Vibration Analysis (VA), applied in an industrial or maintenance environment aims to reduce maintenance costs and equipment downtime by detecting equipment faults. VA is a key component of a Condition Monitoring (CM) program, and is often referred to as Predictive Maintenance (PdM).
Most commonly VA is used to detect faults in rotating equipment (Fans, Motors, Pumps, and Gearboxes etc.) such as Unbalance, Misalignment, rolling element bearing faults and resonance conditions.
VA can use the units of Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration displayed as a Time Waveform (TWF), but most commonly the spectrum is used, derived from a Fast Fourier Transform of the TWF.
The vibration spectrum provides important frequency information that can pinpoint the faulty component. The fundamentals of vibration analysis can be understood by studying the simple Mass-spring-damper model.
Indeed, even a complex structure such as an automobile body can be modeled as a "summation" of simple mass–spring–damper models. The mass–spring–damper model is an example of a simple harmonic oscillator.
The mathematics used to describe its behavior is identical to other simple harmonic oscillators such as the RLC circuit.