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Developments in Vibration Instrumentation

We had the pleasure of sitting down with out Technical Director, John Shelton to discuss his background and his thoughts on vibration instrumentation past and present and future developments in vibration instrumentation.

Within the last 5 years, what do you think have been the biggest developments in vibration instrumentation?

Low power digital signal processes. You can do so much with digital processing. Hand arm battery operated instruments compared to what we could do 5- 10 years ago. More and more power in terms of processing and less and less power in terms of power consumption. It is incredible what we can do now with hand held battery powered instruments.

For example the SV 803 will run for 6 months which is unbelievable. There are some really good low signal processors out there. In the old days when it was analogue, battery life was measured in one or two hours as it was powering up all of this analogue circulatory, filters, detectors, displays and things like that. Whereas everything now a days from the front end onwards is digital and very low powered.

At the moment, what do you think are the biggest challenges for consultancies when trying to measure vibration?

Education, as there is still a feeling of a black art about vibration which would be good to overcome.  I say this as I still come across consultants that are not comfortable of measuring vibration. Or they sometimes seem to not understand what they are measuring.

The second problem is deciding which tool to use, as there is no straight answer as it depends what you are measuring. There have been a few instruments in the market that are not very well documented, we at AcSoft and Svantek UK just ensure that our instruments are correct as they can be.

What do you think the next 10 years hold for vibration instrumentation?

I think we will see more MEMS accelerometers. Measuring vibration is very mature so I’m not sure there is going to be any radical new break through. We are already using laser transducers for measuring vibration multi point, modal analysis etc. We are also already measuring vibration with a camera (non-contact) no accelerometers just a high speed video camera. For example the WaveCam from gfai tech. The idea of putting a transducer onto a structure, machine or the ground may become a thing of the past!

This blog forms a series in which we sat down with our Technical Director, John Shelton to discuss how he got into instrumentation and his thoughts on vibration monitoring, past, present and future.


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