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Common Problems Detected by Rotating Machinery Vibration Analysis

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

Periodic condition monitoring can provide early detection of an extensive range of problems allowing for more efficient maintenance planning and lower maintenance costs. Some of the more common defects we observe with vibration analysis of rotating equipment include, but are not limited to, the following:


Alignment problems can cause significant wear and tear on rotating equipment. Once a rotor is misaligned, it generates a radial force that is transferred to the rotor assembly, in many cases causing the misalignment to grow worse over time.

Left unaddressed, vibrations and temperature excursion caused by misalignment can lead to other issues, like failing seals, couplings, and bearings. Fortunately, shaft vibration analysis can usually identify this problem before system failure.

Unbalanced Operation

A loss of balance is a common problem in machines used in materials processing. When mass is not consistently distributed throughout the rotating mechanism, the point of greatest mass will vibrate. Modern vibration analysis equipment can quickly detect the distinct, sinusoidal waveform of an unbalanced rotor’s vibration.

Loose Fittings

Rotating equipment should routinely be visually inspected for parts that have become loose during operation. If a mounting bolt is loose, equipment can sometimes shift, causing low frequency vibrations.

Loose parts inside the rotor assembly can cause more substantial problems, potentially creating imbalances or causing bearings to seize. Loose internal parts can cause a variety of vibrations and premature wear depending on their location and their interaction with other components. While vibration analysis methods will signal a problem in this case, a visual inspection is required to identify the root cause.

Fluid Instabilities

For rotating equipment systems involving the movement of fluids, if equipment is not precisely aligned and calibrated, internal fluids can cause specific types of vibrations. Such vibrations may be inconsistent and typically occur at an irregular frequency relative to rotor speed. Analysing a system containing fluids requires careful consideration of the system’s components—seals, pumps, and compressors—that can affect fluid dynamics.

Worn-Out Parts

Bearings and other moving parts occasionally need to be replaced. Now and then, a part will begin to fail prematurely. Rotating machinery vibration analysis can detect the early degradation of parts as they introduce slip, friction, or imbalances in a system.

Trust IndustriTech with Your Rotating Equipment Needs

As a rotating equipment supplier and service provider, IndustriTech provides a comprehensive suite of rotating equipment maintenance and monitoring services to customers in a wide variety of industries throughout Australia.

Our experienced team of professionals can help your operation lower costs and improve equipment performance.

To learn more, give us a call at 07 4972 2015 or visit our website at

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