Case Study: Vibration Analysis of a Locomotive Diesel Engine

Marc Böhning, Zeppelin Power Systems GmbH


This case study presents the vibration analysis for a locomotive diesel engine based on different measurement methods. The initial situation starting from customer complaints, followed by the structural approach of the root cause analysis will be discussed. After an engine overhaul high vibration amplitudes occurred in the low engine speed range.

For initial evaluation purpose velocity vibration spectra during engine idle speed sweep were analyzed. Based on the dominant first order, an unbalance issue was suspected. Therefore, engine mounting as well as vibration damper were check without any findings. Attend this session to learn more about the analysis and findings of this case study.

The audience will learn about the importance of vibration measurement the frequency as well as time domain. Also the analysis of relative phase is a great tool for troubleshooting purpose.

1. Structured approach of troubleshooting
2. Importance of different vibration measurements (time signals, spectra, phases)
3. Operating deflection shape as analysis tool


Mark has his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Automation Systems. He is a Certified Electronic Technician and is a Certified Vibration Analyst Cat II

His work experience includes 10 years as Head of Application & Product Support for CATERPILLAR diesel and gas engine driven powertrains and gensets. He has worked in multiple segments – Industrial (construction, agriculture, etc.), locomotive, marine, electric power generation, oil & gas. Some areas of focus include Prototype evaluation of engines and machines, NPIs (new product introductions), CPIs (continuous product improvements), troubleshooting and root cause failure analysis. Key tools he has used include Spectral analysis, time signal analysis, phase analysis, modal analysis, operational deflection shape analysis, alignment, and balancing.