The most common cause of the excessive vibration in rotating machines is the rotor mass unbalance. If a machine vibration due to mass unbalance exceeds the alarm limits, then it may lead to machine failure. Therefore, rotating machines should be regularly checked to ensure that they are properly balanced. Currently, industries use the influence coefficient (IC) balancing technique for in situ machine balancing. The accepted practice is to use the vibration measurements in both vertical and horizontal directions at the machine-bearing pedestals together with the tachometer signal to estimate the machine rotor unbalance (both mass and phase angle). It is generally believed that the use of the machine vibration measurements in the vertical and horizontal directions represents better machine dynamics, and hence the estimated unbalance is likely to be more accurate. However, this paper applies the same concept of the IC method but with a reduced number of vibration sensors (one sensor per bearing pedestal at 45° instead of two sensors at the vertical and horizontal directions). The use of one sensor per bearing pedestal at 45° from both vertical and horizontal directions is likely to have responses from both directions. The reduction in the number of sensors by half will definitely save the instruments and their maintenance cost and reduce the computational effort in the signal processing significantly. The proposed concept is applied on a small-size laboratory rig with two balancing planes. The paper presents the unbalance estimations by using the measured vibration responses in both the vertical and horizontal directions simultaneously and using vibration responses measured at 45°.
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