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Structural Dynamic Analysis - KnightHawk Engineering

KnightHawk Field Services

KnightHawk specializes in providing field services support for all of your engineering efforts, whether performed in house or contracted out to us. We have high speed data collection equipment for process and structural dynamic analysis as well as 8 channel analyzer capabilities for detection of harmonics and acoustics. We also have battery and solar powered capabilities for remote and mobile applications.


KnightHawk’s field service personnel have extensive experience both in data collection and in troubleshooting equipment problems. We have assembled an extensive set of data acquisition equipment that complements the skills of our field service personnel, who work closely with plant personnel to minimize interference with operations. Depending on your needs, we can work either independently or as an extension of your team. Our main specialty areas include, vibration (structural and rotating), acoustics, process, controls and instrumentation. We do have capabilities in other areas as well.


KnightHawk’s 8 Channel Data Analyzer can diagnose bearing, balance, electrical, alignment, coupling, critical speeds, gear mesh, vane and blade passing problems as well as many other rotating equipment problems. In addition, we have experience analyzing structural vibration induced by interference, wind, machinery and process conditions.


KnightHawk can also analyze and test process conditions that have caused  equipment failures, poor quality product or inefficient operations. We work directly with operators to streamline existing processes and to develop new processes for improved productivity.


In our experience, we have found that improperly tuned or malfunctioning control systems are often the cause of equipment or process problems. KnightHawk works closely with our clients to effectively identify and isolate controls related problems and to provide cost effective solutions. Once the problem is correctly identified, the cost of the solution is often negligible.

Reference Projects:

Piping System Acoustic Analysis

Reciprocating compressors were operating on parallel headers. The vibration on the discharge header was causing support system failures. Dynamic pressure pulsation measurements were taken of the suction and discharge piping systems and structural resonant frequency measurements were made on the piping structure. It was found that the pressure pulsations were being amplified acoustically and were causing the support system failures. Piping system changes were designed to eliminate the acoustic amplification.

Structural Analysis of Office Building

The floor of an office building was shaking noticeably when rail cars passed nearby. The client was concerned that the conditions were unsafe and/or were causing damage to the building. Accelerometers were placed on the under structure of the second floor and readings were taken when various rail cars were moved, both loaded and unloaded. The data was used to determine the displacement and acceleration of the structural components of the building. In addition, vibration frequencies were compared to the natural resonant frequencies of the structure. It was determined that the structure was safe and undamaged. To reduce the vibration experienced by the personnel in the building, KnightHawk recommended an isolation barrier be placed in the ground between the rail tracks and the building. This helped to significantly reduce the vibration induced by the passing rail cars.

Process Flow Analysis of Polymer Gear Pump

A gear pump was not operating as designed when above 75% speed. Flow and pressure measurements were taken at the suction and discharge of the pump under various operating conditions. As the pump increased in speed, pressure pulsation characteristics changed from spikes to spikes with a ring out effect. It was determined that, at higher flow rates, gas was being trapped in the polymer and not allowed to disperse prior to reaching the pump. This was causing a partial displacement of product in each fill cycle. The condition worsened as the speed increased. The upstream piping system was redesigned to allow the gas to disperse more quickly at higher flow rates.

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