This section provides an overview for vibration sensors as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 24 vibration sensor manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked vibration sensor companies as of September, 2023: 1.Grace Technologies, 2.Electromen Oy, 3.Machine Saver Inc..
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Vibration Sensors are sensing elements used to measure the vibration state of a machine or object.
Vibration Sensors are necessary to understand and monitor the vibration state of a machine. There are three indices that represent the vibration of an object: acceleration, velocity, and displacement. Vibration Sensors measure these physical quantities and convert them into electrical quantities such as voltage and current.
In general, Vibration Sensors are available in two configurations: contact and non-contact. Depending on the physical quantity being measured (acceleration, velocity, displacement) and the conditions of the object, these two types of Vibration Sensors must be used in different ways. In addition, the magnitude and frequency range of the object being measured, as well as the measurement environment, must be taken into consideration when selecting a detailed Vibration Sensor to improve measurement accuracy.
Vibration Sensors are used in production facilities and research and development. In production facilities, Vibration Sensors are useful for preventive maintenance to detect equipment failures and damage at an early stage. The use of sensors can prevent the occurrence of huge repair costs and loss of production efficiency due to breakdowns and damage.
In recent years, small Vibration Sensors have been used in production facilities, mostly for the purpose of machine diagnostics and predictive maintenance using IoT technology. An example of the use of Vibration Sensors in the field of research and development is the measurement of vibrations in product testing and durability testing.
Vibration Sensors are also used to evaluate passenger comfort, particularly in the automotive industry. Other applications in the field of industrial equipment range from electrical equipment and automobiles to production robots.
As mentioned above, there are two types of Vibration Sensor configurations: contact and non-contact. Contact Vibration Sensors are used to measure acceleration, while non-contact Vibration Sensors are used to measure velocity and displacement.
This section introduces the principle of each type of Vibration Sensor suitable for various vibration (acceleration, velocity, and displacement) measurements.
Piezoelectric sensors utilize the piezoelectric effect that occurs in piezoelectric materials. The piezoelectric effect is a phenomenon in which a piezoelectric material (piezoelectric element), such as a single crystal of quartz, generates an electric charge on its surface when subjected to a force. The piezoelectric effect produces an electrical signal corresponding to the acceleration.
Laser-Doppler sensors are sensors that utilize the Doppler effect. A laser beam is emitted from the Vibration Sensor to a vibrating object, and the frequency change of the laser beam reflected from the vibrating object is converted into a voltage as a change in velocity.
Capacitive sensors are sensors based on the principle of measuring the capacitance between the sensor and the object to be measured and calculating the distance. When the distance between the sensor and the object to be measured changes, the capacitance value changes, thereby measuring the displacement of Vibration Sensor.
The detection element of mechanical vibration is the temporal change in the magnitude of a quantity representing the motion or displacement of a mechanical system. In many cases, the vibration alternates between a state that is greater than or less than the average or reference value. In general, this vibration is composed of three elements: amplitude, frequency, and phase.
In particular, vibration that repeats at regular intervals is called harmonic vibration and consists of a single frequency. In such cases, displacement, velocity, and acceleration are as follows. By differentiating the displacement, the velocity can be derived, and by differentiating the velocity, the acceleration can be derived.
D: single amplitude, ω: each velocity ω=2πf, f: frequency f=1/T, T: period (seconds), Φ: initial phase.
The types of Vibration Sensors used to detect this harmonic vibration include Acceleration Sensors (piezoelectric type), Velocity Sensors (electrokinetic type), and Non-contact Displacement Sensors (eddy current type). Among these, the piezoelectric type acceleration sensor in particular is characterized by its ability to cover a wide frequency range.
As an example, we will explain how to use a piezoelectric Vibration Sensor, which is used for vibration monitoring. Piezoelectric Vibration Sensors utilize the piezoelectric effect, and when an external force is applied, they generate and output an electric charge proportional to that force. Piezoelectric Vibration Sensors with charge output are particularly advantageous for miniaturization.
It is important to fix the sensor firmly with stud bolts to ensure it closely adheres to the non-measured object. If the sensor is not firmly attached, it may exhibit distinctive filter characteristics with peculiar attenuation patterns in the frequency response, thus making accurate measurements impossible. Other methods include using adhesives or magnets to fix the sensor.
Frequency analysis is widely used to analyze data detected by Vibration Sensors. Frequency analysis is a method of examining the frequency components and intensity of the measured waveform, and can provide an indicator to determine whether the vibration of an object is in normal operating condition or not.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Grace Technologies is a manufacturer of electrical safety devices and predictive maintenance tools originally founded as Grace Engineering in 1993 before rebranding in 2020. Based in Davenport, Iowa, the company offers various panel interface connectors, voltage indicators or permanent electrical safety devices (PESDs), and IIoT smart sensor devices under the brand names GracePort, GracePESDs, and GraceSense. Grace Technology products are primarily used by clients in the manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure sectors, including by metal fabricators, water treatment facilities, and power plants.
PCB Piezotronics, founded in 1967 and headquartered in North Carolina, is a manufacturer of sensors for design engineers and predictive maintenance. They design and manufacture various sensors such as microphones, vibration, pressure, force, and torque sensors. Their products are used for testing, measurement, monitoring, and control requirements in automotive, aerospace, military, and other industries in order to gather accurate data, ensure safety, enable predictive maintenance, and facilitate advancements across multiple industries. PCB Piezotronics is a subsidiary of Amphenol Corporation.
ifm efector (ifm) is a subsidiary of ifm electronic, founded in Germany in 1969. ifm has developed, manufactured and marketed sensors and controls technology to industries that include assembly and robotics, automotive, material handling, metal forming, mobile equipment, plastics, and food and beverage. Ifm produces sensors, condition monitoring equipment, image processing, safety technology, industrial communication, IO-link, systems for mobile machines, displays, software, connection technology, voltage supplies, as well as other accessories.
Machine Saver Inc. is a manufacturer and supplier of vibration monitoring and protection systems. Established in 2013, the company is headquartered in Houston, Texas, USA. The company develops, manufactures, and markets a wide range of vibration monitoring products including Vibration Sensors, Proximity Probes, Proximitors or Probe Drivers, Reliability and Machine Health Software as well as offering Reliability Services. Its solutions are designed to help industries prevent equipment failures and downtime. Machine Saver Inc’s main services encompass designing and implementing customized vibration monitoring solutions, catering to a wide range of industries including oil and gas, power generation, and manufacturing.
Jewell Instruments is headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire. The company serves industries such as aerospace, geophysical, railroad, laboratory, and data acquisition with various measuring devices and sensors. The company has five product segments: Inertial & Tilt Sensors, GEO Instruments & Sensors, Meters & Avionics, Data Acquisition Hardware, and Triplett Test Equipment Tools. Inertial & Tilt Sensors include accelerometers, inclinometers, and inertial measurement unit devices. GEO Instruments & Sensors includes economical high-precision and ultra-precision sensors. Meters & Avionics include panel meters, avionics, and solenoids.
Bruel & Kjaer Vibro America, Inc., established in 1994 as a subsidiary of German company Brüel & Kjær Vibro GmbH is an American service provider and manufacturer of condition monitoring products. Based in Gardnerville, Nevada, the company produces various VIBRO brand devices that collect, analyze, and/or display vibrational data. The devices include VC-8000 rack-based continuous monitoring system, VIBROPORT & VIBROTEST portable onsite measurement instruments, and the VCM-3 wireless connectivity & cloud-based data management system. It also offers accessories and spare parts for various application in the petrochemical, renewable energy, and mining industries.
Monitran, a London-based supplier of advanced monitoring and measuring systems established in 1986, specializes in vibration and displacement sensors. They offer a wide range of solutions for industries such as manufacturing, energy, and transportation. Monitran's sensor options include accelerometers and velocity sensors, serving diverse applications in industrial processing, power stations, water treatment, wind turbines, mining, and the oil and gas industry. Additionally, Monitran provides project management services, delivering turnkey solutions that seamlessly integrate vibration sensors with monitoring and display hardware, complementing other sensor types and customer control systems.
Founded in 2003, Aaronia AG is a German manufacturer based in Strickscheid, specializing in measuring, tracking, and monitoring technology. Initially focusing on spectrum analyzers, including the first portable handheld model introduced in 2008, the company expanded its product line to include antennas, preamplifiers, signal generators, shielding materials, and related accessories. In 2013, Aaronia developed AARTOS, a drone detection system, most recently used in the security infrastructure of the 2022 G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia. With real-time analysis software, Aaronia offers customized integration of hardware components for diverse applications. The company also provides GPS logger software to collect data from the antennas.
TWK-ELEKTRONIK GmbH, established in 1962, is based in Düsseldorf, Germany, and is a manufacturer and supplier of quality industrial sensors and position transducers. The company’s product portfolio includes rotary encoders, linear position sensors, draw-wire sensors, inclination sensors, and electronic modules. These sensors are utilized in a wide range of applications across industries such as automation, robotics, and machine tools.TWK-ELEKTRONIK's sensors provide precise and ideal position feedback, ensuring efficient motion control and accurate positioning in various industrial processes. With an aim to excellence, TWK-ELEKTRONIK continues to deliver state-of-the-art sensor solutions that cater to the demands of the industrial automation sector.
BDC Electronic, established in 1970 and situated in Grugliasco, Italy, is a manufacturer specializing in proximity sensors. The company provides an extensive array of industrial sensors, including ATEX sensors, inductive sensors, capacitive sensors, magnetic sensors, speed sensors, and acceleration sensors. Additionally, they offer supporting products like amplifiers and connectors. BDC Electronic adheres to quality standards certified under ISO 9001:2008, and their products undergo testing in accordance with the EN 60947-5-2 standards.
Lenord + Bauer (LB) is a German developer and manufacturer of motion sensing solutions and integrated drive technologies originally founded in 1965 as a think tank in Oberhausen. The company produces various analog and digital motion sensors using magnetic and optical principles, motion control systems for managing actuators, drives or motors, and software solutions for parameterization and analysis of LB portfolio products. These supply client manufacturers of critical infrastructure such as Bombardier and Standler railway vehicles, Enercon and Nordex wind turbines, and DMG Mori machine tools.
AirPro Fan & Blower Company was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The company is a manufacturer of industrial fans and blowers that are typically used in industrial manufacturing applications. The company’s fan offerings include high-temperature fans, high-pressure blowers, radial fans, backward fans, and exhaust fans. Custom fan designs are made possible using an online fan selection tool. The company can design, build, and ship custom fans in as little as six days. The company offers several services including maintenance-ready design, installation, operation support, and maintenance services.
ALTHEN, established in 1978, headquartered in Kelkheim, Germany, is a manufacturer and supplier that specializes in providing precision sensors and measurement solutions. Their product range includes strain gauges, load cells, pressure transducers, and displacement sensors, catering to industries such as aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, and robotics. ALTHEN's sensors enable accurate data collection, testing, and monitoring of various parameters critical to the performance and safety of industrial processes and structures. They maintain ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, ensuring the quality of their products for precise measurements across diverse industrial applications.
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