Vibration Measurements

Sensing Systems offers a full range of vibration measurement services reaching all sectors of industry.  Vibration measurements are used for a variety of purposes including diagnosing equipment and structural failure or malfunction, determining operating frequencies, determining natural frequencies, obtaining vibration surveys and several others.  Sensing Systems addresses all these applications through the use of proper vibration sensors and data acquisition equipment. 

All vibration sensors are installed on the equipment being tested and connected to state of the art data acquisition systems with filtering and analysis capabilities.  Our systems can acquire data at extremely high sampling rates using high quality signal conditioning.

The measurement of vibration involves obtaining frequency and amplitude information.  Vibration may be measured using acceleration, velocity or displacement sensors.  Vibration measurements fall into two general categories:

  • Axial Vibrations
  • Torsional Vibrations

Axial Vibrations:

Axial vibrations are the most commonly measured and are typically measured in a three axis (x.y,z) orthogonal arrangement.  These are the “up/down”, “sideways” and “front/back” directions.   Ingenious setup of uniaxial and triaxial vibration sensors around equipment and structures permits the measurement of different vibration modes.

Torsional Vibrations:

Torsional vibrations typically occur in rotating equipment such as shafts driven by motors, engines and turbines.  Torsional vibration can be detrimental to rotating equipment and is typically superimposed on the static torque already experienced by power transmission shafts.  This may result in extremely high stresses leading to catastrophic failure.   Strain gages and telemetry equipment are used to measure torsional vibration and stresses in rotating equipment. 

Torsional vibrations can also occur in cantilevered equipment or structures with offset centers of gravity.  For non-rotating equipment vibrating in a torsional mode, two axial accelerometers may be used to obtain frequency and phase information.

Experience / Testing Programs

Sensing Systems has been involved in applications covering the complete spectrum of vibration testing.  Following are descriptions of the type and purpose of various testing programs.

Vibration testing programs vary in scope depending on the testing objective.  The diagnosis of root causes for equipment malfunction and failure is the most common reason to measure vibration.  Diagnosing and solving equipment problems involve three distinct phases: acquisition of vibration data, data analysis and corrective action.  Following corrective action, additional data are acquired to check the effectiveness of the changes.  The cycle may be repeated until acceptable vibration levels are obtained. 

Area vibration surveys are performed where vibration sensitive equipment will be installed.  This involves acquiring vibration data in all axes and at several locations under all operating conditions.  The results of the survey are compared to equipment specifications to insure no equipment damage will occur.

Vibration surveys are also performed on new equipment such as ships, motors, pumps, piping, etc. which are monitored for vibrations during startup or initial operation.  Owners of such equipment must ensure that vibration levels are within specified limits to avoid operational problems. 

Measurement of vibration induced stress is required to predict the useful life of large structures.  Bridges, oil platforms and other large structures can undergo high cyclic stress fatigue as a result of wind, traffic and wave induced vibrations.  These projects involve the acquisition of data and analysis to develop equipment life predictions.  Accelerometers and strain gages are used to acquire vibration and stress data.

Industries Served

We service a wide variety of industries including power generation, oil and gas, marine, automotive, construction, pharmaceutical, medical, steel, packaging, wood processing, infrastructure and many others. 

Our field staff has operated in a wide range of industries including the following:

Data Acquisition Systems

Data acquisition systems are used to acquire, store and analyze vibration data received from sensors.  Sensing Systems utilizes state of the art computer based data acquisition systems.  The equipment is optimized to sample at rates commensurate with the highest frequency expected during testing.  Data may be acquired and submitted in different formats for further review and analysis by our customers.  Filtering may be performed during acquisition or digitally following data acquisition.  Data analysis such as Fourier Transforms may be performed following data acquisition. 

Permanent Monitoring Systems

Sensing Systems also installs permanent monitoring systems in the field.  Monitoring vibration levels overtime and trending are especially useful in predicting equipment failure and scheduling maintenance activities.  Installation, planning and implementation of permanent systems are similar to field testing projects.  The data acquisition equipment selected for permanent systems typically has communications capabilities using telephone connections or wireless systems for downloading data to computers at the customer facilities. 


Many applications require that testing be performed on a moving platform such as automobiles, bicycles, park rides, etc.  Sensing Systems’ equipment and procedures support such testing.  In some cases wireless transmitters and receivers are used in burst mode to acquire vibration data at high speeds for short periods of time.  The test planning and execution phases must pay special attention to power requirements, acceleration levels and test duration to ensure a successful outcome.

Technical Assistance

Please contact our engineering department to discuss your specific testing requirements. 

Contact Us now to discuss your application.