Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Measure bearing vibration and temperature

June 2020 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Vibration in rotating machinery is merely the back and forth movement, or oscillation, of a machine and components, such as drive motors, driven devices (pumps, compressors, etc.), and the bearings, shafts, gears, belts and other elements that make up mechanical systems.

Vibration itself is not a problem. Excess vibration, however, is a symptom of internal issues, such as bearing failures, imbalance, misalignment and looseness, which shorten equipment lifespan. More than half of unplanned downtime is attributed to mechanical failures. While many things can impact the life of a machine, once the first signs of failure appear, it generally has only a matter of months before failing completely. Vibration testing provides a way to determine where a machine is on the failure curve, allowing maintenance teams to react as needed. The higher the overall vibration of a machine the worse the condition is. Comtest has on offer the Fluke 805 vibration meter that measures overall vibration, bearing vibration and temperature simultaneously.

Bearing condition is assessed automatically with the use of Crest Factor Plus (CF+) and temperature is often used as a second measurement that confirms the bearing assessment based on vibrations. With Fluke Connect for the FC enabled models, or a free Excel template, trend plots on all available parameters are easily created. Overall vibration values are used to create trend plots that help to predict the condition of a machine and to plan maintenance. Machine condition of most common machinery can be determined instantly with alarm levels that are programmed in the product.

Users such as frontline mechanical troubleshooting teams and machine operators of high-end process facilities (petrochemical, pulp and paper, primary metals, utilities, food, product, etc.) are very specific about inconsistencies in results when using vibration screening devices. Fluke 805 promises reliable, repeatable results thanks to the innovative sensor and sensor tip design that minimises measurement variations caused by angle or pressure. This unique sensor design compensates for the pressure applied during measurement and provides reliable results both for overall vibration (10 Hz to 1000 Hz) and bearing measurements (4000 Hz to 20 000 Hz).

The vibration meter provides a four-level severity scale (good, satisfactory, unsatisfactory and unacceptable) for both overall vibration and bearing condition. Rather than seeing unexplained lights or numerical indications, users can easily assess the severity of the situation with the Fluke 805’s text-based alerts.

The instrument can hold up to 3500 measurements, and if long-term trending is required, users can easily export data through a USB connection. No special software is needed because the product is shipped with a disk containing prebuilt Excel templates.

For more information contact Comtest, +27 10 595 1821,,


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