Machinery Vibration Analysis - CAT III

This course provides more in-depth discussions of single-channel time waveform, FFT, and phase analysis techniques for the evaluation of industrial machinery. It includes acceptance testing, machine severity assessment, basic rotor dynamics and much more. This course is partial preparation for the ISO 18436-2:2014 Vibration Analyst Category III Certification Exam.

Oct 12-16, 2020

Oak Brook, IL

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Machinery Vibration Analysis


CAT III: This course is partial preparation for the ISO 18436-2:2014 Vibration Analyst Category III Certification Exam. This class meets the 38 hour training requirement to sit for the exam, but the Vibration Institute strongly recommends candidates also take Balancing of Rotating Machinery Training Class prior to taking the Category III exam.

This course provides more in-depth discussions of single channel time waveform, FFT, and phase analysis techniques for the evaluation of industrial machinery. It includes acceptance testing, machine severity assessment, use of demodulation and HFD techniques, basic operating deflection shape (ODS), and single plan balancing. Workshops and demonstrations are scheduled throughout the training course to exemplify curricular theory and applications.


Course Materials

Course PowerPoint follow-along deck
Two-volume text, Machinery Vibration Analysis: Diagnostics, Condition Evaluation, and Correction
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 (3.8 CEUs)

Course Agenda

Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Optional Cat III exam – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Course dates and times are subject to change, please check the event date accordingly.

Registration Fees

$2,195 USD Nonmember ($2,100 VI Members)
$100 expidited materials fee for registrations received within 1 week of course starting.

Machinery Vibration Analysis 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

Machinery Vibration Review
Natural frequency, mode shape, resonance, critical speed, damping, instability sampling time, resolution, windows, and dynamic range.

Time and Frequency Analysis
Display, use, and analysis of time domain, FFT analysis, modulation, clipping, pulsation, beats, side bands, spectrum shape, synchronous and nonsynchronous signals, and case histories.

Phase and Orbit Analysis
Phase measurement and analysis, orbit evaluation, loop rules, orbit analysis, case histories.

Workshop I: Machinery Vibration Analysis Techniques

Machine Testing
Mode shapes and natural frequencies, interference diagrams, analyzer setup for impact shakes and transient tests, test procedures, Bodé/polar plot evaluation, basic ODS two-channel and modal testing case histories.

Machine Condition Evaluation
Criteria, levels, maintenance actions, standards, evaluation of overall band, spectral, orbital, and time waveform, setting alarms, and examples.

Field Balancing Techniques
Single-plane method, trial weight size and location, pitfalls, balance sensitivity, phase lag, one-shot and four run methods.

Workshop II: Balancing Exercises

Condition Monitoring
Objectives, program development, permanent and periodic monitoring, and alternative techniques.

Rolling Element Bearing Analysis
Analytic techniques, identification of defects on balls/cages/races, corrosion, fatigue, excessive clearance, lack of lubrication, demodulation methods, condition evaluation.

Operating Speed Diagnostics
Unbalance, sub-synchronous instability, coupling problems, misalignment, oil whirl/whip, mechanical looseness, rubs, rotor bow, resonance, fluid-film bear-ings, and condition evaluation.

Pumps, Fans, Blowers, and Compressors
Pump impeller, casing, and piping vibrations, natural frequencies, clearances, re-circulation, cavitation, performance curves, impellers, casings, shafts, foundations, isolated bases, piping, ducting, structural/acoustic resonance.

Workshop III: Machine Analysis

Motor and Generator Diagnostics
Mechanisms, vibration/current measurements, stator/rotor faults, shorted end rings, broken rotor bars, air-gap variation, and variable-speed motors.

Gears and Gearboxes
Measurement and analysis, common factors, gear mesh, cracked/broken/chipped teeth, gear-box evaluation, and case histories.

Workshop IV: Fault and Condition Exercises

Course Review

Training Examination (2 hours)
Training Examination Review

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.