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Random Vibration and Shock Testing

August 18, 2015 |8:00 am - August 20, 2015 |4:00 pm

| $3995

DATE: August 18-20, 2015 | 8am - 4pm

LOCATION: Waterfront Center – 125 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

TEACHER: Wayne Tustin

CONTACT: (805) 570-5216

HOTEL INFO: Hotel List

Other Dates & Locations

We’ll commence by reviewing (slowly if first-timers are present) basic vibrations, sources and causes. Then we’ll explore vibration measurements, analysis and calibration. Our discussion is supported by projected visuals and video clips. We’ll compare sinusoidal vs. random vibration with emphasis on testing systems, specifications, standards and procedures. We’ll discuss ESS, HALT and HASS. We’ll emphasize vibration and shock test fixture design, fabrication, experimental evaluation and usage. Also shock measurement, shock response spectrum (SRS) and classical shock testing. We’ll review modal testing. Throughout, we emphasize topics you will use immediately. We will visit the onsite (location to be determined) laboratory, where we will view, hear and touch (hearing and feeling the differences between sine and random vibration) on shakers. We will perform a resonance demonstration, using first sine and then random vibration. We will demonstrate shock testing, using both a shaker and a shock test machine. Many participants have commented that this visit was a high point of the course. Many participants protectively install commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment in flight, land vehicles and shipboard locations subject to severe vibration and shock. Many participants laboratory test that protected equipment (1) to assure twenty years equipment survival and possible combat, also (2) to meet commercial test standards, IEC documents, DO-160G, military standards such as STANAG, MIL-STD-810G, etc. Few if any engineering schools teach about such protection or such testing. Thus we offer this specialized course.
After this short course, you will be able to


  • measure vibration and shock,
  • calibrate vibration and shock measurement systems,
  • convert field measured data into a test program,
  • interpret vibration and shock test requirements,
  • supervise vibration and shock tests,
  • specify and experimentally evaluate vibration and shock test fixtures,
  • perform ESS, HALT and HASS.

When you visit a lab or review a test program, you will have a good understanding of the requirements and execution of dynamics tests and will be able to ask meaningful questions and understand lab people’s responses.

I need practical knowledge about mechanical vibration and mechanical shock test, measurement, analysis, designing for dynamics also calibration and/or control because:


  • I instrument land, sea and air vehicles as well as fixed-based equipment, in order to measure mechanical vibration and/or shock in service and during transport.
  • I analyze dynamic responses to mechanical vibration and shock inputs during normal and abnormal transport.
  • My title may be mechanical engineer, mechanical designer or packaging engineer. I design (ruggedize) products that must withstand factory handling + transport + normal and abnormal usage. I design products to dynamic requirements, which I don't fully understand. Then I send a prototype to our lab for testing. I really don't understand what our lab does. I'd better find out.
  • I write contracts for procuring high-reliability equipment. I need to understand HALT, ESS and HASS. When do these acronyms apply? How do I insure that potential contractors will appropriately implement the random vibration requirements of these acronyms? What is g2/Hz?
  • I work in an environmental test lab. We perform vibration and shock tests on prototype hardware. These tests may be part of developing a new product, of determining vibration levels for future production ESS (environmental stress screening) or production tests, or of investigating in-service or transport failures.

I calibrate various vibration and shock sensors (including accelerometers) and analyze vibration and/or shock. I design to control (reduce, protect) the intensity of vibration and/or shock, which otherwise may damage delicate equipment. I maintain machinery whose vibration signature can warn of approaching failure. If you thought, "aha - that's what I'm supposed to do" to any of the job descriptions listed above, then the instructor says, "This course is intended for you." It will help you move up your own "learning curve." A smaller group, for whom the instructor also intends this course: supervisors of any of the above listed activities. Perhaps you were thrust into this responsibility without adequate training. Maybe your predecessor had no opportunity to alert you to potential difficulties. You certainly need to know what your people are talking about. Possibly you had no formal training for your present responsibilities. You need to explain your department's activities to your superiors in the technically correct language. Perhaps you need to decide between "in house" and "outside" testing.

Introduction for management and participants


  • Purpose of environmental testing, particularly vibration and shock
  • Purpose of environmental stress screening (ESS), nowadays HALT & HASS
  • Types of vibration tests: resonance search/dwell, fatigue, specification

Quiz for evaluation of attendee prior knowledge Classical sinusoidal vibration never observed in service; useful concept

  • Introduction: terminology, structural resonant behavior, passive and active isolation
  • Sinusoidal vibration measurements: units, sensors, readouts, errors
  • Calibration of sensors and systems; traceability to NIST

Introduction to spectrum analysis via machinery vibration Sinusoidal vibration testing

  • Electrohydraulic and electrodynamic shakers; theory, tradeoffs, limits
  • Power amplifier theory, operation, limitations, distortion effects
  • Controls for sinusoidal vibration testing
  • Sinusoidal vibration test practice
  1. Interpretation of standards; e.g. MIL-STD-810, DO-160G
  2. Controversial test methodology: tracking filters, switching and averaging among sensors

Introduction to random vibration

  • Sources of random vibration in service and transportation
  • No possible equivalence to sinusoidal vibration
  • Terminology and definitions
  • Spectral density measurement and analysis - the frequency domain. What is g2/Hz?
  • Probability density - the time domain

Random vibration test practice

  • Interpreting and implementing standards, e.g. MIL-STD-810G
  • Equalization before testing; methods and limits
  • Controls
  • Electronic protection for test items and shaker system
  • Simultaneous multaxis vibration testing fixed spelling
  • Intense acoustic noise testing

Combined environment (CERT) testing; reliability tests, e.g.MIL-STD-781 Environmental stress screening (ESS) of electronics hardware production

  • 1979-era need for ESS
  • Early ESS techniques

Highly accelerated life testing (HALT), environmental stress screening (ESS) and highly accelerated stress screening (HASS) of electronics hardware production.

  • Single vs. multi-axis vibration.
  • Pneumatic repetitive-shock (RS) machines.
  • Acoustic excitation of printed wiring boards (PWB).

Vibration and shock test fixtures; fixtures for stress screening

  • Recommended designs, materials, fabrication methods
  • Experimental evaluation before use
  • Practical limits: transverse motion; specimen size and weight

Accommodating oversized loads

  • Table expanders
  • Slip plates and alternatives

Instrumentation for measuring shock in service and during tests

  • Sensors, readouts, errors
  • Calibration

Shock spectrum analysis; shock response spectrum Shock testing standards and methods Modal testing Witnessing of tests Course summary; optional final examination; award of certificates

WayneTustin_profileWayne Tustin's training and consulting (licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California) interests lie in the environments that can lessen equipment availability, that can cause equipment downtime. His particular concerns: dynamics, primarily the measurement, analysis and simulation (in environmental testing laboratories) of mechanical shock and vibration (particularly random vibration), also the stimulation of latent defects during new product development and as a final step in production, also acoustic noise, as in quieting products and in automotive "buzz, squeak and rattle" testing. Some ERI instructors (including Wayne) are generalists who recognize that other specialists in their fields outrank them technically. ERI training can explain the often-highly-complex work of those specialists. ERI offers onsite as well as video teleconference training for test personnel, designers, quality and reliability engineers. Wayne has developed distant learning in vibration and shock; e-mail speeds review problems. Wayne is available to consult on specific dynamics problems. Wayne's explanations benefit not only test and development personnel (laboratory managers, test engineers, technicians and aides as well as designers) but also people from product quality, reliability and instrumentation whose activities require them to measure in-service dynamic events, generate and/or interpret test specifications and evaluate laboratory capabilities, testing machines and techniques. Many of these workers need simple working explanations of such subjects as random vibration. Wayne's first experience with dynamics was 1948-53 at Boeing Co. in Seattle, where in 1944 he had earned his BSEE degree from the University of Washington. From 1954-61 he managed field service and technical training at MB Electronics, then the leading USA manufacturer of vibration test equipment. Since 1962 he has supplied technical training to Government and Industry, and has taught in the USA and abroad (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Singapore, South Africa and Sweden). He is happy to propose customized onsite teaching.


August 18, 2015 |8:00 am
August 20, 2015 |4:00 pm
Event Category:


Equipment Reliability Institute
(805) 456-4274


Waterfront Center – Santa Barbara, CA
125 Harbor Way
Santa Barbara, CA 93109 United States
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(805) 564-1260