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Understanding bearing vibration frequencies

Publication date: 
September 2003
Dave Felton, L&S Electric, Inc.
Type of media: 

Welcome to the age of predictive maintenance technologies. More and more of our customers are using tools such as vibration analysis to assess the health of their rotating equipment. Many of our customers are using this technology to assess new and rebuilt rotating equipment once it's installed and running. This serves two main purposes:

  • It demonstrates the quality of the newly acquired/repaired equipment (taking the burden off the supplier/service center should the equipment vibrate once it's installed).
  • It provides a baseline for trending. Unfortunately, these initial vibration readings can be pushed into an "alarm status" by many customer-related issues such as poor coupling alignment and/or machine installation. This is why it's so important for today's repair facility to provide the customer with "baseline" vibration data gathered during its final test run, providing evidence that the rotating equipment ran within general vibration guidelines before being shipped. Vibration frequency analysis can expose many mechanical and electrical problems in an electric motor. The purpose of this article is to discuss one of these: Bearing Defects.