According to Datastick Systems, the noise floor of its handheld VSA™ vibration spectrum analyzers may be the lowest in the industry, which is important when measuring low amplitudes of vibration because, if the noise is too high, it is difficult to differentiate the real vibration from noise. In vibration analysis, this means that subtle yet significant changes in the vibration signature of a rotating or reciprocating machine, such as a pump, turbine or other motorized assembly, may not be detected until it is close to failure. Some specific applications in which a low-noise floor is particularly important in finding small signals that may not be easily observable are:
- Precision machine tools as the high degree of dampening built into these machines results in low amplitudes of vibration, since the dampening minimizes the vibration that is measurable.
- Centrifugal compressors and turbine blade passing measurement in which vibration occurs at high frequencies, but at low amplitudes.
- Paper mill dryer bearings, because the amplitude of the bearing-fault frequencies is low; replacing the bearings can be time-consuming; and downtime and lost throughput are costly.