How Accurate is Your Monitoring?

A well calibrated vibration monitoring system can provide accurate measurements, but how precise is it after a year of rugged field deployment?

“The truth is that, unless the results get totally awkward, you don’t know. Unknown or imprecise measurement data makes measuring pretty meaningless or outright misleading”, says Johan Larsson, software and system developer at Sigicom in Stockholm.

“To perform well and meet local standards, all vibration monitors require regular calibration at least once a year or so. This is also a perfect opportunity to upgrade the software to the latest version, apply any available hardware improvements and required service.”shaker setupHigh precision calibration equipment

Modern Calibration Labs in Sweden, UK, and the USA

Vibration monitors always require calibration and maintenance. Sigicom’s advanced labs in Stockholm (SE), Horsham (UK), and Fort Collins, CO (US) service instruments from users all over the world.

“Measurement standards do vary somewhat between geographical markets”, says Johan Larsson, “but simplified, everybody essentially measures vibrations. Sigicom’s calibration software automatically finetunes each unit according to all supported standards. This allows our multinational customers to move the equipment freely wherever they need them.”

The current vibration shaker setup used at Sigicom’s calibration centers was introduced in 2015 and is configured for more accurate and reliable measuring results. Mattias Skog is deeply involved in Sigicom’s continuous hardware development:

“In older and less advanced calibration systems it is common to measure the dismounted sensor elements. This adds risks to not detect crucial damage in the mechanics of the sensor housing as well as erroneous reassembling of the sensor. We always mount the fully assembled sensor, as it would be used in the field, during our calibrations. Resonance vibrations can easily disturb the calibration results. Our specifically developed shaker setups are built to handle the heavy weight of fully assembled sensor units as well as preventing resonance vibrations from affecting the accuracy.”Sigicom calibrationFinite element simulation

Other key features include precise weight distribution and positioning of the sensor being calibrated. Additionally, to minimize the risk for system errors, a golden sample routine is used to regularly test the various systems against each other.

We can measure fully assembled, much heavier sensors which provide more relevant results and less risk for errors.

Eliminating Human Error

The calibration software compares data from the test sensor to a reference sensor at a wide range of frequencies. This fully automated calibration process means more efficiency and convenience at Sigicom’s test centers. This also eliminates the risk of human errors.

“Working conditions on building sites can be pretty rough and we recommend that monitors in regular use should be calibrated at least once a year”, says Johan Larsson. “The geographical locations of our three test centers have shortened the turnaround time considerably, and this is yet another reason why more and more customers decide to use our calibration services.”