The general consensus about industrial noise is that it may have harmful effects on hearing, is at best a nuisance, and therefore should be absorbed or alleviated. Although not as universally recognized, noise represents an excellent medium for evaluating machine performance. Energy expended in unwanted machine motion or vibration results in noise and reduces the useful output of the machine. It is generally true that for uniform machine operation the condition of least noise corresponds to minimum loss in efficiency and minimum wear. Information from several industrial situations is presented in support of using noise data to help control the loss of efficiency and assess the severity of dynamic stresses in machine parts.

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