Vibration Monitoring

From short-term vibration impact surveys to long-term construction monitoring, SOCOTEC Monitoring has a wealth of experience, having installed over 300 units in a range of locations across the UK in the last two years. Our installations range from a simple one-day standalone spot vibration monitoring of a flat in London to multi sensor, networked asset monitoring in Manchester over a five-year period.

What is vibration?

Vibration is defined as the movement or mechanical oscillation of a machine or component about an equilibrium position. These oscillations are either periodic (for example, the motion of a pendulum) or random, such as tyres moving on a gravel path. Vibration can be further separated into two types:

  • Free vibration – when force is applied and the object is left to vibrate at its natural frequency
  • Forced vibration – when an object is forced to vibrate at a specific frequency, resulting in an energy transfer from the object to its environment.

What is vibration monitoring?

Vibration monitoring provides all of the necessary information on the vibration levels emitted from a given source. Surveys are carried out to monitor the levels and patterns of vibration, detecting any abnormalities and providing an evaluation of the overall conditions of the subject undergoing testing. Vibration levels can be monitored at such locations as construction sites where refurbishments are taking place, high precision machinery and industrial plant unit installations.

Vibration monitoring is split into two types:

  • Manual vibration surveys assess a specific vibration source
  • Automated vibration surveys deploy one or more vibration monitor.

How do you check your vibration levels?

Vibration levels and magnitudes are commonly measured using vibration monitoring equipment such as a piezoelectric sensor, a proximity probe or an accelerometer. These sensors measure the amount and frequency of vibration in a given system, machine or piece of equipment, analysing changes in acceleration, temperature, strain, distance or force.

Where can I take vibration readings?

Vibration is most commonly measured through the use of vibration monitoring equipment and vibration detection devices, such as a piezoelectric sensor or an accelerometer. Vibration detection devices measure the amount and frequency of vibration in a given system, machine or piece of equipment.

The location and installation of vibration meters are two of the most critical parts of taking vibration readings. The area of the machine where the industrial vibration sensor will be placed is called the reading point, and this must be accessible and easy to identify at all times in order to obtain an accurate reading.

SOCOTEC Monitoring is best placed to manage clients’ reporting standards, as well as ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation. Our expert teams are proactive in checking levels of communication to ensure that your monitoring systems remain online. 

Why do we need vibration monitoring?

As well as providing an accurate analysis of vibration levels, vibration monitoring surveying has proven to be one of the most effective tools for identifying mechanical and electrical faults within machinery. The process helps to identify any faults that may be causing abnormal vibration levels, before alerting personnel that some kind of action needs to occur. Most vibration analysis systems have the capability to monitor and process data such as temperature, pressure, voltage, current, flow or speed.

Vibration levels can be monitored across construction sites when refurbishments and demolitions are taking place, as well as to analyse the operation of high precision machinery and industrial plant unit installations. This can help to protect buildings and local infrastructure from potential damage that could be caused during demolition or construction works.

For example, as part of the provision of critical monitoring works for the demolition and construction of a central London skyscraper, SOCOTEC Monitoring installed vibration sensors in order to monitor the effects of the demolition on the surrounding buildings and rail networks. This was also supported by the use of vibration monitors to ensure a fully comprehensive automated monitoring system across the site.

What is the risk of human exposure to vibration?

By accurately measuring the magnitudes produced by tools, tasks and processes, organisations are also able to implement the necessary control measures required to prevent associated injuries, such as vascular disorders, neurological and muscular damage – otherwise known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). Accurate measurement of vibration magnitudes for specific tools, tasks and processes can form part of an organisation’s action plan to prevent excess exposure to vibration magnitudes.

To counteract HAVS, SOCOTEC’s team of occupational hygienists can provide hand arm vibration monitoring assessments. SOCOTEC also offers its HAVS Awareness course, which illustrates the dangers of vibration magnitude exposure, as well as the appropriate control measures required to protect employees from its harmful effects.

How can SOCOTEC support?

SOCOTEC Monitoring supplies vibration monitoring as part of its comprehensive range of geotechnical and structural monitoring services, helping organisations within the built environment to remain safe and compliant with relevant legislation and guidance. SOCOTEC Monitoring is renowned for its ability to deliver a speedy quotation service, as well as mobilising efficiently to ensure quick turnaround times for results.

Our teams can deliver a wide range of different types of monitoring unit, none of which are tied to a single supplier. Offering multiple payment options (including purchase, renal and buy-back), we can provide a wide range of support to users, from ensuring compliance with standards to assisting with unit set-ups.

SOCOTEC Monitoring provides a range of services:

  • Consultation – including site visits and remote client meetings
  • Sale and hire of vibration monitoring equipment – short, medium and long-term
  • Sale and hire of renewable power supply where mains power is unavailable
  • Monitoring equipment installation and decommissioning
  • Provision of baseline and factual summary monitoring reports
  • Recalibration of equipment for long-term vibration equipment hire
  • 24/7 system and data support.

Our process

We work closely with our clients to deliver a fit-for-purpose and tailored monitoring solution. Where necessary, a site visit will be arranged to retrieve necessary site and customer information. Subsequent remote consultations will be arranged to establish equipment requirements and installation methodology and dates.

Monitoring

Vibration monitors will be installed at the agreed locations and set up to measure against the required monitoring standards as directed by the monitoring specification, such as BS7385 and BS5228. Selected vibration monitoring parameters such as Peak Particle Velocity (PPV) or Vibration Dose Value (VDV) will be measured, processed and uploaded to a secure data visualisation platform.

Data and alarms

Monitoring data is the most essential output of the process as it confirms the impact of site activities on surrounding structures and the environment. This is why SOCOTEC Monitoring ensures maximum data quality by combining exceptional installation skills with technical operative skills and high accuracy vibration monitoring equipment.

Data visualisation

Calyx OMS (online monitoring software) is SOCOTEC’s secure online data visualisation tool. All data from the monitoring equipment on site will be uploaded to Calyx, which will be configured to display data at regular intervals for the selected parameters on a unique plan view. The monitoring system is capable of sending threshold breach alerts (SMS/emails) when defined trigger limits are breached. Individual user accounts will also be provided to client contacts to view and download monitoring data.

Maintenance and support

Our dedicated UK-based support team will be on hand to provide technical, system and data support, as well as 24/7 remote or on-site support to achieve an excellent system up-time. This includes support with all maintenance and calibration.

Examples of other services that SOCOTEC Monitoring can support with in this area include:

Did you know that SOCOTEC’s Environment & Safety division offers a range of environmental monitoring services? These include:

Want to find out more about SOCOTEC’s vibration monitoring services? Contact us

Contact us here