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Tipps & Trends

July 9, 2019

Vibration measurement and data evaluation for test and monitoring applications

Whether your challenge is condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, structural health monitoring (SHM) or efficient data storage and analytics in various test applications – a comfortable and easy-to-run vibration measurement setup is crucial.

We provide powerful I/O modules for every type of accelerometer with connectors for most of the standard sensors or you can adopt it to your needs.

Acquire data from MEMS sensors with the Q.series X A108-4M1 and A108-2M3 I/O module

MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) sensors are often used for low frequency vibration measurements down to DC. These MEMS or K-Beam sensors require a supply voltage for operation. The new A108 module of our Q.series X provides the sensor supply for simple and convenient setups. It is possible to connect 4 single axis MEMS sensors to the A108-4M1. This module comes with standard 1/4-28 sockets (4 pole). Furthermore, two Tri-axis MEMS sensors can be connected to the A108-2M3 module with its DSUB 9 pole sockets.

MEMS, 4/6 Ch

Both types of modules provide galvanically isolated sensor supply voltage (15V DC) and sample with 20kHz on each channel. The sensor inputs can be switched by software from differential to single-ended inputs. In addition, these modules provide one single-ended input per sensor input that can be used e.g. for temperature compensation. With this feature measurement setups with highest accuracy are possible.

IEPE, 4 Ch

Connect IEPE / ICP® sensors to the Q.series X A111 I/O module

You have to set up a measurement chain with sensors based on IEPE (Integrated Electronics Piezo Electric), ICP®, ISOTRON®, DeltaTron, Piezotron or PiezoStar (physical unit mv/g)? Our 4 channel A111 provides the right signal conditioning with sensor supply according to IEPE or ICP® standards. Each channel samples with 100kHz and is galvanically isolated to other channels, to power supply and to bank for a powerful filtering and evaluation on I/O level and a maximum on robustness.

A141 Charge Amplifier for Piezo Electric sensors

When it comes to very special application with limited installation space, high surface or ambient temperature, PE (Piezo Electric) sensors are the method of choice. With their direct charge output (physical unit pC/g) these sensors do not have any electronic item in the sensor housing, making them small and robust against high temperatures. However, these sensors require external signal conditioning to convert the charge into a standard voltage signal. In the past, this was achieved by external devices such as inline charge amplifiers and their output was connected to the data acquisition system.

With the Q.series A141 charge amplifier we provide 4 channel signal conditioning I/O module that covers the need of external devices.

Depending on the charge signal to be measured, you can choose between two modes for either fast transient and pulsating signals or almost static ones. Every time you are facing a very broad measurement range, A141 might just be the perfect choice. Use it for your measuring challenges with accelerometer, force, or pressure sensors.

Piezo, 4 Ch

For a detailed understanding and comparison of the the different sensors and signal conditioning technologies have a quick look into our one-page overview.

Click on the image to open the PDF

You can connect all of these I/O modules to our powerful data acquisition controller and smart edge device Q.station X. The Q.station X can evaluate the vibration data for you to reduce the number of stored data points and to announce warnings or alarms independently of any connected computer.

The following parameters can be calculated in the time domain:

  • rms
  • Peak
  • Peak-to-Peak
  • Crest


These parameters are evaluated in the frequency domain:

  • Vibration velocity
  • Vibration displacement
  • Max Amplitude @ Frequency
  • FFT spectra (with Plugin)
  • and many other trend parameters

All these parameters can be used to trigger the storage of the raw data with pre- and post-trigger conditions. That helps to keep the data volume low, because raw values are only stored in case something important happened.

For data storage and visualization on computer level we offer our software GI.bench. This powerful and well-designed piece of software is more than just a tool for configuring the measurement chain. It provides data storage capabilities including merging data streams from different controllers or a redundant and scalable storage platform independent from any windows based user interface.

But when it comes to how to visualize large number of data points and provide overview dashboards, GI.bench underscores its strength. Easy to use drag&drop graphic elements such as YT / XY charts, gauges, bar graphs, bottoms and sliders allow any kind of dashboard to be configured in seconds. Channels from the measurement system or already evaluated variables can also be applied to the graphics elements via drag&drop. Even pictures or video streams from IP cameras can be integrated into the dashboards to show a perfect overview of the measurement setup.

If you want to share measurement data or need a lot of screens to visualize all your data simultaneously, you can easily use standard web browsers to connect to the DAQ system and view dashboards.

GI.bench dashboard with time waveform (top left), FFT waterfall plot (bottom left), dynamic image (top right) and XY-charts for Orbit (bottom left)

Find out how a distributed monitoring system continuously analyzes the combustion health of a dual-fuel combustion turbine from a central control room of a 300 MWe cogeneration plant. For more detailed technical information on the distributed monitoring system used in this application download our  case study ‘Measuring combustion health in combined heat and power (CHP) cogeneration plants‘.

Download case study

Author: Benedikt Heinz

Benedikt Heinz is Gantner Instrument's Vice President and Global Sales Manager.

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