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144996 Mag r3.

qxp:109847 Vibration mag (11/03) 2/11/13 12:31 PM Page 1

Determining Vibration Severity

with an Excel Spreadsheet
tic re
Ar atu

Summary. This article describes an Excel spreadsheet

Robert X. Perez based on ISO 10816 that can be used to assess the
Machinery Consultant vibration severity of a rotating machine. The method
San Antonio, Texas uses baseline and current vibration levels as well as a
criticality factor.

A previous article [1] described a general machine The nature of the operation and the risk matrix (Table 1)
evaluation approach for casing vibration measurements indicate that the pump has a low criticality (K= 2.51). This
based on accepted assessment methods. A general method information is used in the Vibration Severity Calculator.
was developed to enable users to make machine-specific Low is selected on the criticality pull down menu (Table 2).
decisions that account for machine construction and The severity level is 2.218, just inside the Plan to Repair
criticality. A dimensionless number termed the Severity region. There is plenty of time to plan a repair.
Level S allows consistent comparisons of mechanical
condition across diverse machine populations. The Severity Table 2. Vibration Severity Calculation
Level regions are defined as for a Centrifugal Process Pump.
S<1 = newly commissioned levels
S>1 but <2 = watch for upward trends Variable Value Description

S>2 but <3 = plan for repair V 0.46Actual vibration level (ips rms)

S>3 = failure is imminent, prepare to shut down a 0.15Newlycommissioned vibration level (ips rms)
C LowCriticality (pull down menu)

The meaning and importance of (a), a term used in the ISO K 2.51Criticality factor

Casing Vibration Severity guidelines [2], was also described. r 3.067Vibration ratio
The author has developed an Excel spreadsheet [3] that S 2.218 Severity
assesses severity levels based on input values and provides a Recommendation Plan to repair
recommended course of action. The spreadsheet contains a
Calculator page and a Risk Matrix page. Examples are given Example #2
to illustrate the proper use of the calculator. A 750 HP induction motor driving a centrifugal fan had an
initial vibration level of 0.08 IPSrms (a) at the motor
Example #1 outboard vertical (MOBV) position. The MOBV vibration
A 20 HP centrifugal process pump had an initial vibration level was 0.30 IPSrms (V) after a year of operation. When
level of 0.15 IPSrms (a) at the inboard horizontal (PIBH) the motor/fan train is down, the unit can operate at only
position. After two years of operation, the PIBH vibration 50% of the rated production. There is very little safety or
level was 0.46 IPSrms (V). The pump is fully spared and environmental risk if a catastrophic failure occurs.
does not represent a significant safety or environmental risk. Table 1 indicates that this is a medium criticality motor (K
= 2). The Vibration Severity Calculator (Table 3) and
Table 1. Machine Criticality vs K. Medium on the criticality pull down menu indicate that the
K = 2.51 for general purpose or low criticality machines severity level is 2.907. This places the motor just outside the
K = 2.00 for larger but spared machines (medium criticality) Prepare to Shutdown region. Management should be alerted
K = 1.73 for high criticality machines that the motor is nearing the Prepare for Shutdown region
and that plans should be made for an immediate shutdown.

Vibrations Vol 28 No 4 December 2011
144996 Mag r3.qxp:109847 Vibration mag (11/03) 2/11/13 12:31 PM Page 2

Table 3. Vibration Severity Calculation Table 4. Vibration Severity Calculation

for a Centrifugal Process Pump. for a Steam Turbine.

Variable Value Description Variable Value Description

V 0.3Actual vibration level (ips rms) V 0.42Actual vibrationlevel (ips rms)
a 0.08Newlycommissioned vibration level (ips rms) a 0.125Newlycommissioned vibration level (ips rms)
C MediumCriticality (pull down menu) C HighCriticality (pull down menu)
K 2Criticality factor K 1.73Criticality factor
r 3.750Vibration ratio r 3.360Vibration ratio
S 2.907 Severity S 3.211 Severity
Recommendation Plan to repair Recommendation Prepare for shutdown

Example #3 Conclusion
A 2,000 HP special-purpose steam turbine drives a critical Thus, it can be concluded that, if the field vibration level
centrifugal process pump. At startup the vibration level was (V), the new commissioned level (a), and the criticality level
0.125 IPSrms (a) at the turbine outboard horizontal (TOBH) are known, the severity level of a machine can be
position. After three years of operation, the TOBH vibration determined by using the calculator in the Excel spreadsheet.
level had increased to 0.42 IPSrms (V). If the driven pump is This method can be applied to most classes of machines
not available, the process unit will have to shut down. In monitored using casing vibration readings. Use these criteria
addition, if the pump shuts down without warning, damage only if they make sense for your equipment types and
to downstream process equipment is possible. criticality levels.
The risk matrix in the Excel workbook indicates that this
is a high criticality steam turbine (k = 1.73). The Vibration References
Severity Calculator and High on the criticality pull down 1. Perez, Robert X., “Generalized Approach to Casing
menu show that the severity level is 3.211 (Table 4). The Vibration Assessments, Vibrations, 27 (4), VI Press, Inc.
steam turbine is inside the Plan to Shutdown region. (Dec 2010).
Management should be alerted to the risk and prepare for an
immediate shutdown. 2. ISO 10816, Mechanical vibration − evaluation of machine
vibration by measurements on non-rotating parts, Second
Edition 2009.

3. Perez, Robert X., The Vibration Severity Calculator.

Vibrations Vol 28 No 4 December 2011