Understanding the practicality of graded asset health

Vibration, Condition monitoring
Personnel using the Fluke Connect app to check data from their smart device.

Using a wireless vibration sensor allows you to access asset health information while at your computer or away from work via smart devices.

With the launch of the Fluke 805 Vibration Meter, Fluke Corporation released the Fluke Overall Vibration Severity (FOVS) scale to help maintenance teams better understand the status and gravity of impending faults. The new Fluke 3561 FC Vibration Sensor also uses these color-coded alarms to help teams get a better picture of overall asset health.

A screen capture of a Fluke Connect alarm notification alerting users a change in asset status.
The screen capture above shows the Unacceptable alarm for asset health. These alarms are only sent for unsatisfactory or unacceptable level conditional changes.

While using sensors can help teams screen for potential problems and gives vital information to find root causes quicker, the FOVS scale allows them to easily understand the relayed information. Seeing the early warning signs of an impending machine failure empowers maintenance professionals to schedule repairs when they’re needed instead of losing production revenue to repair failed assets.

What is overall vibration?

Overall vibration analysis uses time domain data to calculate a single value, rather than multiple, and can be used to indicate the overall health of the machine. Simplicity is one of the biggest benefits of including overall vibration analysis, but it has some limitations, such as:

  • Different machines have different healthy levels of overall vibration
  • Certain machinery flaws, particularly bearing flaws, will not impact the overall vibration value until significant damage has occurred
  • Overall vibration analysis does not identify the root cause of vibration

Despite that, overall vibration tools and sensors are valuable in screening assets for impending problems.

How the Fluke Overall Vibration Severity scale works

FOVS already includes the vibration specifications for 37 machine categories. When connected assets deviate from pre-existing vibration parameters for that specific asset, Fluke Connect Condition Monitoring software will send an alarm to a user’s smart device or computer web app.

A graphic showing Good level on the Fluke Overall Vibration Severity scale.

No immediate repair is recommended.
No alarms sent.

A graphic showing Satisfactory level on the Fluke Overall Vibration Severity scale.

No immediate repair is required.
No alarms sent.

A graphic showing Unsatisfactory level on the Fluke Overall Vibration Severity scale.

Have a knowledgeable vibration technician conduct advanced testing at the earliest opportunity. Consider taking maintenance action during the next planned downtime or maintenance period. alarms when condition changes.

A graphic showing Unacceptable level on the Fluke Overall Vibration Severity scale.

Have a knowledgeable vibration technician conduct advanced testing as soon as possible. Consider shutting down equipment immediately to make repairs and prevent future failure. Alarms when condition changes.


When an alarm is sent to software, it will indicate the severity of the problem with a color-coded scale. Using a color-coded scale gives problems a visual cue of importance or hazards.

A Fluke 3540 FC Three-Phase Power Monitor and Fluke Connect software shown on smart device and desktop.

Benefits of overall vibration

The benefits of implementing an overall vibration strategy in maintenance programs outweighs the few limitations.


While many people think that vibration analysis requires extensive training, it doesn’t have to. With the Fluke 3561 FC Vibration Sensor, nearly any technician can understand the information provided by FCCM software.

A common misconception is that vibration monitoring or screening isn’t precise enough to catch faults before they occur. The 3561 FC can detect vibrations between 10 and 1,000 hertz (Hz), giving maintenance teams advance warning of failures caused by bearing wear, misalignment, looseness or imbalance.

While other vibration meter solutions are expensive and complicated to install, the 3561 FC isn’t. The 3561 FC is an inexpensive, wireless vibration sensor and can be installed on an asset in under an hour. Fluke sensors can be purchased for about 1/10th the cost of a full vibration spectrum analyzer.

To learn more about how Fluke tools and sensors use the Fluke Overall Vibration Severity scale, please call our sales team or visit our vibration monitoring page for more information.

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