Strobe lights are an inexpensive tool typically used to determine the operational speed of the equipment. Strobe lights should be readily available to vibration analysts and maintenance mechanics. A strobe can be used as a proactive tool for many things. For example, visual inspection of belt damage (slippage, wear, etc), coupling damage, loose components, and much more can be identified with this handy tool, while the equipment is running. Don’t overlook the value a strobe light can provide beyond just the simple determination of the operational speed of a machine. But keep two things in mind: SAFETY must be first and foremost in your mind at all times when using a strobe light. Since a strobe can appear to “stop motion” on moving components, the temptation to touch the object you are looking at can be strong at times. Avoid this temptation and always stay focused on what you are doing. Also, people prone to epileptic seizures triggered by flashing lights should avoid exposure to a strobe light.
Maintenance Tips, Vibration Analysis by Trent Phillips CRL CMRP - Novelis