Five Kinds of Balancing Machines

A balancing machine is a tool used for measuring the rotating parts of a machine; such as rotors for electric motors, pumps, fans, turbines, and more. The balancing machine itself determines whether the rotating machine parts are formed evenly or if they will wobble off balance. This can be a big problem as some parts are made to spin very fast and any imbalances can cause the machine to physically tear itself apart. In a typical balancing machine two rigid pedestals support a mounting platform with suspensions and bearings. The part in question is mounted and rotated either with a belt-, air-, or end-drive. As the part spins, any vibrations in the suspension are detected with sensors. The machine can also determine where weights need to be added or removed in order to maintain balance.

The two main types of balancing machines are hard-bearing and soft-bearing, which differ in the suspensions. A hard-bearing machine does balancing at a speed lower than the resonance frequency of the suspension, while a soft-bearing machine does balancing at a higher speed than the resonance frequency. Hard-balancing machines are simple to calibrate and good for use in shops that have low- to middle-size volume production schedules such as repair shops or small businesses.  Soft-balancing machines are better for high-volume production, as they need to be calibrated for each different part being balanced.

Of course, there are other kinds of balancing machines. Depending on what kind of units you need to balance, you should make sure you’re using just the right tool for the job.

Static balancing machines can test the balance of a unit without spinning. The unit is placed vertically in the center of what looks like a scale and the pressure from the various areas of the scale measures the imbalances of the unit. This method limits the machine to measuring only one plane of the unit, but the advantages of using this kind of machine are price and speed.

Blade balancing machines endeavor to make sure parts are balanced during assembly. Fans, turbines and propellers are all good examples of common units that use this machine. For example, before a fan is assembled the blades are all weighed and a piece of software matches the blades together so as to eliminate as much imbalance as possible.

Portable balancing machines are perfect for measuring the imbalances in machines whose parts cannot be disassembled. These tools come with displacement sensors and a photocell which are connected to the machine being measured. The portable balancing machine senses the vibrations of the spinning unit and calculates any adjustments that need to be made.

Contact us today if you work with any of these machines. They may be in need of maintenance!