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Almost all products and components contain an element of sound and vibration, even if it is not part of the key offering itself. We expect excellent sound performance from a speaker system and vibration durability in vehicles, but do not always consider how the spin cycle of a washing machine affects the life span of the motor driving it - or that there is more to the hum of a lawnmower than meets the ear.

Spot Testing, Real-Time Analysis and Post-Processing

Manufacturers are often required to conduct some sound and vibration testing. It may be necessary to meet general sound and vibration requirements, to document performance, to conform to internal or external standards or to satisfy customer expectations.

To do this, it is often sufficient to perform generalized testing. This ranges from spot measurements to verify and document noise and vibration, through real-time analysis of signals to establish levels and confirm performance, to advanced post-processing of data for development and quality assurance of products.

Ease of Use for Both Experts and Occasional Users

Where sound and vibration is not a key offering of products or where sound and vibration expertise is limited, systems must be simple to set up and use. It must be easy to view the status of the data-acquisition system, such as the health of each channel, and its cables and transducers.

Quick and easy setup, such as input ranging and transducer identification, are also keys to clear, effective testing, as is software that is easy to use and fit for purpose. If requirements are likely to expand over time, scalability also comes into play when selecting a measurement and analysis system.

Below you will find some of the key areas, Brüel & Kjær can help you solve general product research and development tasks. For more specialized tasks, please browse the other application sections to see our other system suggestions.

Smaller companies, companies with limited R&D resources, and companies and departments where sound and vibration measurement and analysis is not part of the core business are sometimes met with requirements in regards to sound and vibration. This can be documentation or verification of product noise levels, analysis of basic structural properties or troubleshooting unwanted noise or vibration.

To be able to conduct these measurements easily and professionally, a system that is simple to set up and use is preferred. Two measurement channels is often enough. The measurement and analysis software interface needs to be intuitive to aid the infrequent or inexpert user, while delivering confidence that the results are correct.

System Suggestion

Portable real-time sound and vibration analysis system overview

For occasional measurement on components and products in the lab or in the field, we recommend Photon+, an all-in-one portable analyzer for sound and vibration. Data recording and verification is set up and run from a simple PC software interface, and the accompanying software package gives a range of analysis capabilities, including dynamic signal analysis, modal testing, acoustic analysis and rotating machinery diagnosis and analysis. 

Field measurements are often complicated to plan, have short time windows and are difficult to reproduce, should something go wrong. Hence, it is essential that the recorded data from field measurements, for example from road testing a vehicle or validating a pump, is of high quality and complete.

For doing time data recording and validation in the field, and conducting simple benchmarking, troubleshooting and analysis tasks such as FFT, order analysis, spectrogram analysis, sound quality metrics, narrowband and synthesised 1/3-octave band analysis, we recommend using a Sonoscout-based system.

System Suggestion

Field recording and validation of time data system overview

The Sonoscout system is a combination of an iPad app and a battery-powered acquisition front end based on a LAN-XI data acquisition module. This can be placed anywhere and connects up to 12 measurement transducers, from which it transmits data wirelessly to the app for recording.

A binaural microphone headset captures ambient sound in real-time and replays recordings immediately. The Sonoscout app continuously displays test information, to maximize confidence during testing, and brings simple control and analysis to tasks such as comparing data sets. For further analysis, data can be exported into BK Connect or other post-processing software