Using Your VCM To Monitor Auxiliary Equipment

The use of a vibration condition monitoring system for monitoring vibration from large rotating machines fitted with fluid-filled journal bearings such as steam or gas turbines is well understood. Vibration from these components generally falls within the main harmonics or orders of the shaft rotational speed such as 1st, 2nd 3rd or 4th harmonic. Some energy may also exist below the 1st order, called the sub-synchronous component. Most energy exists below 1KHz and so standard displacement probes or velocity transducers are generally fitted. The Prosig PROTOR system collects this data in amplitude and phase form, relative to a ‘once-per-revolution’ phase reference signal, as standard and allows data to be displayed in real-time as mimic diagrams, trend plots, orbit and vector displays.

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Do You Need To Measure Brake Noise?


The objective of the brake noise tests was to record the braking events of cars being driven on various types of road and classify those events according to their type (Groan, Creep or Squeal etc) and severity. To do this the customer needed a system capable of working for long periods inside a vehicle in fairly tough conditions (high ambient temperatures, rough road) that was both quick to install and to remove.

On previous tests a system from another supplier had turned out to be unreliable and had failed to cope with the harsh environment. The analysis processing had also proved tedious and time consuming due to the huge amount of data created when testing several vehicles over many days.

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Developing an Algorithm for Tick Detection

An investigation was made of a sample of automotive components where some were exhibiting a high frequency “tick” or rattle during each operating cycle. This feature could be heard above the normal operating noise. The problem this posed was to measure and analyze components in an objective fashion and classify components as “good” or “bad”.

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Vibration Condition Monitoring Using Your Android Smartphone

Ever been lying on the beach and begun to wonder about the state of your LP turbines? Or out on business and anxious to know if that troublesome exciter bearing has settled down? Well with a Prosig PROTOR system and a smartphone anything’s possible. Many of you will be familiar with using your phone as a camera, music player, web browser, email client, calculator or even a navigation device, but not many will have anticipated using it for vibration condition monitoring!

Here we will explain how to use one of the new Android based phones to connect to a PROTOR system. For the purposes of this example we used an Android-based phone and a WiFi connection. It is equally acceptable to use the network providers 2G/3G data connection. And although we chose an Android based phone, similar VNC-viewer apps exist for the iPhone and other smartphones.

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The Intelligent Way To Sort, Extract & Analyze Signals

This note is based on a real requirement presented to Prosig by a prospective user. It’s the sort of challenge that we relish. This case is a great example of a real-world signal processing requirement and also great test of some of the unique features of Prosig’s DATS software. It also shows the power and flexibility of the new DATS V7.0 worksheets.

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Shaft Displacement Measurement Using A PROTOR System

Shaft displacement is an important vibration measurement for rotating machines. Shaft displacement is usually monitored by non-contact shaft displacement probes such as eddy-current probes. These probes produce a voltage proportional to the distance of the shaft surface relative to the tip of the probe. For maximum benefit, ideally two shaft displacement probes will be fitted to measure the displacement in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Actually the probes do not have to be exactly horizontal and vertical as Prosig’s PROTOR system is able to resolve into the horizontal and vertical directions.

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Measuring Torsional Crank Shaft Jitter

Using Prosig’s P8000 series data acquisition system with DATS signal analysis software, torsional analysis (crank shaft jitter) was performed on an automotive engine attached to an engine dynamometer. The significance of this is that only one tachometer channel was required to identify crank jitter.

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Evaluating A Closed Loop Control System For High Pressure Pumps

Prosig were recently involved in the validation of a closed loop control system for an automotive pump supplier. The customer has a large number of test cells, each test cell has 8 pumps continually on test. Each pump is instrumented with a revolution or tachometer sensor, giving a once per revolution tachometer pulse. Additionally, there are various analogue transducers on each pump which measure parameters, such as pressure at the pump inlet and outlet.

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Measuring For Success With A Hammer Impact Test

The following application note shows the steps taken to perform structural analysis using a hammer impact test on an automotive exhaust pipe structure to improve the structural damping properties of the exhaust pipe mount. This application note follows up to a previous article – “Preventing Component Failure In The Fast Lane”.

A recent signal processing application note described how the Prosig sponsored Dalmeny Racing Formula Ford Team, whilst contesting the UK Formula Ford 1600cc championship, suffered several minor structural failures on a particular part of an exhaust pipe mount. Prosig dispatched a team of engineers, and after a brief survey of the damage, the engineers made an outline assessment. They concluded that “the exhaust itself is resonating at particular engine speeds. This is causing some shear forces in the mount. This in turn is causing stresses in the material leading to cracking and eventually failure.”

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Fatigue & Durability Testing

The following application note describes the test and measurement process for the fatigue & durability testing and development cycle of an automotive suspension component, specifically a tie rod. The component had been known to fail at various intervals. An estimate of the predicted fatigue life of the component was required in order to assess the feasibility of its continued use and to see if a design change was required. The component under test is shown in Figure 1. The testing was carried out by a major automotive manufacturer. Strain gauges were used to monitor the strain levels.

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Measuring Exhaust Noise Using A P8000 System

The following note describes measuring exhaust noise using a Prosig P8000/DATS system for the refinement of an automotive muffler design for a major after-market exhaust manufacturer in Europe. The particular vehicle under test was required by local legislation to have an overall radiated noise level of less than 70 dB. When tested, the vehicle was found to be producing 71.8 dB of radiated noise. The design of the exhaust system clearly needed to be reviewed and modified. (more…)

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Analyzing Shaft Twist And Repairing Damaged Tachos

This post discusses analyzing shaft twist and at the same time handling the less than perfect data that we have all come across.

A shaft has been instrumented with two shaft encoders, one at each end. Each shaft encoder gives out a once/rev pulse and a 720 pulses/rev signal. Each signal was digitised at 500,000 samples/second. The objective is to measure the twist in the shaft and analyze into orders. The test stand was already equipped with a data acquisition system so a Prosig acquisition system was not required. Instead it was decided that the data captured by the resident system would be imported into the DATS software. The only format available from the customer system was ‘comma separated variables’ or CSV. This is not ideal as it is an ASCII based format and therefore creates very large files.

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A Simple Automotive Noise Test

In a recent article we described how the Prosig P8000 hardware and DATS software had been used to help Dalmeny Racing diagnose a problem with an exhaust bracket on their Formula Ford racing car. Whilst the car was instrumented for structural tests on the exhaust the opportunity was taken to carry out a simple automotive noise test. It was felt that these would provide some useful “real world” data as well as maybe providing some extra information regarding the exhaust bracket failure. After analysing and animating the hammer data it became clear that the engine runup data wouldn’t be needed. However, it was decided that some analysis should be carried out to see if the noise and vibration data backed up the conclusions of the other tests.

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Measuring Torsional Twist & Vibration Along a Shaft or Through a Geartrain

The measurement of torsional twist, or the twist angle, between two points along a shaft or through a gear train may be derived from a pair of tacho signals, one at each end of the shaft. Typically the tacho signals would be derived from gear teeth giving a known number of pulses/revolution. For example one end of a shaft could have a gear wheel with say 60 teeth giving 60 pulses/revolutions when measured with say an inductive or eddy current probe. (more…)

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Non-Linear Calibration Curve And Polynomial

Not all systems vary linearly. One very well-known case is, of course, thermocouples. International standard curves are available for these, so they present little difficulty. The issue discussed here is determining a non-linear calibration curve and, if appropriate, reducing it to a polynomial.

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Methods To Remove Spikes From Data

For various reasons data captured in the real world often contains spikes that will give erroneous results when analysed. The DATS software package provides various ways of editing and to remove spikes from data. Let us consider a real life case history.

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