Noise and Vibration (N&V or also refered to as NVH – Noise , Vibration and Harshness) are the most directly perceived quality traits of a product, and therefore the product development team’s most sought after targets. As acceptable noise and vibration levels can speak directly to the perceived quality of a product, the sound and feel of a product can be a significant differentiator from competition.
Noise and vibration can also be a source of many product related problems as it can cause fatigue and durability problems, as well as adverse reactions to the user or bystanders in the form of undesirable vibrations that can be felt or heard. Undesired vibration behaviour can prevent products from operating as expected and could potentially also lead to health and safety concerns for the user. Even though modern Computer Aided Simulation and Design tools can simulate and predict how a component or system will vibrate under varying operating conditions, verification of this behaviour by physical measurement is still required. This is often a necessary step to validate existing computer simulations and models. Noise and Vibration Testing encompasses the broad area of actually measuring real data on existing systems.
This provides the engineer with a baseline insight into the existing performance of a system under test, helping to understand its strengths and weaknesses, as well as ensuring safe and comfortable use of the product. Effective measurement of this behaviour requires a range of sensor solutions, instrumentation and data acquisition systems ideally matched to the testing requirements. Measurement data will only be useful to decission making once processed and reported via durability, test and analysis software.