Roving Accelerometer Impact Tests with iTestSystem

3D Animator: Bike Frame Twist Vibration Mode at 26.2 Hz

In order to prevent or troubleshoot structural vibration problems, it is important to characterize a structure’s dynamic behavior using both experimental and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) technologies.  One method used to identify a structure’s vibration modes is to perform a roving accelerometer or roving hammer impact test.  In an impact test, engineers measure the response of a structure from an impulse delivered by a calibrated hammer using tri-axial accelerometers.

FRF View: Bike Frame Point 9 Coherence & Magnitude

Managing impact tests on large structures can be tedious and cost prohibitive, since they require collecting accelerometer responses at hundreds of locations to resolve the vibration motion.  Not only do test engineers need to keep track of the locations, they also need to keep track of the orientation that an accelerometer is positioned.

Our test engineers have found that the most efficient and cost effective solution for collecting impact data is to use a National Instruments (NI) cDAQ chassis with either NI-9234, NI-9232, or NI-9230 IEPE modules along with a calibrated impulse hammer and between 3 – 9 tri-axial accelerometers. To collect, manage, and visualize the modal data, our LabVIEW software engineers developed the Impact Test DAQ, FRF Viewer, and 3D Animator applications for our iTestSystem software platform. These applications incorporate tools that our test engineers need to manage and validate the quality of their modal data while in the field.

For more information about impact tests, modal analysis, our iTestSystem Impact Test applications, or to schedule a modal test contact Mark Yeager or Ryan Welker.

Click Here to download iTestSystem

ITM adds FieldDAQ Sound & Vibration Module compatibility to iTestSystem

The FieldDAQ™ FD-11634 sound and vibration input module from National Instruments (NI) can now be used with the latest version of iTestSystem (16.1.24).  The FD-11634 is similar to the NI-9234, NI-9232, and NI-9230 cDAQ dynamic input modules and can be used with IEPE type sensors such as accelerometers and microphones.  Like the other FieldDAQ™ modules, this module is IP65/IP67 dust and water resistant with an operating temperature range of  -40 °C to 85 °C.  Our test engineers would use these modules for collecting vibration data on mining and construction equipment, vibration data on rotating machinery within manufacturing facilities and test cells, and acoustic data for measuring equipment noise emissions.

The FieldDAQ™ FD-11634 module has 8 simultaneous sampled, ±1V or ±10 V, 24-bit differential input channels with AC/DC coupling. It has a maximum sample rate of 102.4kS/s and features built in anti-aliasing filters that automatically adjust to the sampling rate.

For advice about using the FieldDAQ™ FD-11634 sound and vibration modules in iTestSystem monitoring applications or with custom cRIO RT and FPGA control applications contact Mark Yeager or Chase Petzinger.

Click Here to view a video showing one of our test engineer collecting data from a submerged FieldDAQ™ module with iTestSystem.

Click Here for more information about iTestSystem.

ITM @ VIATC 2019: Vibration Institute Annual Training Conference

Come see us at the VIATC 2019 Exhibit Hall in Booth 33!

Ryan Matthews and Mark Yeager (CAT III Vibration Analysts) will be there to answer questions about our iTestSystem engineering measurement platform, our on-site testing services, LabVIEW consulting, and strain gauging services.

When: July 24 & 25th

Where: The VIATC 2019 conference and exhibit hall will take place at the Lexington Center, connected by a joint lobby to the Hyatt Regency Lexington.

Lexington Center
430 West Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507

ITM Provides Global Solutions

 

ITM provides software development, structural and mechanical testing services, industrial monitoring, strain gauging, and data analysis solutions to clients on five continents.  ITM is located in Milford, OH, but our software and hardware packages are used throughout the world.  For the past 18 years ITM has traveled to where our specialized services are needed.  Whether it is performing tests at 16,500 ft in the Andes Mountains or on oil rigs in the Gulf Coast, installing strain gauges at extreme temperatures, or monitoring systems in the US or on the other side of the world, ITM understands the challenges of working in tough environments and will ensure your projects are successful whether home or abroad.

If you need tests performed or monitoring systems developed anywhere in the world, contact Ryan Welker (ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or 1.844.837.8797 x702).

iTestSystem Tip: Impact Hammer Setup

While iTestSystem is designed to collect data from specific sensor types like strain, voltage, current, and accel; custom signal types such as pressure, displacement, and force can also be configured by utilizing the Custom Scale functionality during the channel creation process.

For example, manufacturers often need to measure the amount of force required to install a component using a calibrated impact hammer.  Since iTestSystem does not have a specific channel type for impact hammers, we must create one using a similar channel type.  The channel type most similar to an impact hammer is the accelerometer channel.1

To configure a piezoelectric impact hammer in iTestSystem, first create an accelerometer channel.  An accelerometer channel will supply the impact hammer with IEPE constant current.  From the accelerometer configuration window, change the Units to “From Custom Scale”, set the sensitivity to 1, and set the sensitivity units to Volt\g.  Next, set the custom scale: scaled units to lbs, lbf, or N, Prescaled Units to g, and in the slope field, input the lbs\Volt value from the hammer’s calibration sheet.  After entering these settings, be sure to hit the Test button to verify your signal and save the settings after verification.

Notes

  1. Most impact hammers are piezoelectric and require IEPE constant current excitation.  Several iTestSystem compatible National Instruments (NI) cDAQ input modules (NI-9230, NI-9231, NI-9232, and NI-9234) can supply IEPE excitation for an impact hammer.  These modules are typically used for piezoelectric accelerometer inputs.

For a free trial of iTestSystem including the custom scale settings or to learn more about impact hammer measurements, contact chase.petzinger@itestsystem.com.

DOT Structural Health Monitoring

As engineering consultants, it’s the nature of our business for our work to take us out on the open road. It is for this reason that we are proud to support several state Departments of Transportation (DOT) with their structural testing and data acquisition needs.  We travel the very roads, bridges and other major infrastructure that they work so hard to design, build and maintain. 

Over the years, our field-testing experts have provided DOTs with the manpower needed to install and maintain the structural sensors for monitoring bridge and infrastructure usage/health, as well as the custom enclosures that house the precision data acquisition (DAQ) equipment used to process and trend data from the structural sensors.  We are looking for more opportunities to provide DOTs with the manpower and tools needed to keep tabs on our aging infrastructure.  

If you need help or advice on a structural monitoring project, contact Ryan Welker (ryan.welker@itestsystem.com or 1.844.837.8797 x702).  

Strain Gauge Shunt Equivalent Calculations in iTestSystem

When making strain measurements it is important to perform a shunt calibration both before and after the actual measurements are acquired.  Shunt calibrations ensure accurate strain measurements by adjusting the sensitivity or gain of the data acquisition equipment to compensate for leadwire resistance and other scaling errors.

iTestSystem takes advantage of the shunt calibration circuits included in the National Instruments (NI) cDAQ strain modules.  The NI-9235, NI-9236, and NI-9237 strain modules contain an internal shunt resistor that when switched on “shunts” across one leg of the strain circuit’s wheatstone bridge.  When active, the shunt resistor offsets the strain measurement by a constant strain which is calculated using the equivalent shunt calculation.  The equivalent strain/shunt value is dependent on the strain gauge configuration, gauge resistance, shunt resistance, gauge factor, and material properties.

In the latest version of iTestSystem we added a built-in strain gauge shunt equivalent calculator that can be accessed from the strain configuration page.  This calculator has allowed us to speed up the calibration process and eliminate hand calculation errors.

For a free trial of iTestSystem and the equivalent shunt calculation tool, contact chase.petzinger@itestsystem.com.

ITM Presents Sootblower Fouling Detection (SFD) Technology @ BLRBAC Spring 2019 Meeting

We would like to thank the Black Liquor Recovery Boiler Advisory Committee (BLRBAC) for allowing us to present our patented Sootblower Fouling Detection (SFD) technology at the Spring 2019 meeting in Atlanta, GA.  SFD is ITM’s patented technology for measuring fouling/slagging along the path of an active sootblower in recovery and utility boilers.

During this presentation, Tim Carlier described the original SFD concept, the system’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) outputs for closed or open loop control, and the system’s potential sootblower steam savings of 1-4% MCR.  He also highlighted the safety and maintenance benefits that the system provides.

For more information about the SFD technology or to schedule an online presentation or site visit to audit your specific application, contact Tim Carlier or Ryan Welker.

Contact Info:

Tim Carlier, President, tim.carlier@itestsystem.com, 513.608.4811

Ryan Welker, Business Development Manager, ryan.welker@itestsystem.com,  513.405.0181

Developing Custom Applications for iTestSystem

As the global market moves steadily in the direction of increased productivity through integration of software into the world of testing services, Integrated Test & Measurement finds itself at the forefront of the field.  Our other LabVIEW developers and I have been hard at work creating custom applications to help customers meet their testing needs with more efficiency and cost-effectiveness than ever before.

Since many of my co-workers come from both test engineering and software development backgrounds, it’s easier for us to scope, build, and deploy these custom testing applications while working hand-in-hand with on-site operators and field engineers, or even sending our own engineers on-site to test the applications.  Past projects I’ve gotten to work on have ranged from a small data collection and viewing application that allows a customer to perform materials testing and quickly generate reports; to larger systems like a power quality application which utilizes our iTestSystem platform and allows the customer to collect and perform real time power-quality analysis on large genset engines, view and quickly confirm results, and create multiple types of reports for both internal and external customers.

Thanks to ITM’s iTestSystem platform, we have been able to leverage our pre-existing data acquisition, data viewing, and application distribution tools to create and distribute these applications both faster and at lower price points than many of our customers expected.  Having this base platform allows me to create and test solutions quickly and to make revisions with ease.  As a LabVIEW developer on Team ITM, I have enjoyed the unique challenges presented in these applications and look forward to seeing how ITM continues to lead the field in this market.

Contact Information: For more information about our LabVIEW application development service contact:

Mark Yeager – Integrated Test & Measurement (ITM), LLC.  Email: mark.yeager@itestsystem.com or Phone: 1.844.TestSys