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Comment Automation & Control

Fine-tuning Pump Vibration Diagnostics

By Maki Onari and Paul Boyadjis,  Mechanical Solutions Inc. |

To unearth the fundamental causes of vibration-related pump troubles, pump end-users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) typically have relied on a concise array of vibration field-test parameters. Conventional trial-and-error vibration troubleshooting methods often fail to achieve the longterm, trouble-free pump operation sought, yet they can be time-consuming and increasingly costly to apply.   Traditional measurements consist of several vibration readings from the bearing housings and occasional displacement readings from the pump shaft. They are recorded during both transient and steady-state operating conditions of the pump. In approximately 90% of cases, the source of excessive pump vibration (for instance, rotor imbalance, misalignment or bearing damage) can be diagnosed with traditional readings from the bearing housings. The residual 10% of pump vibration problems are more subtle, but can nevertheless generate chronic reliability issues, such as the premature wear of bushings and seals, bearing failures, structural cracks and looseness, coupling failures, and, in extreme cases, broken shafts. The synchronous excitation of structural natural frequencies is one relatively common example of the source of a difficult,…
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