Case Studies

Automated Vibration Testing with LabVIEW

Posted in Food and Beverage, LabVIEW, Test & Measurement Automation


DMC created a mobile vibration test apparatus to allow the customer to analyze their high speed manufacturing machines. By providing a flexible, easy to use system this solution allowed the customer to successfully benchmark the vibration, noise, and power consumption of their equipment.


DMC was approached by a customer involved in food and beverage packaging, looking for a tool to measure the performance of their packaging equipment. Since the speed of high speed packaging machinery is typically limited by the amount of vibration as speed increases, the customer wanted the ability to analyze these characteristics. This would enable them to find optimal operating setpoints, evaluate mechanical changes, and analyze behavior changes over time. To supplement to these measurements, it was also desired that power and acoustic data also be captured as secondary measurements of machine efficiency.

DMC utilized the National Instruments hardware and the LabVIEW Sound and Vibration Toolkit to rapidly provide a custom standalone vibration measurement cart for a customer involved in high speed packaging. Using LabVIEW, this system was able to provide a plethora of machine information, allowing the customer to fully analyze the performance of their machinery, evaluate mechanical design changes, and potentially even anticipate machine wear and failure.

For data acquisition, DMC specified a Compact DAQ chassis with several specialized vibration cards, allowing for vibration, acoustic, and tachometer measurements. Calibration and setup were completed through DAQmx and Measurement and Automation Explorer along with custom metadata entry to allow data association to specific machine hardware and test conditions. Data was acquired simultaneously from several 1 and 3-axis accelerometers, an analog microphone, and a tachometer. Additionally, a 3-phase power meter was incorporated into the system to allow for measurement of power consumption and efficiency.

To facilitate data analysis DMC incorporated numerous vibration graphs, including power spectrum, waterfall, ordered power spectrum, FFT, and power spectral density. By utilizing many views of the data, the customer was better empowered to make conclusions about the performance of their equipment. Finally the data was stored efficiently in TDMS files and tools were provided to review this historical data both graphically and with Excel.

Customer Benefits

  • Provides multiple visualizations of vibration magnitude, allowing for in depth analysis
    • Power Spectrum
    • Waterfall
    • Ordered Power Spectrum
    • FFT
    • Power Spectral Density
  • Configurable interface allows customization for many machine types
  • Integration of vibration, power, speed, and acoustic measurements provide deeper operational insight


  • National Instruments LabVIEW and Sound and Vibration Toolkit
  • National Instruments Compact DAQ
  • Siemens Sentron RS-485 3-Phase Power Meter
  • PCB Piezotronics 1 and 3-Axis Accelerometers
  • Acoustic Analog Microphone
  • Tachometer and High Speed Counter