Vibration Measurement Application Note

May 30, 2013 - Vibration and its measurement are filled with vagaries that can make a seemingly simple task a daunting one instead. A new Vibration Measurement Application Note from Lion Precision helps bring some clarity and definition to the issue. The basic problem stems from the fact that there are myriad methods and tools to measure vibration, and each of these may have different measurement units and confounding factors so the results may differ greatly.

The vibration measurement application note helps the reader determine which tool is best for a specific application. Some tools, like accelerometers, are well-suited for applications in which the forces and strains resulting from vibration are the primary concern. Displacement sensors are better for applications in which the actual ‘travel’ of the vibrating part is the important consideration. These devices are affected very differently by the frequencies of the vibration – a fact which must be considered.

Don Martin, president of Lion Precision explains that a typical “vibration meter” will use accelerometers. When high frequency “forces” are the concern, this is an appropriate choice. “Many people are using these devices to determine lower frequency displacement and just not getting very precise results, but because it’s a ‘vibration meter’ they assume it’s the right tool and don’t realize there are better methods.”

In addition to the vibration sensor technology, the measurement result can be expressed in many different ways such as a single ‘total vibration’ value, a frequency spectrum or real-time instantaneous measurements. And each of these can be expressed in RMS, peak, or real-time values.

“The application note is intended for anyone needing to better understand and measure vibration,” adds Lion Precision’s communication manager, Mark Kretschmar. “It is not primarily about Lion Precision products.” He explains that Lion Precision is developing a Technical Library of application notes and TechNotes to help engineers and metrologists make more precise measurements whatever product or technology they are using. “The application note even details how best to mount a sensor in a vibrating environment, no matter what type or brand of sensor it is.”

In 1958, Lion Precision was the first company to provide capacitive displacement sensors to industry. The company has expanded its product offering to include eddy-current displacement sensors and some application specific sensors for the machine tool, packaging and PCB industries. The company is focused on assisting users in sensor implementation by providing technical knowledge resources, expert guidance and optimized systems including custom designs.

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