When you work with machinery, you get to have an understanding of how some machines vibrate in their normal operation, and how some of those normal vibrations might eventually cause abnormal results. Excessive vibration can be caused by a bad part, imbalanced machinery, or bad alignment, but whatever the cause the consequence will ultimately be accelerated wear, or even premature failure.
Fortunately, there are a number of vibration control technologies that you can utilize to minimize the effects of vibration, including air springs, vibration pads, and vibration mounts. Here are three vibration control systems that you might use.
- Air Springs
- Vibration Pads
- Vibration Mounts
Air springs are much like how they sound. They are rubber springs that look a lot like stacked tires, and when inflated with air can absorb vibration, isolate shocks, and even help with leveling loads or controlling height. For vibration control, you will want to zero in on how much force can be absorbed when the spring is fully extended and compressed.
Vibration pads are much like big rubber carpets. They sit beneath equipment and absorb vibration from equipment such as milling machines, drill presses, and even air-conditioning units. To choose a vibration pad you will look for its level of performance, which is measured in terms of “deflection,” which is how far the pad moves once force is applied. If necessary, you can stack one vibration pad on top of another to get more vibration control and absorption.
A vibration mount is also measured by deflection, and looks much like an additional foot for a piece of machinery. They are generally placed below the feet of the machine to isolate and control vibrations. Depending on the type of vibration mount you select, you might use it either in a compression application, or a shear application.
Proper vibration control is important to prolonging the life of your equipment, protecting both it and your warehouse floors, and keeping maintenance costs to a minimum. If your machinery is moving around more than it has any right to, or is exceptionally noisy, then you may have a vibration problem in need of one of these three vibration solutions.