February 2014

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HP Engineering Case Histories: Case 77: Random deck vibration with beats

When something vibrates, it is usually in a predictable manner. Motors, pumps, compressors, turbines and centrifuges all vibrate when they are out of balance. Vibration analysis can help predict the s..

Sofronas, T., Consulting Engineer

When something vibrates, it is usually in a predictable manner. Motors, pumps, compressors, turbines and centrifuges all vibrate when they are out of balance. Vibration analysis can help predict the source of this vibration. This case represents an interesting troubleshooting experience resulting from a phenomenum called “beats.” Vibration sources Beats occur in mechanical machinery when two vibrations are of almost the same frequency. The beat frequency represents the difference of the frequencies or speeds. The beats occur as the two vibrations come into and out of synchronization, and the vibration waveforms add and subtract from each other, as shown in Fig. 1, between Machine

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