Experienced operators can often
tell if a machine is not working
properly, on the basis that it does
not ‘sound right.’ The same principle can be applied — using modern electronics — to identify the exact cause of the problem.
Sensitive accelerometers can detect and analyze the vibrations from industrial equipment, highlighting problems such as misalignment
or bearing imbalance. The technique
is known as vibration analysis. It can
identify bearing failure in the very early stages, when there is a microscopic defect on the raceway, for example. The problem is that the
identifying signal is usually drowned out in all the other noise emanating from the machine.