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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8345704, 22 pages
Research Article

Diagnosis of Localized Faults in Multistage Gearboxes: A Vibrational Approach by Means of Automatic EMD-Based Algorithm

Engineering Department, University of Ferrara, Via Saragat, 1 I-44122 Ferrara, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to E. Mucchi; ti.efinu@ihccum.onailime

Received 26 July 2017; Accepted 14 September 2017; Published 30 October 2017

Academic Editor: Rafał Burdzik

Copyright © 2017 M. Buzzoni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The gear fault diagnosis on multistage gearboxes by vibration analysis is a challenging task due to the complexity of the vibration signal. The localization of the gear fault occurring in a wheel located in the intermediate shaft can be particularly complex due to the superposition of the vibration signature of the synchronous wheels. Indeed, the gear fault detection is commonly restricted to the identification of the stage containing the faulty gear rather than the faulty gear itself. In this context, the paper advances a methodology which combines the Empirical Mode Decomposition and the Time Synchronous Average in order to separate the vibration signals of the synchronous gears mounted on the same shaft. The physical meaningful modes are selected by means of a criterion based on Pearson’s coefficients and the fault detection is performed by dedicated condition indicators. The proposed method is validated taking into account simulated vibrations signals and real ones.