VibPro transfers data from the 2120-2 analyzer.

Planning and record keeping are key to a successful modal test. Consider exactly
what needs to be resolved in the modal animation and remember that resonance
may be directional.

Steps involved in Modal Analysis

1. Plan the job
2. Sketch the machine and number points
3. Perform impact tests
4. Transfer data to Modal Software
5. Create a structure picture in the modal software
6. Link measurement data to the structure
7. Curve fit and animate
8. Analyze results

Correcting Resonance Problems

Planning a correction for the resonance problems is the next step of the modal job. A
natural frequency can not be eliminated. The effect of resonance may be diminished
or a natural frequency may be shifted up or down in the frequency range. Changing
one natural frequency changes all of the natural
frequencies on a structure. It is important to consider the effect of a correction on all
natural frequencies. It is very likely that correcting one resonance problem results in
the creation of another. It is always a good practice to involve a structural engineer in
correcting resonance problems. Safety, cost and a successful repair are the main

There are several options to consider when correcting resonance. One solution does
not fit every resonance problem. Structural modifications are very expensive and
take time to plan and execute. Reducing the exciting force or changing the speed of
the machine may be more economical solutions. The resonance correction methods
are discussed below.

ƒ Reduce the exciting force – Nothing resonates without an

excitation force. Forcing frequencies (mechanical vibrations)
are most often the excitation for resonance. Reducing the
exciting force by any amount diminishes the effect of the
resonance. It's usually less expensive to reduce or eliminate
the exciting force than it is to modify the structure. Some
examples of reducing the excitation include
ƒ · Balance to precision levels
ƒ · Precision alignment of shafts and belts
ƒ · Use precision parts
ƒ · Replace worn or broken isolators
ƒ Change the speed -- Move the exciting force away from the
natural frequency. The rule of thumb is to change the speed
10%-15% on either side of the natural frequency. Depending
on the damping value for a given bending mode, more or
less speed change will be required.

ƒ Change the Mass -- Increasing the mass of a structure

decreases the natural frequency. Consider the simplified
natural frequency formula below:

If "K" remains constant and "M" is increased

then "Fn", decreases
If "K" remains constant and "M" is decreased
then "Fn", increases

Examples of changing the mass are filling a

steel base frame with concrete or adding a steel
plate to the top of a steel base frame.

ƒ Change the Stiffness -- Increasing the stiffness of a

structure increases the natural frequency. Consider the
simplified natural frequency formula below:

If "K" is increased and "M" remains constant then "Fn",

If "K" is decreased and "M" remains constant then
"Fn", decreases

Examples of changing the stiffness are adding corner

bracing and gussets to a base frame. Saw cutting a
portion of a beam is an example of decreasing

ƒ Finite Element Analysis -- (FEA) is a structural engineering

tool used to theoretically estimate the natural frequencies of
a structure and predict the response to a known input. FEA
should always be considered before making structural
modifications to machinery. Remember that all natural
frequencies are shifted with mass and stiffness changes. If
FEA is not used before structural modifications are made,
there is a good chance that the problem frequency will be
moved away from the forced vibration and a different natural
frequency will take its place. Note: ME'scope SDM has
some FEA tools that are used to estimate the effect of
structural changes.

Modal Example 1

Case 1 – Direct Drive Fan

Figure 2-1 – Direct Drive Fan

Problem: This direct drive, 3586 rpm fan was diagnosed as an unbalance problem.
The vibration spectrum showed a large, 0.7 inch/second vibration at turning speed.
Fan balancing attempts were
unsuccessfully, during a production shutdown. The vibration at shaft speed could not
be lowered through balancing. During the next outage, modal analysis testing was
done on machine. Frequency response functions were measured from 0-200 Hertz.

Figure 2-2 – Shape Table of Natural Freq.

Figure 2-3 – Modal Structure

Click Icon to Animate
Results: The results of the modal test identified twelve natural frequencies on the
machine under 140 Hertz. The one at 56.4 Hertz was the closest to fan speed
showed a horizontal bending mode of the motor base.

As seen in the picture in figure 2-1, the motor base had an open front for access to
the motor base bolts. The base design was weak. The solution to this problem was
obvious. Cross bracing between the sides of the base was needed. The
maintenance department didn't want to permanently close off the opening to the
base. A "U" shaped plate was fabricated and bolted to the sides of the motor base.
Three bolts were used on each side (figures 2-4 and 2-5). The plate increased the
stiffness of the base and shifted the 56.4 Hertz natural frequency well above
operating speed.
The data in figure 2-6 shows a before and after comparison of the vibration on the
fan. The only modification made was the plate that was added to the front of the
motor base.
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