Compared with the strong background noise, the energy entropy of early fault signals of bearings are weak under actual working conditions. Therefore, extracting the bearings’ early fault features has always been a major difficulty in fault diagnosis of rotating machinery. Based on the above problems, the masking method is introduced into the Local Mean Decomposition (LMD) decomposition process, and a weak fault extraction method based on LMD and mask signal (MS) is proposed. Due to the mode mixing of the product function (PF) components decomposed by LMD in the noisy background, it is difficult to distinguish the authenticity of the fault frequency. Therefore, the MS method is introduced to deal with the PF components that are decomposed by the LMD and have strong correlation with the original signal, so as to suppress the modal aliasing phenomenon and extract the fault frequencies. In this paper, the actual fault signal of the rolling bearing is analyzed. By combining the MS method with the LMD method, the fault signal mixed with the noise is processed. The kurtosis value at the fault frequency is increased by eight-fold, and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is increased by 19.1%. The fault signal is successfully extracted by the proposed composite method.
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