Transient operation of machinery can greatly complicate the task of vibration-based online condition monitoring. Because the operating mode of a machine affects the physical response and hence the diagnostic parameters, real-time information regarding the operating mode is likely to improve the performance of an online fault detection system. This paper proposes a method for automated operating mode classification to augment the performance of vibration-based online condition monitoring systems for applications such as gearboxes, motors, and their constituent components. Experimental work has been carried out on the swing machinery of an electromechanical excavator, which demonstrates how such a method might function on actual dynamic signals gathered from an operating machine. Several variations of the system have been tested and found to be successful.

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