The cheapest machines tend to be single channel devices, without a tacho input. These are fine for condition monitoring and so on, but any diagnostic work will need something more advanced. In theory it is possible to do a single plane balance on a machine without a tacho input. I have done it but do not recommend this.
A single channel machine with a tacho input can be used for diagnostic work, and dynamic balancing.
A twin channel machine can perform almost any measurement that a larger machine can handle. If you think you will ever need to perform impact tests, modals, intensity measurements, FRFs etc then it is worth going for a 2 channel. Make sure that you can get it to talk to your computer, then you can do all the analysis on a proper keyboard. I prefer to have a separate tacho/trigger channel as well.
Note that an alternative is to fit an a/d unit to a laptop. This can be a very cheap option, if you already have suitable sensors.
If you look through the following websites and need to ask further questions please remember to specify the sort of task you need it for, the frequency range you are interested in and which country you are in.
Here are possible sources, and replies condensed from earler threads.
MachineryWatch (Mechanical) Mar 31, 2003 The MAARS Model 3000 online vibration data acquisition system is designed for mobile machinery such as cranes. Wireless technology may be used to transmit digitized data from the machine to networked vibration analysis database software. http://www.maars.com
vsdp (Mechanical) Apr 9, 2003 SignalCalc Ace which is a two-channel dynamic signal analyzer might be useful to you. Take a look at it at www.dataphysics.com
rubenputter (Mechanical) Apr 27, 2003 There are a few options as always price would be the major factor in your choice. C.S.I. makes a good vibration analyser with a price range from R100000 to R340000 SKF,DLI are all options Anderson&Hurley instuments in Jhb. Supplies CSI I am sure You would know where to find a SKF analyser. DLI Looks good But I do not know who the supplier in South-africa is (If anybody Knows please help). There are lots of ways to monitor vibration and one must decide what you are looking for. I hope this helps.
ChrisOlsen (Mechanical) Apr 28, 2003 As a vibration consultant, my choice of instruments is based on two factors, price and performance. The VB2000T does a great job at a great price.
PaulWeal (Automotive) Apr 29, 2003 See http://www.lmsintl.com/ click "Analyzers" under Testing Solutions in left pane. This should take you to the LMS Pimento.
Kenyi (Mechanical) Apr 29, 2003 A SKF Microlog CMVA 60 is powerfull tool, you can use it but you have to make measures with sincronous time technics to separate vibrations from the ground and filter the vibration machine. Of course you must utilize a kit phase.
vanstoja (Mechanical) Dec 15, 2002 The CSI 2120 and the DLI Watchman are frequently used for vibration condition monitoring in plants with many turbomachines to be monitored. Both are portable, relatively easy to use and have high resolution signal capabilities (3200 lines for the CSI 2120). Used with compatible data reduction and analysis programs like CSI's Mastertrend, they provide an effective, moderate cost approach to onsite and remote machinery condition monitoring. Check out the CSI and DLI internet sites for further details.
VibEngr (Mechanical) Dec 15, 2002 In addition to the two companies already mentioned, Entek IRD also makes data collectors. Please find the company websites listed below.
skfmike (Mechanical) Dec 16, 2002 Please do not forget about SKF Condition Monitoring at www.skfcm.com. Where more machinery is monitored by SKF Condition Monitoring equipment worldwide.
dgallagher (Mechanical) Feb 17, 2003 My $0.02 worth of advice: Check out Commtest Instruments VB Series - the analyzers and software are less than half the price of CSI, Entek, DI, etc. - are made in New Zealand, and their support is very good. They have several reps in your country: http://www.commtest.com/fset2.html
dgallagher (Mechanical) 9 Jun 06 10:08 There are many competent systems out there from Emerson-CSI, Rockwell-Entek, SKF, DLI and others. A couple lesser known that are very cost effective as well as good quality include Commtest and Adash: