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These days, our phones are smart, our cars are smart and we all seem to have GPS devices to lead us to our destination. With all of the distractions, it's easy to forget your way and when you have a device to lead you, it can get even easier. All those smart devices tend to help you forget how you got around in the good old days.

This can be an issue when taking route data in an industrial environment. I take a lot of data at plants and on machines that I have never seen before and without a plan, it can be overwhelming. I hear a lot of questions come up in training classes about the order of taking data. To make this easy, I always suggest thinking about the machine train and consistently take data from the driver (motor) and follow to the driven equipment. It seems simple but people do so try to complicate things and I have seen many instances where data collection will start on the driven equipment and there is that stop and review prior to taking data. My advice is to keep it simple and consistently treat the driver of the equipment as the starting point for data collection at all times. The next step is to also always follow the same regimen of HVA (Horizontal, Vertical and Axial) when moving through the axes. This will insure that you always have the same data no matter who takes the data.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules like those big Synchronous motors that have shafts extending out of both sides and driving multiple shafts or those vertical applications where HVA do not make sense. Those can be a topic for a future tip.

Rod Acklin CMRP
Product Manager, Vibration

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