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MSC Vibration Analysis in Action

MSC recently performed vibration analysis and thermal imaging on six critical blowers at a northern New Jersey manufacturing facility.


In the photo below, MSC’s senior engineer takes vertical, horizontal, and axial motor vibration readings from a blower motor while a journeyman and an HVAC apprentice holding a thermal imaging camera look on.


The ISO value and bearing damage units (BDU) are displayed in red, indicating excessive bearing wear in the blower motor shaft.


Readings Explained

The ISO value is a measure of vibration velocity in the frequency band, with meter alarm levels programmed per ISO 10816.1 specifications according to running speed and the size and type of machine. The BDU reading of 352 shows the bearing's state of wear, with 100 BDU corresponding to 1g RMS vibration above 1 kHz. A BDU of 100 or above is indicative of a worn or damaged bearing; the higher the number, the greater the wear.


With both the ISO value and the BDU indicating in the red zone, this blower motor was at risk of imminent failure. MSC immediately reported these and other concerning results to the client and recommended that the bearings in three of the six blowers be replaced as soon as possible. Several other issues of lesser urgency uncovered during our analyses were presented in a detailed report after testing was completed.


MSC Specialized Testing Services

MSC provides vibration analysis, bearing condition trending, sound testing, thermal imaging, and VFD testing for diagnostic purposes or as part of a preventive maintenance regimen. Benefits include flagging and rectification of existing and potential problems, reduced emergencies and costly downtime, and opportunities for pre-planning and budgeting for equipment service and replacement.


All of our testing includes documentation of site conditions, mountings, and equipment history in addition to collecting readings in accordance with industry standards and equipment manufacturer specifications. Our findings are presented to clients in a concise, organized format that reports current equipment status, and observed trends. Areas of concern are color-coded by level of severity and accompanied by informed recommendations on how to proceed.


For more information on MSC’s various specialized testing services, please contact us at 973-884-5000.

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