Spotlight on Waveform Analysis

Roeloff Hoffman | Technician, WearCheck

Spotlight on Waveform Analysis

Roeloff, how did you start your career in the condition monitoring industry?

I started in the field of condition monitoring early in 2013 as an apprentice, assisting the analysts by capturing vibration data on the plant and got fascinated by the science of vibration and the technology used in the industry.

What lessons did you learn during the early stages of your career that you still find valuable?

  1. Know your machines.
  2. Visually inspect the machine if abnormal vibration is present.
  3. Always carry a strobe light for visual inspections.
  4. First locate the speed of the machine in your vibration software before you start to analyze it.

Can you briefly explain waveform analysis?

Time waveform analysis is a way to look at the vibration data captured on a machine; the waveform is the source from where the spectrum is calculated in the vibration software.

How can a serious defect be hidden in a waveform and how can this be avoided?

If the waveform resolution is low (low sample rate) you will not detect impacting; the vibration energy measured in G-s will not reflect the severity of the impact (this will be shown in detail during the presentation).

This can be avoided by selecting a sufficient sample rate by adjusting the maximum frequency span (Fmax) and number of samples.

What are some of the industry trends that you are noticing these days?

I find Video Amplification quite exciting.

What is the craziest thing that you’ve ever witnessed or heard about in your industry?

The scariest/craziest thing I have heard was that a senior vibration analysts/site manager fabricated fake data because of laziness!

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About the Author

Roeloff Hoffman Technician, WearCheck

I started my career in the field of condition monitoring 6 years ago as an apprentice in the power generation industry. I managed to improve my skills in the condition monitoring field focusing on vibration and ODS analysis together with thermography and oil analysis. Currently I am situated in Matimba Power station in South Africa as a condition monitoring technician. My most recent achievement was to pass Mobius CAT III Vibration course.