In electric motors and equipment, vibration refers to the oscillation of the different components in any machines including bearings, belts, gears, shafts and driven devices. These elements are found in most mechanical systems, and these perform a back and forth motion that cause vibration. When it comes to industrial motors and machinery, vibration may mean there is an underlying problem in the equipment. As for other instances, it may be possible that vibration is only a normal scenario in some machine operations. Therefore, there is no reason for you to be worried, yet you need to determine when exactly vibration is considered as normal or a sign of a problem.
Vibration as a Sign of Abnormality
There are several industrial machines that operate without any vibration. Thus, when there are vibrations detected in these devices, it may indicate issues within the equipment. Deterioration may be taking place, and existing problems should be addressed and resolved to prevent further damage. Generally, some machinery components are not expected to vibrate such as compressors, rotary pumps, blowers, and fans. The operation should be smoother, and any presence of vibration could mean an issue that must be corrected.
Machine Vibration: What are the Causes?
There are several reasons why vibration occurs in machines, and these conditions may be a combination of different problems present in the equipment. For instance, auxiliary equipment may cause vibration issues instead of merely the primary equipment. The imbalance may result in vibration, or there is an unbalanced weight rotating around the axis of the machine. This leads to a centrifugal force that result in vibration. At other times, machining errors and defects may cause vibration, as well as maintenance problems. As the speed of the machine keeps up, imbalance becomes more pronounced. When left unresolved, the lifespan of the bearing decreases, which may end up with further vibration. (L&S Electric provides vibration analysis as part of a predictive maintenance program.)
Misalignment is another reason for vibration problems, or when the shafts are not aligned properly. Axes of pump and motor may not be parallel, and this results in angular misalignment. On the other hand, parallel axes that are not aligned may be referred to as parallel misalignment. No matter what the type of misalignment, this issue usually arises because of poor assembly or as a problem that develops over time. Thermal expansion is one of the causes, and improper assembly, once maintenance is done, can also be another reason for such problem. (Laser shaft alignment, another service available from L&S Electric.)
Loose bearings in machines can also be one of the causes of vibration. Usually, vibration may not be as pronounced yet, but it becomes more evident once the bearings are no longer attached properly to the mounts. No matter what the cause of this looseness, vibration can produce greater damage and wear to the different components.
All industrial machines are prone to vibration, so it is only right that you detect this issue once it starts to prevent further deterioration. Immediate maintenance and assessment can help improve the performance of your machinery while prolonging its lifespan. Thus, you should understand the reason for any vibration detected in components and implement the right method to correct this issue.