Categories: Machinery Diagnostics,Condition Monitoring,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

Vibration Sensor Mounting Tips

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By on September 13, 2017

A vibration sensor (or accelerometer) measures vibration-simple, right?  But how and where you mount the sensor is CRITICAL to getting good information.  Here are some good tips to keep in mind.

1. Mount the sensor as close to the bearing location as you can safely do it. These sensors can measure vibration anywhere on the machine.  But the closer you get it to the bearing, the better the sensor can measure any vibration generated by the bearing components, gears, etc.

2. If you are not sure of the exact bearing location, some good clues are grease fittings, lube lines, sight glasses, etc.

3. Make sure the sensor is mounted solidly to the surface.  When using a magnetically-mounted sensor, be sure the sensor doesn’t rock back and forth.

4. Mount the sensor in the same place, as closely as you can, each time. A good way to do this is to make the location with a permanent marker.  A photo of the sensor located on the bearing is even better.

5. Even though modern sensors are quite durable, mount the sensor as gently as if you were placing an egg onto the surface. If you slam it on, the sensor will measure a large vibration, and it will take a few seconds for that signal to settle down.  A good way to prevent this is to place the sensor onto the surface at a slight angle, and gently “roll” it into place.

6. If you are using a tri-axial sensor, be sure to orient the sensor in the same position as the previous time.

These are some practices we at VibrAlign use.  We’d love to hear your thoughts as well.


About the Author

Stan Riddle joined VibrAlign in 2008. He has over 35 years experience in aligning industrial machinery. Stan received his AAS Degree in Machinist Technology from Surry Community College in Dobson, NC, and also holds a diploma in Industrial Systems Technology from Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC, where he was also an instructor in the program.

Stan began his maintenance career working as a machinist and millwright for companies such as Weyerhaeuser, R.J. Reynolds, and Tyco Electronics. He also has over 25 years experience in Predictive Technologies, such as vibration analysis, thermography, oil analysis, and ultrasonic inspection. He is a certified Level III Vibration Analyst with the Vibration Institute, and is a Past Chairman and Board Member of the Piedmont Chapter.

Stan and his wife live in Yadkinville, NC.

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