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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(8), 775; doi:10.3390/app7080775

Planetary Gearbox Fault diagnosis via Joint Amplitude and Frequency Demodulation Analysis Based on Variational Mode Decomposition

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
School of Mechatronics Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 27 July 2017 / Published: 30 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Learning Based Machine Fault Diagnosis and Prognosis)
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Planetary gearbox vibration signals have strong modulation features due to the amplitude modulation and frequency modulation (AM-FM) effect of gear faults, as well as the amplitude modulation (AM) effect of time-varying vibration transfer paths, on gear meshing vibrations. This results in an involute sidebands structure in Fourier spectrum, possibly misleading fault diagnosis. The modulating frequency of both amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM) parts is closely related to the gear fault characteristic frequency. This inspires the idea of joint amplitude and frequency demodulation analysis, thus addressing the complex sidebands issue inherent in Fourier spectrum. Demodulation analysis requires mono-component signals for accurate estimation of instantaneous frequency, and proper selection of an AM-FM component sensitive to gear fault. To this end, we firstly decompose the complex signal into intrinsic mode functions (IMFs) via variational mode decomposition (VMD), by exploiting its capability in decomposing complex modulated signal into constituent AM-FM components. For effective application of VMD in complex planetary gearbox signal analysis, we propose a method to determine a key parameter in VMD, i.e. the number of IMFs to be separated. For accurate instantaneous frequency estimation, we decompose IMFs via empirical AM-FM decomposition, to remove the influence of AM on instantaneous frequency estimation. Then, we select the sensitive IMF that contains the main gear fault information for further demodulation analysis. In order to properly select the sensitive IMF, we propose a criterion based on the gear vibration characteristics and the VMD properties. Finally, we obtain the amplitude and frequency demodulated spectra by applying Fourier transform to the amplitude envelope and instantaneous frequency of the selected sensitive IMF. According to the characteristics exhibited in the demodulated spectra, we can detect planetary gearbox fault. The proposed method is illustrated via a numerical simulated planetary gearbox vibration signal, and is further validated using lab experimental vibration signals of a planetary gearbox. Faults on all the three types of gear (sun, planet and ring) are successfully identified. View Full-Text
Keywords: planetary gearbox; fault diagnosis; variational mode decomposition; empirical AM-FM decomposition; demodulation planetary gearbox; fault diagnosis; variational mode decomposition; empirical AM-FM decomposition; demodulation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Feng, Z.; Zhang, D.; Zuo, M.J. Planetary Gearbox Fault diagnosis via Joint Amplitude and Frequency Demodulation Analysis Based on Variational Mode Decomposition. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 775.

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