Using accelerometers in condition monitoring

Accelerometers are critical in establishing a well-functioning condition monitoring system. PACE takes a look at a new portable accelerometer calibrator, the 28959G.

The era of automation has elevated the role of sensors to a new high.  Sensors are now key components within manufacturing processes and within infrastructure control systems helping engineers to maximise productivity, minimise waste, control quality and optimise equipment reliability.

Vibration is one of the commonly measured and monitored physical parameters.  Accelerometers are an essential part of sensor suites in systems for example used to monitor machinery health – known as “Condition Monitoring Systems”.  Power Stations and Water Treatment plants are good examples of infrastructure where the close monitoring of performance and wear is required.  In such applications, data from accelerometers mounted on pumps and turbines is used to identify wear in bearings, drive shafts etc. at an early stage thereby allowing engineers to schedule in maintenance well in advance and at a point convenient to the facility thereby maintaining operational efficiency. Early identification of problems is also more cost effective as the risk of the total failure of a component is reduced significantly which in turn means that other components in the system are not subjected to abnormal loadings which potentially could damage them as well.

The ongoing calibration of instrumentation at facilities is therefore of great importance to ensure its continued accuracy, stability and reliability.  Potential defects in sensors and sensor measurement chains can be easily identified by comparing – in the case of accelerometers, a known reference value (generated using an electrodynamic shaker) against a measured value from a unit under test.  Testing in this way on site provides users with confidence that their equipment is still operating to its original specification and providing them with the accurate data they need.

With the release of the Endevco 28959G portable accelerometer calibration, Bestech is now capable of supplying instruments to fit the above-mentioned requirement to the Australia and New Zealand market. The calibrator is designed to provide users with a field calibration capability for various types of accelerometer with the highest precision and traceability to US national standards.  The unit features a self-contained calibration system that comprises a built-in electrodynamic shaker, signal generator, servo-amplifier, internal reference accelerometer, USB interface, signal conditioners, battery pack and a range of mounting accessories.

The calibrator enables users to generate comprehensive, multipoint calibration certificates quickly and easily in PDF format which are saved to the unit’s internal memory.  A USB interface is provided for the download of calibration results to flash drives, for the installation of firmware updates and for the upload of any custom sensor profiles users may have. The unit also features a preprogrammed sensor library to help minimize set up time.

The 28959G portable vibration calibrator is designed for use with accelerometers used for test and measurement as well as traditional condition monitoring applications.  One of the unique features of the unit its ability to calibrate charge-type piezoelectric, IEPE, piezoresistive and variable capacitance accelerometer, in one system.   No other portable product on the market can provide this capability.

Headquartered in the UK, Meggitt-Endevco is a world leader in the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art vibration measurement and monitoring equipment for use in extreme and dynamic environments. Their product line covers a wide range of accelerometer technologies, piezoresistive pressure sensors, signal conditioners and calibration systems.

As the authorized distributor of Meggitt-Endevco products in Australia and New Zealand, Bestech Australia is pleased to be able to offer these high-quality products to its customers.  The Bestech team comprises highly knowledgeable product specialists and factory-trained application engineers to provide customers with the best advice and high-quality technical support.