Industrial Machinery Vibrations: What are the Main Causes?

Vibration is the oscillation/ back-and-forth movement of machines such as motors, driven equipment, gears, and shafts among other industrial devices. It is used to indicate sign or trouble in machines. When you analyze vibrations correctly, it becomes easy to assess the health of your machinery.

The Main Causes of Industrial Machinery Vibrations

Machinery vibrations can be caused by a single or a combination of factors. But, it is also important to note that the vibration can also be as a result of auxiliary devices, not just the main equipment. Whether you have light-duty machinery or heavy-duty industrial system such as mining systems as demonstrated here, you need to understand the causes of vibrations and fix them. Here are the leading causes:

  • Imbalance: If your machinery has a heavy spot in its rotating component, it is likely to have vibrations because of imbalanced weight. This imbalance is a major cause of trouble and can result in serious defects. Also, you need to appreciate that imbalance becomes severe with increasing speed.
  • Misalignment: If the driving or driven shafts of your equipment are poorly aligned, they are likely to cause major vibrations. A good example is when the axes of a pump and motor are not properly aligned. In most cases, misalignment can happen during assembly or because of components shifting with continued machine use. Some of the main types of misalignments include parallel, axial and radial misalignment.
  • Wear: With continued use of your machinery, components such as gears, drives and bearings get worn out. Take the example of a roller bearing. With continued use, the bearing can wear down resulting in vibrations when rolling on the damaged part. Also, gears or worn drive belts can also generate vibrations in industrial machinery.
  • Looseness: If vibrations in your machinery go unnoticed, the vibrating part can result in the looseness of attached components such as mounts. But the looseness can also be caused by other factors such as poor assembly and not necessarily vibrations. But no matter the cause, the looseness is likely to intensify the damage from present vibrations. This can be accelerated tearing of bearings and equipment fatigue.

Impacts of Vibrations

If your system has vibrations and they are not addressed well, there is a danger of accelerated tearing and wearing. The machinery is also likely to become noisy and degrade your industrial working conditions. Finally, vibrations have been associated with high power consumption and can even knock down the machinery in extreme cases.

To note the vibrations in your machinery, it is important to maintain them in top condition. You should also run regular vibration analysis and fix the faulty components.

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