Advanced Vibration Analysis - CAT IV

This course is targeted to solving complex vibration problems involving transient and forced vibrations, resonance, isolation and damping, advanced signal processing analysis, and torsional vibration analysis. This course is partial preparation for the ISO 18436-2:2014 Vibration Analyst Category IV Certification Exam.

Nov 10-13, 2020

Indianapolis, IN

Advanced Vibration Analysis


This course teaches a wide array of advanced vibration analysis techniques including two-channel analysis, advanced signal processing, modal analysis, operating deflection shape (ODS), synchronous time averaging, and torsional vibration. It is partial preparation for the ISO 18436-2:2014 Vibration Analyst Category IV Certification Exam. Workshops and demonstrations are scheduled throughout the training course to exemplify curricular theory and applications.


NELSON L. BAXTER is President of ABM Technical Services, Inc. and co-founder of Machinery Health Monitoring and Electro-mechanical Diagnostic Services. His 34 years of experience in the utilities industry include trouble-shooting rotating equipment, structural testing, and balancing. He is a contributing editor of Sound & Vibration Magazine, a Registered Professional Engineer, a Level IV Certified Vibration Analyst and Instructor for Level IV Class. Baxter holds an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University. He is a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors and ASME.

Course Materials

Course notes on signal processing and dual-channel analysis
Workbook containing examples, workshop problems and the Body of Knowledge found in ISO 18436-2 Annex A
Training course examination study guide
Certificate of completion

Course Agenda

Tuesday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Optional Cat IV exam – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Registration Fee

$2,395 USD Nonmember ($2300 VI Members)

$100 expidited materials fee for registrations received within 1 week of course starting.

Correspondence Course

For those who are unable to attend a course in person, this program is also available through through self-study for either continuing education or for exam course requirement credit. Read more.

Course Content

Signal Processing
RMS, coherent and non-coherent signals, peak detection, vector addition, filters, signal-to-signal noise ratio, and FFT calculations.

Signal/Noise Demonstration

Workshop I: Signal Processing
Introduction to the FFT
A/D converters, dynamic range, FFT batch process, buffer fill times, averaging, and overlap.

Workshop II: FFT Basics and Filters
FFT Topics
Aliasing, windows, resolution, and demonstrations.

Workshop III: Aliasing, Windows, and Resolution
FFT Accuracy
Side-lobe areas; accuracy of rectangular, Hanning, and flat-top windows, window resolution, order spectra, correction of amplitude and frequency from bin location.

Workshop IV: Window Function and Order Spectra
Beats and Modulation
Time domain of digitized signals, beats, AM and FM modulation, suppressed carrier signals and enveloping, case histories.

Workshop V: Beats and Modulation
Time Series Averaging
Frequency synthesizers, averaging one signal and noise, averaging two signals, effect of synchronous time averaging on bearing defects and modulation, digital filers and the FFT as a brick wall filter, case histories of synchronous time averaging.

Workshop VI: Time Series Averaging
Transient and Forced Harmonic Vibration
Dual-Channel Basics
Test methods, transfer functions, coherence, mass/spring model, real and imaginary displays, Nyquist and Bodé plots, basic mode shapes, and operating deflection shapes.
Introduction to the Hilbert Transform

Workshop VII: Dual-Channel Analysis
Damping Measurement and Calculation
Half-power, real or imaginary plots, slope of phase shift, log decrement, dB decay of waterfall data, and demonstrations.

Workshop VIII: Damping Measurement
Modal Testing
Testing, analysis, natural frequencies, damping, and modes.
Structural Measurements
Vertical pumps, machine supports, floors, phase leads, turbine blades and fans, axial resonance on motors with sleeve bearings.

Workshop IX: Modal Testing

Course Review

Training Examination Review

Training Examination on Course Content (2 hours)

Get Certified

Certification Exams are offered:

  1. The day AFTER VI training courses 
  2. Anytime at VI offices
  3. At a USA location near you with a pre-approved VI proctor
  4. Through our International Representatives


  1. Register for a course and exam
  2. Register for just the exam (if you already have the training requirement, or are getting training elsewhere)
  3. Find a USA proctor by contacting us
  4. Contact an International Representative in your country

The cancellation of and transfer to a training course within the same calendar year will be honored, provided that written notification is received by the Institute office via e-mail or mail no later than ten (10) business days before the first day of the scheduled course. If registration for a training course is cancelled without transfer to another course within the same calendar year, a $250 cancellation fee will be assessed. A $500 administrative fee will be charged for cancellations received less than ten (10) days from the start date of the registered training course. Additional cancellation fees will be applied for exam cancellations. Absentees for the course will not receive a refund. Please contact the Vibration Institute staff directly regarding discounts for multiple registrations from the same organization.