Category I, Category II, Category III and Category IV - What are they and what do they have to do with vibration analysis? Why should they matter to my corporation?
Through The Vibration Institute, Mobius Institute, Technical Associates of Charlotte, and various other groups offer certification in vibration analysis. More importantly, they are certification to ISO 18436-2 Vibration Condition Monitoring and Diagnostics.
What are the certification levels?
The levels are all specified in the ISO 18436-2 Specification. I recommend purchasing a copy of that specification to see what ISO's requirements for each category are. Not only are there technical competency requirements, there are also experience requirements and training hours required, this is all in addition to the certification exam that must be taken. Since, we at HECO, are actively involved in The Vibration Institute, i will use their information describing the levels (Reference: http://www.vi-institute.org/analystclassifications):
Category I – Vibration AnalystCategory I Vibration Analysts are qualified to perform a range of single channel machinery vibration condition monitoring and diagnostic activities including data acquisition on predetermined routes, machine steady state testing to predefined procedures, and comparison of readings against pre-established alert settings.
Minimum Recommended Experience: 6 months
Minimum Recommended Experience: 18 months
Minimum Training Hours: 60 hours (38 hours + VI Category I)
Minimum Recommended Experience: 36 months
Minimum Training Hours: 90 hours (38 hours + VI Category II)
Minimum Recommended Experience: 60 months
Minimum Training Hours: 130 hours (64 hours + VI Categories III)
Why should these matter to your corporation?
Like any certifications, they should be understood first before you require them. As you can see above, there are distinct differences in the different Category levels of certification. Category I analysts can collect data properly, Category II Analysts can collect and analyze most problems, Category III analysis can establish and direct PdM programs, and Category IV Analysts can solve and diagnose some of the most complicated problems out there.
Why these matter is that there is some meat behind what a person says they can do. When someone becomes certified in vibration analysis it means that they have the experience and the technical aptitude to perform the functions within their level of certification. That's the important factor to remember, within their level of certification. Understand what their certification is and what they are certified for and what they are not certified for.
Justin T. Hatfield
HECO - All Systems Go
About the author:
Justin T. Hatfield is Vice President of Operations at HECO. He is responsible for Electric Motor & Drive Sales, Electric Motor & Generator Repairs, Spare Solutions, and Predictive Services. Justin was instrumental in developing HECO MAPPS (Motor and Powertrain Performance Systems) which focuses on “why” you have a motor problem instead of simply “What” product or service should be recommended. HECO is an EASA Accredited Service Center for Electric Motors as well as a provider of predictive maintenance services and products throughout the United States.