What vibration is, and why it is necessary to
Vibration can be defined as the oscillating motion about a reference
position of a subject that vibrates. The number of times a complete motion cycle
takes place during the period of a second is called the frequency and is
measured in hertz (Hz).
Be it an industrial or a consumer accessible everyday setting – for rotary
equipment, or for especially safety-critical products, vibrations are
either a sign of an issue or a critical component of their normal
operation. For both of those cases, a proper vibration monitoring is a
crucial part for positive longevity.
Nowadays, for the most part, isolation and reduction of vibrations is rather
an important expectation from mechanical equipment, as unnecessary vibrations is
an unnecessarily wasted physical energy.
It is rare that an unnecessary vibration (especially a small vibration), even
if continuous for a short period of time – will cause a breakdown of the
system right away. Sure, it wastes energy, it is an anomaly, but because the
i.e. machine keeps getting the job done – usually these vibrations
are overlooked. This, of course, is a dangerous game to play! Like we
already mentioned above – these abnormal vibrations are usually a symptom of
a larger issue and cause even larger ones if ignored.
Some of the most common
causes of vibrations in mechanical equipment for example, may be the wear
and tear of the details, loose connections of the components, imbalance of the
weight distribution wherever it is located, angular/parallel misalignment
(especially in machines where parallel alignment of some details are crucial,
like motor shafts, yet they are not properly aligned, or are aligned but not
The vibration monitoring is just as critical in civil
engineering, as a necessity for Structural Health Monitoring, to keep the structural integrity of
the construction; as well as in safety-critical equipment such as Rechargeable
Batteries which can potentially get physical abuse from vibrating surroundings
or lose energy if placed in an overly vibrating environment (especially from the
Vibration related issues are common for a number of applications, and to
identify the priority of the machines to provide maintenance, after
vibration-caused(and other) issues, answer to the following
Does the system affect human or environmental safety?
Does the system require expensive, lengthy, or difficult repairs?
Is the system critical to production or general plant operations?
Does the system frequently get damaged?
Does the system get evaluation on its reliability?
The most common product trends within Vibration Sensing industry
Depending on the required frequency range of the measurements – there are
usually velocity or acceleration as monitoring parameters of the monitoring
system to choose from, and in terms of the actual productivity levels of
Vibration Sensors – we can identify the systems that
have single function of monitoring a i.e a detail in the machine (detects
i.e structural health of belt drives of a rotary equipment)
are smartified versions of the latter: usually monitors both velocity and
acceleration, thus providing enough information to prove the possible reasons
causing the abnormal vibrations (i.e NDT of cracks within a structure)
data analytics: this can be a software solution that showcases the failures
occurring in the system, by analyzing the data coming from the set of
Some of the more common types of sensors used for Vibration analysis are
Piezoelectric, Accelerometer, Velocity and Proximity sensors.
These are truly useful for a vast amount of users, yet each have their specific
limitations – which shall be considered before the introduction into
especially safety critical applications.
Additionally, there aren’t currently available solutions, developed and
ready enough for the mass market access – that can provide highly accurate
real-time information on an applications vibration, while being attached into a
harsh environment, or even onto a curved surface.
Sure – the available systems, especially the ones mentioned above, offer
much higher frequency than an average application is looking for. However, what
if the application is not average, and the required information is not to
confirm the existence of some vibration? What if the tiniest
frequency change – will affect perception and whole possibilities with the
system (i.e. smartification of rotary equipment affecting changes of the whole
industry into more efficient, effective way of work with much less waste both
for the business and the environment).
Novel approach to Vibration sensing
We, at RVmagnetics recognize that frequency of
vibration measurement and the accuracy of the data is just as important as the
scalability of the system into the mass market. Otherwise, having a unique and
exceptional system would be good on paper, but would lack practical added value
for the market.
This is why, after more than 25 years of research and
development, a unique sensor has been developed. The sensor in question
is the MicroWire, and it provides
real-time, highly accurate signal to the sensing system with no contact or
wiring needed. This data is also reliable, easy to store, and can be processed
in large distances (through Wifi, Sigfox, Bluetooth, etc.).
The MicroWire sensing technology we introduce, in addition to the other
physical quantities, also provides vibration measurement, with frequency of up
to 10.000×/sec. It is thin, flexible and light like human hair, and due to the
glass coating – also resistance to harsh chemical environments – making it
possible to introduce the sensor not only on curved surfaces, but also directly
inside an application from where vibration measurements are required (i.e. on a
shaft of a motor).
We do not only measure the amplitude of the vibrations, but our MicroWire
sensor also allows to perform Fourier analysis and to give distribution of
different vibrations on the application, with respective amplitudes (power
spectrum of Fourier transformation).
Using this approach, in addition to the proper vibration measurements, it is
also possible to distinguish the origins of vibrations – which is utterly
useful for predictive and preventive analyses.
Most importantly for the market however, is our approach to the Research
& Development of the system for the vibration measurements. RVmagnetics is
essentially an R&D company, so we specifically develop the
sensor and the sensing system by custom requirements of our clients and
partners. In the mass manufacturing stage, our system is designed to be largely
cost-competitive to other sensors, and, what is more important – custom-made
to exactly match the special demand such as the frequency of vibrations needed
to reflect, data storage, physical design of the sensor, and the sensing system
as an elegant solution in the physical space, etc.
The scalability and ease of production of our MicroWires makes it exciting to
tackle the vibration measurement market, in ways that haven’t been explored