Machinery produces vibration forces while in operation. Engineers must place vibration isolators into the design to reduce vibrations, somewhat. If vibrations are not reduced, nuts and bolts may walk themselves loose over time. Isolation products vary according to the way the machinery works. Many vibration isolators work passively to control these forces while being actively engaged. Air bladders used to passively dampen vibrations on large trucks and other heavy machinery. The air bladders are continually filled with compressed air fed into the system by a pump. The air bladders are typically made out of rubber compounds that can withstand high pressures. Workers must keep a close eye on these systems to spot and fix leaks as they occur. Many companies have their workers do a weekly or monthly inspection of the air bladders to check for leaks and other signs of damage. Heavy duty industry applications also use mechanical springs to dampen vibrations. A cement block may be mounted at the bottom of the spring to provide more dampening forces. Lighter duty applications may use flexible sheets of rubber, cork or plastic to reduce vibration. The vibration dampening pieces of rubber may be specially shaped to fit in small spaces or through tight corners during installation. Generic rubber sheets may be cut to fit some pieces of machinery. However, many business owners prefer to purchase molded rubber or plastic vibration isolators that fit their piece of machinery perfectly. Business owners who are looking for a cheap vibration isolation system may resort to using bungee cord isolators or tennis balls. Washing machines and other equipment can be stabilized using one half of a tennis ball under each leg. The tennis balls lessen vibrations created by the washer to help the motor run more efficiently. Stabilizing a washing machine has the added benefit of reducing noise in the surrounding area while the unit is running.
However, most business owners hire a vibration isolation expert to help pinpoint and solve vibration problems. Vibration isolation professionals will carefully comb through the building listening to every piece of equipment while it is in operation. All items contributing to the vibration problem must be retrofitted with vibration isolators that solve the issue. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the existing vibration isolators to solve the problem. In others, more isolators may need to be installed to further control the vibrations. The size and characteristics of the motor or other item are carefully considered before new or additional isolators are installed. Vibration isolation experts may also consider the item’s weight and amount of movement, if applicable. The work performed by vibration isolation experts benefits workers and business owners. Machinery tends to run more efficiently and quietly once the vibration expert’s work is performed in full. Business owners may need to call these experts back to the company grounds on a regular basis to check for additional work that needs to be done. Equipment should be inspected and fitted with additional vibration isolators every time the fans start to grow in volume. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the fans before the isolators can be installed. All vibration isolation equipment is tested in a lab before being released for use in the field. The lab tests verify the isolators expected lifetime and ability to reduce vibrations. Different materials are continually being tested to create better isolators for use by professionals. Vibration isolation experts must stay up to date on all of the new products being released by the labs. Many vibration isolators are designed to be used indoors or out, but not both.