Condition monitoring and fault diagnosis for rolling element bearings is an imperative part for preventive maintenance procedures and reliability improvement of rotating machines. When a localized fault occurs at the early stage of real bearing failures, the impulses generated by the defect are relatively weak and usually overwhelmed by large noise and other higher-level macro-structural vibrations generated by adjacent machine components and machines. To indicate the bearing faulty state as early as possible, it is necessary to develop an effective signal processing method for extracting the weak bearing signal from a vibration signal containing multiple vibration sources. The ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) method inherits the advantage of the popular empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method and can adaptively decompose a multi-component signal into a number of different bands of simple signal components. However, the energy dispersion and many redundant components make the decomposition result obtained by the EEMD losing the physical significance. In this paper, to enhance the decomposition performance of the EEMD method, the similarity criterion and the corresponding combination technique are proposed to determine the similar signal components and then generate the real mono-component signals. To validate the effectiveness of the proposed method, it is applied to analyze raw vibration signals collected from two faulty bearings, each of which involves more than one vibration sources. The results demonstrate that the proposed method can accurately extract the bearing feature signal; meanwhile, it makes the physical meaning of each IMF clear.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.