Industrial Noise and Vibration: High-speed balancing - Case Study


Courtesy of Sulzer Management Ltd

Dynamic balancing of rotating elements is an important aspect of the manufacture and the repair of any turbomachinery. A rotating element that is out of balance can cause major operational difficulties, which may prevent the timely start-up of a facility. Furthermore, the unbalanced element can cause internal damage that will rob a machine of its design efficiency, reduce machine reliability, and increase the costs of operation and maintenance, or worse.

All rotors are part of a machinery train, be it a generator, gearbox, compressor or other mechanical assembly. The presence of an unbalance in any rotating component in the assembly may cause the entire train to vibrate. This induced vibration, in turn, may cause excessive wear in bearings, bushings, shafts, spindles, gears as well as the civil structures. The vibrations set up alternating stresses in structural supports and housings, which may eventually lead to total failure. Not surprisingly, the primary reason given by most of our clients for balancing a rotating element at the maximum running speed has little to do with the technical aspects of balancing or modal analysis. Rather, it is reliability, availability, profitability, and efficacy of the business unit that is weighed to reduce the overall risks inherent in the operation and maintenance of high-speed rotating equipment.

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