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Minimising vibration when using machinery


From Ave chains to Ballscrews, Amt linear bearings to Berges speed belts, machinery in any form relies on a network of internal parts in order to operate and function as it should. With so many components working simultaneously, vibration is inevitably created when machinery is in use.

Whilst a degree of vibration is normal and unavoidable, too much vibration can lead to problems. As YB Components highlighted in our blog about why the operators of machinery should carry out regular vibration assessments, excessive movement between industrial parts is often caused by an imbalance of components, which, if left untouched, can lead to machinery malfunction.

In a paper titled ‘Practical Methods for Vibration Control of Industrial Equipment’ compiled by Bretech Engineering Ltd, the authors stipulate that the widely accepted methods of vibration control of industrial machinery fall are the following methods:

.               Isolation

.               Damping

.               Tuning

.               Mass Addition

.               Force Reduction

Isolation results in the removal or reduction of vibration in machinery by rearranging the excitation forces.

Damping refers to, as the authors note, converting the vibrations, otherwise known as mechanical energy, into heat.

Tuning – also known as changing – refers to the natural frequency in components such as a Centrex clutch or a Dinal coupling, to totally eliminate or reduce amplification caused by resonance.

Mass Addition helps to limit the effect of a consistent excitation force.

Force Reduction, writes the Bretech report, will decrease the corresponding vibration response of the machinery caused by the likes of misalignment and unbalance of parts.

The Modern Machine Shop (MMS) in an article about minimising vibration tendencies in machining, reiterates the importance of the dampening technique as a means of reducing vibration. The MMS article focuses on reducing chatter vibration in industrial equipment.

As YB Components explained in an earlier blog about limiting machinery vibration, “chatter” is caused when the likes of Sirem pumps, Zurrer drivers and Wrapflex couplings are subjected to movement between the machinery and the product it is operating on. The ‘chatter’ often results in waves being produced on the machined surface.

In milling processes, chatter is widely considered to be one of the main limitations, leading to, as Micromega Dynamics notes, “Unacceptable surface finish on the workpiece reducing the life of the tool and the mechanical components of the machine.”

Active Dampening Devices (ADD) can effectively reduce a piece of machinery’s sensitivity to chatter. ADDs are essentially devices which are coupled into a vibrating system to help counteract the motion of the system. According to Micromega Dynamics ADDs can lead to a 500% increase in the Depth of Cut at critical spindle speed and are consequently effective tools in helping reduce the chatter of large milling machines.

Asides using systems such as ADDs to help counteract vibration on machinery, having your equipment regularly inspected and keeping it well-maintained is essential to help keep industrial machinery vibration at bay.

If you require your industrial gearbox inspected, YB Components offers gearbox inspections and repairs, which come with a full 12 month guarantee, giving you peace of mind your component will be in good working condition for the next 12 months.