Home About Vibration Dynamic Balancing

Precision machine balancing, vibration analysis and resolution for UAVs, drones, experimental aircraft, electric vehicles, large and small, in both civilian and military applications.

We detect all the vibration occurring

Vibration is often very hard to diagnose and cure but we have a great reputation for doing exactly that, even in the most exacting of environments.

We identify the causes

Whether the culprit is mass imbalance, aerodynamic disturbances or a combination, we can diagnose it accurately.

We deliver an immediate solution

We can solve mass imbalance right there, on-the-spot at your facility.

We identify any other vibration and offer workable solutons

We can also clearly identify and reveal any other causes of vibration and can guide your engineers in order to solve it permanently.

Experience second to none

Our specialist's hands-on aviation technical experience spans over 50 years and across a very wide range of aircraft from cold-war era jet aircraft through modern airliners, general aviation (GA) propeller-driven aircraft, the latest VTOL designs and even very small machines, having low mass.
We've successfuly dynamically-balanced around 700 aircraft of very diverse types during the past 18 years.

We've encountered, and provided solutions for, surveillance drones having ultra-high-resolution cameras where propulsion vibration and aerodynamic flutter have caused unacceptably blurred imagery.

A wide-spectrum background

Having electronics and software design experience spanning more than 40 years has given us diagnostic and problem-solving skills far beyond mere vibration analysis. This is important because in order to successfully solve vibration issues occuring in sophisticated electronic vehicles and machines it is essential to be able to understand the technical challenges facing the designers of these new machines and to be able to communicate well with the design engineers.

Delivering game-changing solutions

Over many years we've seen virtually all the different situations that can cause vibration in machines, power units, propellers and, very importantly, have always been able to provide the solutions for them.
This has allowed several major companies to advance to successful completion of the flight test programs of their vehicle prototypes. Usually vibration had completely stopped their progress until we were brought in to solve it.

An example of a real challenge

One example of a challenging vibration environment is that of electric VTOL aircraft.

Their powerplants have to remain in mass balance throughout an extremely wide range of rotational speeds, as they hover and transition to and from forward flight.
Not only that but their motors often have no shock absorption. They are hard-mounted right onto a carbon fiber or aluminum airframe. This means that if there is any vibration at all it transmits throughout the airframe un-attenuated. Having an extremely wide range of operational RPM means that everything - every piece of equipment bolted to that airframe will likely go into resonance at some RPM and its operational life will drop to a very low number of hours. Now add multiple additional powerplants bolted onto the airframe, all varying wildy in terms of speed relative to each other and the result is a cacophany of vibration sine waves exacting an enormous cost to the deelopment program in terms of equipment wear and tear.

Quite often, as a result, the company gives up and goes back to the drawing board. We can solve those issues much earlier on in the development stage and we have a great track record of doing exactly that.

 

What's causing all the vibration?

Much of it is usually caused by rotor mass imbalance, which is why we target that first. Sometimes that itself is enough to make the product viable, but in many cases there's a lot more going on in addition to mass imbalance.

Why is it often difficult to diagnose and fix vibration?
Because in some machines vibration comes from a variety of sources. It is often difficult. but rarely is it impossible to cure. It just takes expertise borne of long experience in order to 'trick' the assembly into complying with the design criteria.

What we're doing initially is mass-balancing the machine's rotor. We apply a corrective weight to the rotor or motor hub. This weight will counteract a mass imbalance at a specific, narrow range of RPMs.
For example, it might be the perfect amount of mass balancing weight at 2000 RPM but yet be too much or too little at a higher RPM. Also there will often be not just one but several mass imbalances around the hub, each requiring a corrective weight. These can and will interact with each other to give you a situation that is very difficult to resolve - unless you've seen hundreds of these and have developed the skills to work around the laws of physics well enough to make the rotating assembly perform acceptably for the designers' specific purposes.

After this any remaining sources of vibration must be clearly identifed and each must be remedied differently....and that's where we are head and shoulders above any other vibration diagnosis and balancing company.

How big a problem is vibration?

An out-of-balance powerplant can waste a lot of power
This is crucial for an electric vehicle
At 2400 rpm, for example. an out of balance rotor is rocking the entire motor and prop assembly 40 times per second. You can imagine how much power that takes - instead of all the power going to propulsion, it's being wasted in moving the powerplant - and that is intolerable on an electric vehicle, where that waste greatly reduces its operational range.


You can waste days, weeks, months trying to discover the cause and the cure for each of these and end up with nothing - or you can call us to come to your facility and cure it for you.


How long does it take to dynamically balance an assembly?

- It typically takes 2-4 hours to dynamically balance a UAV prop assembly, for example, because we need to run it and balance it at many different speeds. The wider the operational speed range, the more time it takes to get it right.

 

The bottom line:

We can completely eliminate vibration in most cases, or vastly reduce it.
This will give you a viable product on time and on budget.

Expert advice beyond dynamic balancing

As well as balancing we can most certainly pinpoint the precise cause of any other vibration occurring and give reliable guidance to ensure that you can identify and eliminate manufacturing, mounting and procedural errors.


GIve your UAV, drone or other vehicle project the very best chance to succeed
 
Expert vibration diagnosis and dynamic balancing - we'll help make your project run right and on time.

Call (831) 331-3660 or email for an appointment.

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Home About Vibration Dynamic Balancing

 

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Last modified: April 04, 2022