Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Vibration tester for rotating ­machinery

June 2019 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

Vibration in rotating machinery is the oscillation of machine 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, but excess vibration is a symptom of internal issues that could shorten the lifespan of equipment. More than half of unplanned downtime can be attributed to mechanical failures. While many things can impact the life of a machine, once the first signs of degradation appear, it is generally only a matter of months before complete failure occurs. 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.

Comtest has on offer the Fluke 805 vibration meter that measures overall vibration, bearing vibration and temperature simultaneously. Bearing condition is assessed automatically with use of Crest Factor Plus (CF+) and temperature is often used as a second opinion that confirms the bearing assessment based on vibrations. With Fluke Connect for the FC enabled models, trend plots on all available parameters are easily created. The condition of most machinery can be determined instantly through alarm levels that are programmed into the product.

The Fluke 805 delivers reliable, repeatable results, thanks to the innovative sensor and tip design that minimises measurement variations caused by angle or pressure. This unique sensor compensates for the pressure applied during measurement, and provides reliable results both for overall vibration (10-1000 Hz) and bearing measurements (4000-20 000 Hz).

The 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 text-based alerts. The 805 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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