Preventative Maintenance Overview

March 29, 2018

“Preventative shaker maintenance yearly… your company will thank you dearly.”

A vibration shaker system is a considerable investment that requires preventative maintenance (PM) to ensure long-lasting and satisfactory performance.

The management and implementation of a PM program can be a burden for a testing lab. However, with consistent PM practices, your equipment should last for decades.

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

Even the smallest action or inaction during testing can result in a disaster. For example, an accelerometer that is not properly calibrated can lead to under or over-testing.

Operating a shaker that needs PM can damage the shaker as well as slip tables, fixtures, or test items, which leads to costly repairs or extended downtime. If more than one item is out of tolerance or near failure, the overall damage can be more significant.

Labs that are concerned with measurement uncertainty must adhere to a schedule. A test outside of its uncertainties requires an investigation, which includes more staffing and significant paperwork. A test investigation might invalidate previous tests, requiring a lab to contact its customers. This situation does not reflect well on the technician, the lab staff, or the company as a whole.

Proper maintenance, calibration, and verification of equipment can avoid these problems. By investing a small amount of time upfront, the operator can ensure the validity of each test, prove the equipment was in proper working order, and validate the results. These actions are easily performed through before-and-after verification procedures.

An effective PM will also immediately notify the operator if something is wrong with a component or if something was damaged during a previous test. Damaged equipment can then be removed from use, repaired or recalibrated, and returned for use expediently.


PM avoids wasted time, eliminates the possibility of sending invalid results, and ensures loyal customers.

Unfortunately, certain repairs will always be necessary. A shaker is a mechanical system and parts will fatigue, components will need to be replaced, and armatures will need to be re-wound. With a mature PM program, a lab can stay ahead of these repairs, maintain testing quality, and avoid a range of potential problems.