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When is vibration a problem?

Vibration in industrial equipment can be both a sign and a source of trouble. Other times, vibration just “goes with the territory” as a normal part of machine operation, and should not cause undue concern. But how can the plant maintenance professional tell the difference between acceptable, normal vibration, and the kind of vibration that requires immediate attention to service or replacement of trouble equipment?

Machines that should not vibrate as part of normal operation are electric motors, rotary pumps and compressors, and fans and blowers. In these devices smoother operation is generally better, and a machine running with zero vibration is the ideal.