2S4: Case Study: Non-Contact Vibration Analysis of Rotating Equipment Assemblies Using Mobile Phone Camera’s and Slow-Motion Video Recording

Dr. Michael Howard, Erbessd Instruments Syed Mahathir Muhammad Al-Attas, Quadrant 2 Technologies Sdn Bhd


High resolution mobile phones with slow-motion recording capability provide an amazing resource for reliability professionals. We’ve already seen slow-motion mobile phone camera’s used in place of strobe lights to visualize and identify common faults like broken keyway’s, material build up on fans and more.

In this case study we will explore and evaluate the effectiveness of utilizing mobile phone video recordings for vibration analysis of rotating equipment to identify common machine health faults that previously required the use of hard-wired sensor technology in a non-contact method video post processing method. Several different examples will be used to clearly identify misalignment, imbalance, looseness, phase related issues, and more.

Learning Objective: Understand the power of mobile phone camera technology available to nearly every reliability professional as they already have the phone available as a tool.

Learning Takeaways:

  • Understand how camera frame rate relates to fmax
  • Understand how camera resolution impacts sample resolution for analysis
  • Understand how lighting impacts post processing
  • Best practices for mobile phone non-contact vibration analysis

Bio - Dr. Michael Howard

Michael Howard, D.Sc is an American entrepreneur, a veteran of the United States Air Force, and respected leader in the predictive maintenance industry. Michael is an avid CrossFit® athlete, CrossFit® CF-L1 Trainer and passionate advocate of revolutionary concepts in the wireless instrumentation and the IIoT communities for the maintenance & reliability industries.

Dr. Howard is a native of South Glens Falls, New York and a graduate of Excelsior College, Capella University, & New Charter University with degrees in Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Leadership, & Organizational Management, & Engineering Management. Dr. Howard is a Certified Reliability Engineer, Six-Sigma Black Belt & Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional. Dr. Howard is the CEO of Erbessd Instruments and is responsible for Strategic Direction, Distribution, Sales, Marketing and Operations worldwide.

Bio - Syed Mahathir Muhammad Al-Attas

Syed Mahathir bin Muhammad al-Attas is a Malaysian technical professional with working experience of more than 27 years specializing in the areas of Structural Dynamics, Vibration and Condition Monitoring.

Syed Mahathir is graduated from University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur with M.EngSc in Mechanical Engineering (Structural Dynamics, Vibration) and his career involves mainly in research and consultancy; experienced in handling more than 120 industrial case studies ~ Troubleshooting, Dynamic Design verifications, commissioning, research & consultancy, RCFA and training in areas related to machineries, piping, structures in Oil & Gas, Petro-Chemical, Energy, Transportation and Manufacturing.

Syed Mahathir has served as Managing Director for Quadrant 2 Technologies since 2006; responsible for its business development & strategist, consultancy & project management, on-site test & measurement as well as R&D work collaborations with universities.