R&D Director at Ventac, Mark Simms, puts answers to some questions people may have when introducing this new noise mapping tool.
Q. What are the main benefits of using this acoustic camera?
A. The great thing about this equipment is that it allows both beamforming measurements (live acoustic camera work) and near field holography (detailed up close analysis). The software allows for animated maps of the wave motion for the near filed work and it can display this in a 3 dimensional format. This combination of abilities makes the camera a very powerful noise source identification tool but also one that can provide real insight into the source of noise generation.
Q. Does it speed up the process of testing both on site and in the laboratory?
A. This very much depends on the application. There was a case where a problem noise from a machine was eluding our client for months despite having experience in acoustics and the camera was able to identify the source within a morning which led to a straight forward fix. On the other hand, another client used the camera to conduct a comprehensive sweep across every inch of a source, in multiple operating conditions, to develop an in-depth understanding of the unit. This can lead to a very large amount of data to be processed.
Q. What specific noise measurements will it identify?
A. The camera is designed to provide qualitative data, in the form of noise maps, rather than the quantitative data a sound meter would provide. Beamforming is a good way of finding the ‘hotspots’ over a large area quickly but it is limited to a relatively high frequency range. Near field holography can measure a very broad frequency range and can map the results in terms of pressure, particle velocity or intensity but is used very close to the noise source and work best on relatively flat structures.
Q. What are the main benefits it will have for vehicle manufacturers specifically?
A. Vehicles are complex noise sources that work at different operating conditions and noise source identification can be challenging. The mapping techniques of the camera are useful for identifying weak points and hotspots but they also can provide insight into the behaviour of the sound. This is done by using the phase data (wave motion) to animate the maps to show how the sound propagates from a structure.
Q. What can be tested using this camera?
A. A wide range of noise sources can be tested. Ventac have typically used it to test passenger vehicles, industrial vehicles, heavy machinery and electronic equipment but this is by no means an exhaustive list and we are consistently surprised by the range of noise problems our customers have.
In summary, this new tool will allow us conduct detailed noise source identification analysis while benefiting customers by providing targeted solutions for noise problems.
If you have a project you are working on and would find out more on why use an acoustic camera, get in touch to find out more on 045-851500 or email us below.