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4-20 mA Calculator (Info)

This calculator converts the measurement of overall vibration transducers in the range
of 4-20 mA to the actual vibration units.


Common used vibration units: g rms, mm/s rms, ips pk, mil pk-pk.

You can specify any other units you want.

Also available in the chrome web store:

Directions for use


Select from the list or enter the units of the physical quantity you are converting.
Enter the range of the measured variable corresponding to the 4-20 mA range.


Enter the current value in mA to obtain the physical value in the selected units or
vice versa.

4-20 mA transducers provide an output proportional to the vibration within a specified
range, from 0 to a maximal amplitude Vmax, as shown in the following picture:

4-20 mA transducer input/ouput relationship

Calling I the output current and V the vibrationor other physical measure
between Vmin (which is usually 0) and Vmax; the conversion formulas are as follows:

I [mA] = ( ( (V Vmin) / ( Vmax Vmin) ) 16 ) + 4

V[units] = ( (I 4 ) / 16) ( Vmax Vmin ) + Vmin
Note that the values and units of Vmin and Vmax are specified by the manufacturer. You
must enter Vin the same units.

Conversion Between Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration

Vibration is a form of movement; in consequence, the relations between acceleration,
velocity and displacement are governed by simple kinematics; acceleration is the
derivative of velocity, which in turn is the derivative of displacement:

Conversely, displacement is the integral of velocity, which in turn is the integral of


For an arbitrary vibration signal, the only way to convert one of these measures into
another would be to know the complete time waveform and differentiate or integrate it.
Fortunately, the integral and derivative of a sinusoidal function are also sinusoidal
functions, so for sinusoidal waveforms these relations simplify to (the intermediary
math has been omitted):

From displacement to velocity and acceleration:

From acceleration to velocity and displacement:

With frequency in Hz and phase in radians.

It is important to observe that if one of the three variables acceleration, velocity or
displacement is sinusoidal, the other two are also sinusoidal at the same frequency;
only amplitude and phase change.

Phase Relations
Phase relations are fairly intuitive and independent of amplitude and frequency. The
phase difference between acceleration and displacement is always 180, which means
that when the object reaches its maximum displacement from the equilibrium position,
the acceleration is maximum in the opposite direction (see points 1 and 2 in the figure
below). Velocity always lags acceleration by 90 and leads displacement by 90: it is
maximum when both acceleration and displacement are zero, that is, when passing
trough the equilibrium position (points 3 and 4).

Phase difference between acceleration, velocity and displacement

Amplitude Relations

The amplitude of acceleration, velocity and displacement are related by factors that
depend on vibration frequency. For a given velocity amplitude, for example, the
corresponding displacement amplitude is higher at low frequencies by a factor
proportional to 1/f and acceleration is higher at high frequencies, by a factor
proportional to f. This relations explain why low frequency vibration is emphasized by
displacement measures and high frequency vibration by acceleration, as illustrated in
the following figure:

Sinusoidal acceleration and displacement amplitude as a function of frequency for a fixed velocity
amplitude of 1 mm/s rms

Units in this figure were chosen because they are commonly used and to make the
curves fit in the plot. If different units are used, the scale of the curves will vary but
their general form remains the same.

Conversion Formulas
The conversion formulas for amplitude only are summarized in the following table:

Amplitude conversion between sinusoidal acceleration, velocity and displacement.

You want

You have

A, f[Hz]

V, f[Hz]

X, f[Hz]

2f V
6.28f V

(2f)2 X
39.5f2 X

Velocity, V =

1/(2f) A
1/(6.28f) A

2f X
6.28f X

Displacement, X =

1/(2f) 2 A
1/(39.5f2) A

1/(2f) V
1/(6.28f) V

Acceleration, A =

To take into account the phase, the formulas are (using the notation aplitude@phase):

Amplitude and phase conversion between sinusoidal acceleration, velocity and


You have
You want

A@a =


A, f[Hz]

V, f[Hz]

X, f[Hz]


(2f)2 X@(x+180)

39.5f X@(x+180)

1/(2f) A@(a90)

2f X@(x+90)

V@v =

X@x =


1/(2f) 2 A@(a180)

6.28f X@(x+90)


The formulas presented do not modify the type of amplitude measurement (pk, pk-pk
or rms). They do not transform the units used, either. When applying these formulas,
care has to be taken to convert the result to the desired units.

If we want to convert a sinusoidal acceleration of 0.1g rms into velocity in in/s pk, and
we don't care about the phase, we can proceed as follows:
A = 0.1g = 0.1 x 32.17ft/s2 = 3.217ft/s2 38.6in/s2
f = 4500 cpm = (4500/min)x(1min/60s) = 75/s
V = A/(2f) (38.6m/s2) / (6.28 x 75/s) = 0.082in/s
As the acceleration amplitude was rms, so is the obtained velocity. We use the formulas
in theAmplitude section to get:
V 0.11in/s pk
As you seem, calculations can be tricky... These are the formulas used by the sinusoidal
vibration calculator to convert between sinusoidal displacement, velocity and

Sinusoidal Vibration Calculator

Use the online vibration calculator to convert amplitudes of sinusoidal vibration between
different unit systems, physical variables and overall amplitude values.

The calculator handles displacement, velocity and acceleration units commonly used in
mechanical vibration analysis:

Vibration in mil, m, ips (in/s), mm/s, ft/s, m/s, g

Peak (pk), peak to peak (pk-pk) or rms amplitude

Vibration frequency in Hz, cpm or rad/s

Converts phase shift measurements

Solve for the frequency at which two different vibration quantities are equal
Also available in the chrome web store:

Directions for use

With the "solve for frequency" box unchecked: the calculator will convert the entered
vibration amplitude (and phase angle) to the other physical variables and units, at the
given frequency:


Set the vibration frequency (Hz or CPM, only one), press 'Enter'.
Set the vibration amplitude (only one), press 'Enter'.


Optionally, set the vibration angle (only one), press 'Enter'.

With the "solve for frequency" box checked: the calculator will find the frequency at
which the vibration amplitude corresponds to two given vibration amplitude values:


Set a vibration amplitude, press 'Enter'.


Set vibration amplitude of another physical variable, press 'Enter'.

Rotor Balancing Simulator (Info)

This online balancing simulator allows you to test your balancing skills in one or two
planes with a rigid rotor model. Go ahead and play with different rotor geometries and
operation conditions, pure static or couple unbalance, add balancing weights and see if
you can make the rotor run smoothly.
You can also use the simulator to follow the Single plane balancing tutorial.


Models a rigid rotor of variable size and geometry.

Simulation of unbalance and vibration readings in the supports.

Variation of operating speed and bearing stiffness.

Vibration indication in displacement or velocity.

Arbitrary placement of balancing weights.

Elapsed time simulation.

Also available in the chrome web store:

Directions for use

Most of the options and controls are self-describing, below are some which may require
further explanation.

Set up tab
Initial unbalance: the application simulates an uneven distribution of mass in the
rotor which can bestatic, causing the principal inertia axis of the rotor to be offset but
parallel to the shaft axis, ordynamic (static and couple combination), which causes the
principal inertia axis to be not parallel to the shaft axis. In a rotor supported between
the bearings a static unbalance produces inphase vibration at the bearings and a
couple unbalance produces out of phase vibration. In a overhung rotor, however, even a
pure static unbalance will produce out of phase vibration at the bearings.

Mount stiffness: This is the total dynamic stiffness of the bearings and supporting
system. For the same mass unbalance, a softer mounting (lower stiffness) will result in
higher vibration at the bearings than a more rigid one (higher stiffness) and will require
less residual unbalance to attain the vibration tolerance.

Balance tab
Balancing weights: The weight's angular position is refered to the keyway (which is
also the reference for the phase of vibration measures) and the angle increases in the
direction opposite to the turning sense.

Keyway position is shown when adding or removing balancing weights.

Vibration measurement: This field displays the 1X filtered absolute vibration as

measured by seismic sensors located in the radial horizontal direction at each bearing
housing (see picture below). You can select to measure vibration in metric or imperial
units, velocity or displacement. It is important to note that when you select to measure
in displacement units (m or mils), you obtain the integrated absolute displacement at
the bearing housing and not the relative shaft-casing vibration.

Location of vibration sensors.

The phase reference signal is triggered when the rotor keyway is in the same direction
as the sensors (horizontal, facing forward in the front view and to the left in the side
view), and the lag phase convention is used.

The background color of the vibration value changes according to the zones defined in
the ISO 10816-3 standard "Evaluation of machine vibration by measurements on nonrotating parts", for a group 2 machine operating below its first critical speed, and they
mean (in short):

Red: Zone D, vibration of sufficient severity to damage machine.

Orange: Zone C, unsatisfactory for long term continuous operation.

Yellow: Zone B, unrestricted, long-term operation allowed.

Green: Zone A: Typical of new machinery.
For a good field balancing you would want to attain zone A or, at the very least, zone B.

Color indicating vibration severity.

Elapsed time: Operations like starting and stopping the machine and working with
balancing weights increase the elapsed time by several minutes to simulate a real life

Shaft Alignment Assistant (Info)

This online shaft alignment software helps you to align machinery using the reverse
indicator method. Just enter the indicators' readings to obtain the plot of the relative
position of the shafts centerlines and the corrections needed.

The alignment assistant supports:

Two machines.
Short coupling.

Short coupling tolerances.

Reverse dial indicator method.

Metric and US/Imperial units.

Fixed/movable machine model, typically used for pump-motor or fan-motor sets
where it is not desirable to move the pump or fan. It can also be used in many other
cases of course.

Directions for use

The main components of the application are the alignment plot, the set up tab and
the alignment tab.

Alignment plots
The alignment plots show the relative positions of the shaft centerlines of the machines,
and allow you to easily interpret and follow the entire alignment status. There are two
of plots:
vertical (as viewed from the side) and horizontal (as viewed from above).
The alignment plots display also hints for the different dimensions you will have to enter
to configure
the alignment job, the position of the dial indicators when measuring and the tolerances

Alignment plots

The default reference directions for the horizontal plot are "north" and "south",
but you can change them to whatever you want by clicking on the labels next to the
for example "wall" and "tank".

Changing names for horizontal directions

Set up tab
Measuring tape units: these units will be used to specify the dimensions of the
movable machine and the position of the dial indicators relative to the coupling center.
You can select centimeters or inches.
Coupling to front foot: this is the distance in the axial direction between the center of
the coupling and the bolt hole of the inboard feet on the movable machine. When you
edit this field, you will see a hint in the alignment plot, like this:

Coupling to front foot hint

Feet separation: this is the distance in the axial direction between the center of the
bolt holes of inboard and outboard feet. When you edit this field, you will see a hint in
the alignment plot, like this:

Feet separation hint

Operating speed: the operating speed is used to calculate the alignment tolerance
according to the following tables for metric and imperial/US units:

Short coupling alignment tolerances (metric units)

Operating speed


Angularity (slope)
[mm/100 / 100mm]




















Short coupling alignment tolerances (imperial/US units)


Operating speed

Angularity (slope)
[mil / 10in]

















Dial indicator units: these units will be used to specify the alignment measurements
themselves. You can select hundreds of a millimeter or thousands of an inch.
Indicator 1 to coupling center: indicator 1 is the indicator that turns with the
movable machine and which measures on the shaft of the fixed machine. When you edit
this field, you will see a hint in the alignment plot, like this:

Indicator 1 to coupling center hint

Indicator 2 to coupling center: indicator 2 is the indicator that turns with the fixed
machine and which measures on the shaft of the movable machine. When you edit this
field, you will see a hint in the alignment plot, like this:

Indicator 2 to coupling center hint

Bar sag readings: enter here the bar and bracket sag readings for each indicator.
After this, the alignment assistant will compensate your alignment measurements. Note
that these values must be negative and they should be both almost the same if you use
a symmetric arrangement.

Align tab
Measurement: enter the readings of the dial indicators. You do not need to
compensate for the bar sag, the readings will be compensated according to the amount
you entered in the Bar sag readings field in the set up tab. When you edit each field a
hint will be displayed in the alignment plot showing the position of the corresponding
measurement so you dont need to deal with 12-3-6-9 oclock conventions.

Dial indicator measure and hint

After entering the readings press the Update button to have the alignment plot display
the positions of the shafts centerlines and the corrections at the feet updated in the
corrections information box.
Corrections: this box displays the required corrections at the feet of the movable
machine and the tolerance attained for the vertical and horizontal direction. The
tolerances are also displayed in the alignment plot by means of a color shade over the
coupling with the following convention:

Excellent: green
Acceptable: yellow

Bad: Red

Alignment measurement, tolerances, corrections and plot

Sinusoidal Vibration Basics

This tutorial is about the basic quantities that characterize sinusoidal vibration:
amplitude, frequency and phase. Also, some interesting properties of sinusoidal
vibrations are explored such as amplitude units conversion and polar representation.

Sinusoidal vibration is an idealization. There are few machines that will vibrate in a pure
sinusoidal fashion (although a notable example are machines that exhibit pure mass
unbalance); most real vibration waveforms are much more complex. However,
understanding sinusoidal vibration is useful for a number of reasons:

For sinusoidal waveforms it is easy to convert overall amplitude values between

peak, peak to peak and rms. It is also easy to convert between acceleration, velocity
and displacement.

Sinusoidal vibration allows to introduce the concept of phase, which is used in

some advanced diagnostic techniques and the basic concept used in rotor balancing: if
you want to balance a rotor and understand that is happening you must definitely
understand sinusoidal vibration and phase.

Any vibration waveform, no matter how complex, can be decomposed into

sinusoidal components. This fact is the base of frequency analysis, perhaps the most
known tool for vibration diagnostics.

Sinusoidal vibration
Sinusoidal vibration is the simplest form of vibration, in which a body moves around an
equilibrium position in a periodic and smooth way. Perhaps the best known example of
sinusoidal motion is the motion of a mass attached to an ideal spring and subject to no
In a formal sense, a vibration is said to be sinusoidal if it corresponds to a sinusoidal
function of time, and it can be described with the following equation:
x(t) = Xcos(2ft )
Such a function looks like this:

Sinusoidal vibration waveform

A sinusoidal waveform is completely determined by three parameters:

X, the amplitude.

f, the frequency.
, the phase.
In the following sections we will describe more in detail these quantities and their

We will use the following notation throughout this tutorial:

Sinusoidal displacement waveform:

x(t) = Xcos(2ft x)

Sinusoidal velocity waveform:

v(t) = Vcos(2ft v)

Sinusoidal acceleration waveform:

a(t) = Acos(2ft a)

The properties of sinusoidal vibration apply regardless of the physical quantity

measured (displacement, velocity or acceleration). For simplicity, in most formulas we
will use displacement vibration, x(t); you can replace "x" by "v" or "a" as needed.

Tutorial Contents


Conversion Between Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration