Almost all products, especially industrial components (turbines, motor…), are constantly suffering mechanical vibrations. It is very important, from the safety point of view, to predict the lifetime of those products, to know in advance the behavior of these components against vibrations and calculate the lifetime (fatigue tests).
Vibration simulation is made to subject the products and packages to the vibrations that they will suffer during their life cycle, especially during transportation and then analyze their behavior before them to predict the damages in final products and its packaging.
Apart of mechanical products, any packaging, during the distribution cycle, suffers different types of vibration during handling and transport. To guarantee the perfect delivery of the products, a previous analysis of the behavior of the packaging against vibrations is needed. Universal procedures have been studied to achieve this: ISTA, ASTM, ISO, etc., procedures.
Mechanical vibration analysis: what is it?
Vibration is the oscillation of an object around a state of equilibrium. There are many types of vibration: mechanical with linear motions, angular or rotational motions, electromagnetic, gravitational… Not only we are surrounded by them, but we are also immersed in them. Body temperature is nothing but an indication of the level of excitement of electrons as they vibrate. Below we will limit ourselves to discuss mechanical, linear and angular vibrations.
Mechanical vibration analysis is a process that involves the following phases:
Vibration data recording
The first step for mechanical vibration analysis is to record the vibrations of the process that want to be analyzed. A shock recorder is an essential device that allows you to record shocks, vibrations and accelerations that take place during product transportation. Collected through the use of shock sensors for shipping and a gyroscope, this information can be later used in the design and/or optimization of a packaging that protects products during transportation.
A shock recorder is a vibration monitoring system that, once installed in a means of transport (truck, train, ship, etc.), records and stores data on the shocks, vibrations and accelerations experienced by the load during transportation.
InnRecord is the data recorder of Safe Load TT. Some of the characteristics of the innRecord are:
- It allows for the logging of acceleration data and 3 axis acceleration data.
- It includes a shock and vibration data logger.
- Can record routes based on the force and frequency of the vibrations during transportation (PSD) in three dimensions, as well as 2-axis rotations (pitch and roll).
The recorded data has to be analyzed to be reproduced in a vibration table. InnRecord includes a vibrations analyzer software. The information logged by the Safe Load TT’s shock recorder is stored in a micro SD card.
Then, the collected and subsequently analyzed information can be reproduced with the innDrop, innSlide, innWave and innShock product families, allowing to simulate the real conditions in which the cargo is transported to be foreseen.
The analyzed vibration data can be simulated in a vibration machine. There are different kinds of vibrations machines on the market. The following section explains the different machines and their characteristics.
Types of vibration machines on the market
There are different kinds of vibration testing equipment on the market, the main differences are the technology used, the types of vibration, the direction of the vibration and the number of vibrations involved.
From the point of view of the technology used, the vibration machines can be:
These shaker tables are characterized by:
- Electromagnetic system
- Short stroke
- Very high acceleration
- Very high frequencies
- Are designed especially for electronic elements. Vibration response and fatigue tests.
These vibration tables are characterized by:
- Constant stroke
- Low accelerations
- Very low frequencies.
Are used mostly at the laboratory level as mechanical agitators. This kind of vibration machine is also used in some testing standards: ISTA, ASTM, TAPPI, ISO, MIL-STD, UN, DOT.
The hydraulic vibration testers offer the biggest possibility of tests, are characterized by:
- Hydraulic energy system
- Long stroke
- High frequency (until 500 Hz)
- High and Low accelerations
- Can test high loads.
Other difference between the machines is the direction of the vibration:
The vertical vibration test simulates the vertical vibrations experienced by the load during transport. The mechanical vibrations are only in vertical directions. These are the most common machines on the market.
Within the range of vertical vibration systems, Safe Load TT offers a wide range of options: frequencies that can reach up to 500Hz and test loads of more than 1500kg.
- One of the features is the possibility of choosing between two types of maximum stroke, one of 75mm to simulate all the standard procedures ISTA, ISO, ASTM… and another with a stroke of 200mm.
- This machine with longer stroke offers the possibility of simulating any type of tests, the standard procedures, but also, thanks to the controller of Real Vibrations, can simulate any PSD of a real transport route registered by a vibration data recorder, innRecord (Safe Load TT), or any other vibration recorder of the market.
- Real vibrations controllers have 3 kind of control interfaces depending on the level of the final user: simple mode, advanced mode or scientific mode, designed for research and simulation centers.
This family of vibration tables performs only horizontal vibration movements. These machines are a low cost testing equipment option for challenging the integrity of your packaging designs.
Normally these machines are based on mechanical shakers. This kind of technologies is more common in structural simulation to performs seismic vibrations.
This is the most complete vibration machines on the market. These machines simulate, not only vertical movements on the load, but also allows the addition of other movements of pitch & roll that take place during distribution.
During vertical vibration tests only one axis moves, but the vertical + pitch & roll system takes into account that, and also other certain motions that go beyond one single direction during transport. In this way, a multi-axis vibration is added, which allows for more realistic simulations that were not possible before.
By performing a comparative analysis between these two types of tests, we can see that the vertical vibration test can be important in electronic component rigidity tests, which the vibration + pitch & roll test offers a simulation that is closer to the real circumstances of the distribution cycle.
The multi-axis machine offered by Safe Load TT is the Vertical Vibration + Pitch & Roll System. This technology patented by Safe Load TT allows us the possibility of performing angular P&R vibrations.
The standard vibration shakers of Safe Load TT offer rotations of ±5⁰, anyway, as in all their machines, Safe Load TT offers the possibility of customizing these rotation limits under customer specifications. Like the vertical vibration testers, P&R machines can simulate PSDs of registered transport routes.
How to improve your packaging using vibration simulation
Thanks to the vibration simulation you can predict the damages on your packaging or products. Optimizing your packaging through the use of simulation equipment allows you to protect the load and obtain significant savings. Which is why we are committed to find the testing machines that are right for your company, the products that you transport and the route that they will follow.
Do you want to know more about vibration parameters and how to prevent the vibrations that affect your products during transportation? At Safe Load TT, our track-record of over two decades in the transport simulation sector and packaging industry are at your service. Contact us and let’s talk about how we can help you.