Demystifying Pipework Vibration for Condition Monitoring Engineers

Matthew Moore , Global Subject Matter Expert - Condition Monitoring, Petrofac


Most condition monitoring engineers sometime in their career will experience pipework vibration. Whilst they may be highly trained in machinery vibration analysis, this training will unlikely prepare them for pipework vibration assessments. Hence as soon as a vibration issue is beyond the machine skid it typically becomes a problem for the specialists. Armed with a vibration data collector / spectrum analyser and the power of observation, condition monitoring engineers are well placed to make an initial assessment of the severity of pipework vibration.

This educational presentation will demystify pipework vibration with practical advice on measurement and assessment using condition monitoring vibration data collectors and software. An overview of the Energy Institute “Guidelines for the Avoidance of Vibration Induced Fatigue Failure of Process Pipework” methodology will be provided with a discussion of the practicalities of identifying each of the vibration excitation mechanisms. Guidance will be provided on pipework and associated small bore connection vibration surveys covering: the most suitable locations for measurements, configuration of the data collector, recording field observations and the importance of capturing process conditions. The application of the Energy Institute pipework vibration acceptance criteria will be illustrated using the common tools available in condition monitoring analysis software. Advice will also be given on appropriate courses of action and when it is really time to call the specialists.
Several short troubleshooting case studies will be used to illustrate the topics discussed in relation to rotating equipment.


1. Understanding of the excitation mechanisms which cause pipework vibration.
2. How to configure a routine vibration data collector for pipework measurements.
3. What to measure, where to measure, what information to gather and how to assess pipework vibration.


Matthew Moore BSc (Hons) is the Global Subject Matter Expert in Condition Monitoring for Petrofac. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of vibration and condition monitoring in the oil and gas industry and is a certified Mobius Institute ISO 18436-2 Category IV vibration analyst and training instructor.

Matthew was a member of the steering group for the development of the Energy Institute “Guidelines for The Avoidance of Vibration Induced Fatigue Failure in Process Pipework” and has extensive experience in the application of the methodologies and associated site assessments. In his early career he was mentored by several of the leading experts in this field and continues to apply this experience within condition monitoring programmes and vibration troubleshooting exercises.