Case Study: Dynamic Vibration Absorber – The First Law of Thermodynamics

James Sylvester, Machinery Diagnostics Manager, Parsons Peebles Service


The first law of thermodynamics, also known as Law of Conservation of Energy, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. This presentation is over a two year case study on a vertical pump set. The motor (5000KG) with sleeve bearings had been suffering repeat drive end bearing failure. The drives a 6 meter cardan shaft to a centrifugal water pump. Various vibration techniques were used in analysis of the issue from Orbit analysis, standard vibration analysis, bump resonance testing, and coast up and down phase plots. Motion Amplification was also used to back up the vibration data. In addition inspection of the failed tilting pad bearing was performed to assist in diagnostics. Various fixes were trailed and failed, then the solution of a Dynamic Vibration Absorber was trailed. This presentation follows the trial from design, implementation, monitoring and then end of life. It also includes images and videos of the trial, before and after vibration data.

1. How the various techniques of vibration analysis can be combined and used to solve a historical repeat reliability issue
2. To think out side the box for solutions i.e Dynamic Vibration Absorber
3. That vibration energy can not be destroyed merely transferred to another form


After leaving school (1990) I started an apprenticeship as a Machinist Fitter then spent my first 10 years in the Mechanical Engineering trade. In the year 2000 I made the move into Condition Monitoring and reliability working in various industries across the UK and Australia. I hold ISO 18436-2 VA Level 3, ISO 18436-4 LM Level 2, ASNT-SN-TC-1A IRT Level 2, ASNT-SN-TC-1A UT Airborne Level 1. I am a Member of Engineers Australia in the Mechanical College (AMIEAust), Registered Engineering Technician with the Engineering Council UK (EngTech) and Associate Member of the British Institute for Non-Destructive Testing (AMInstNDT). My passion is sharing knowledge and spreading the use of Condition Monitoring techniques and how they are interlinked to Reliability of a system.