Importance of Collecting Good Vibration Data

Alfredo Fernando, Condition Monitoring Technician, Swakop Uranium Mine


Vibration analysis was born due to maintenance strategies changes. Equipment design changed from simple to more complex machinery with multiple functions.The first vibration analyser was the human brain coupled with the senses of touch and hearing and its still one of the finest when properly trained.Unfortunately the human vibration analyser has no electrical output ,has poor memory and usually retire at the peak of its productivity.Many knowledgeable machine maintenance people are able to diagnose machine problem by feel and using screwdriver to conduct the sound of a bearing to the ear.For added consistency and remembering time histories ,we needed to attached numbers to vibration measurement and keeping records and these area is where the human vibration analyser failed.It was inevitable that mechanical and electronic methods would be developed for this purpose
When a complex or critical machine fails or breaks down, the consequences can range from annoyance to financial disaster, or personal injury and possible lose of life. For this reason, the early detection, identification and correction of machinery problems is paramount to anyone involved in the maintenance of industrial machinery to insure continued, safe and productive operation. The ultimate goal is to detect and properly identify failures before they affect production, safety, or impact the company financially. This cannot be done without accurate data .Its very important  to collect good data at all time,repeatable and accurate for analysis purpose.


1. Importance of data collection
2. Training for data collector
3. Repeat-ability of data collection


Father of 3 boys married to Francisca. Qualified Can Maker, National diploma Fitter and Turner artisan and Condition Monitoring Technician which is my current job. I have worked for the biggest mining industries in Southern Africa, Namibia to be specific which is Rio Tinto and Swakop Uranium mine. I have the following qualification in condition monitoring Vibration level 2, Thermography, level 2 certificate and Certified 1, Oil analysis Level Certified 2, NDT Dye Penetrate Certified Level 1, NDT magnetic Particle Inspection Certified Level 2, Pressure vessel inspections, Certified Laser Alignment ,Airborne Ultrasound (SDT Instruments) and Competent Person Pressure Vessels(CPPV).I have Close to 7 years’ experience in leading teams to achieve Set goals in the Production during my time at metal box and also Condition monitoring environments, utilizing SAP and other recourses to meet Planning and inter-departmental interaction needs.  Mechanical experience: Ball mills and related equipment,Conveyors, Screens, Pumps, Gearboxes, Crushers,Elevators, Hydraulic systems, Open gear systems Lubrication systems, Cooling systems, Dust extraction systems and Heavy Moving Equipment’s Process:Experience in Can Making process General process knowledge of minerals processing mining and plant.