Since I first started in this industry the use of the vibration data collector has been the fundamental tool in the VA practitioner’s arsenal. With a DC they could collect VA data, troubleshoot and solve vibration issues. With additional tools such as strobes and laser tachometers the use of phase allowed them delve deeper and determine how the machine vibrating. With the use of balloon diagrams and ODS we could, with some imagination, visualise how the machine was actually moving.
These methods are tried and true and will always have a part to play for the man on the ground. However applying these techniques can be sometimes challenging. Getting reflective tape onto a shaft requires the machine to be shut down, possibly isolated, covers removed and can mean that the job either doesn’t get done or is significantly delayed. If for an ODS the time to set up, mark out test locations and cause significant plant downtime. And there’s always the HSE implications that cannot be ignored as well.
Finally a tweak in technology allows us to visualise machinery movement without intruding on plant downtime or HSE issues. Motion Amplification is exactly what it sounds like. Amplifying the motion of the machine so we can visualise how the machine is moving. Sounds simple and it is. What’s more we can tune this to discrete frequencies to see what is moving what and how this affects the movement.