See the unseen – IRIS M Technology

A new video technology allows users to see motion, that is unseen by the human eye. The technology delivers real-time video that visualize unwanted motions and vibrations and enables users to make pre/post repairs or to prevent breakdown.

To the human eye there is no movement, but a new video technology – The IRIS M can reveal and document critical manufacturing operations and components that affect plant reliability and productivity.

Numbers and curves, such as displacement and frequencies, from vibration measurements are a tool –  and easily document critical, and unwanted motion in the manufacturing process, but video in real-time from the IRIS M allows the user to see motion and pinpoint the place where the motion occurs, making the video a perfect tool.

Thanks to a new American technology, it is now possible to detect subtle motion and amplify that motion to a level visible with the naked eye. The technology has recently been introduced in Denmark by Uhre & Nybæk, specialists in vibration analysis. Now, Uhre & Nybæk offers this new video technology, called IRIS M from RDI Technologies, to their customers.

The technology behind the IRIS M is Motion Amplification TM. The technology amplifies motion, though a video processing technique, turning every pixel in the camera into a sensor. What the naked eye can’t see, now becomes visible. The IRIS M operates at 120 frames per second, but can take up to 1.300 frames per second.

“We have customers, who need to see the motion with their own eyes to believe that there is a problem, and to acknowledge it and see where precisely the problem is located. Here we see IRIS M as a new unique innovation technology on the maintenance market, and for testing equipment before delivery to customers,” Søren Uhre says.

New technology from USA
Uhre & Nybæk went to USA to pursue this new video technology.

“We participated at a business trade fair in USA with the purpose of finding a better version of the ODS technology, Operating Deflection Shape, but instead we obtained contact to RDI Technologies, who has developed the new video technology, with the slogan “Seeing is Believing”,” Søren Uhre says.

The possible applications for this new technology are wide and varied, in Søren’s opinion. IRIS M can be used on everything from bridges and buildings, to rotating components like gear and engines.

“The technology can be used on large plants, like a bridge, where it is possible to make recordings from long distance. On the other hand, you have the possibility to zoom in on small components like gears and engines,” he says furthermore.

The technology is a perfect tool to use for quality control on machinery before the manufacturer delivers a new machine to the customer, or after installing an existing pipeline to a new pump. Hazard of vibrations emerge in machinery. It is possible to collect data at safe distance on high voltage cables, which are dangerous to have contact with. When the problem has been located, it is possible to get specific information about the process or issues at the root cause of the problem.

Troubleshooter on a vibration grate
One of the plants, where the new video technology has been introduced, is Babcox Wilcox Vølund. They produce biomass energy technologies for thermal power stations. The IRIS M technology was introduced on a big vibration grate, which leads biomass fuel through the final incinerating process.

“We saw several advantages of the video technology compared to ODS technology. The video technology is faster and has several measuring points”, Arne J Andersen, Senior Service Engineer at Babcox Wilcox Vølund, says.

He feels that the IRIS M technology can be used for fault finding and quality control.

“The time factor in using video technology is very important. We will get the conclusion within minutes after data collection. Time is important and we can make more effective recordings and studies before we deliver the product to our customer. Additionally, there are more measuring points by using video, so you receive more and better information about your plant”, Arne J. Andersen says.

When it comes to vibration grates the correct relationship between the grate and concrete foundation is important, so that the grate can move correctly. If the relationship between fuel and movement is not correct, strain problems will occur.

Arne J. Andersen regards the video technology a substitute for ODS technology, which is a more time- consuming technology with less measuring points.

“You can use the video recordings as documentation for vibration problems or as a quality control when delivering a solution to your customer. You can use the video to document that there were no problems before delivering to the customer”, Arne J. Andersen says, Babcox Wilcox Vølund do not expect to invest in the video equipment.

“I will let the experts do the assignment. They know how to produce the best recordings and they have developed a database with all recordings that can be used as reference”, he adds.

Many measuring points
With traditional vibration, measurements will typically include 50 measurement points. With the IRIS M technology, there are millons of measurement points. You can have an impact from a leg of a machine that causes vibrations that make vital parts of the machinery vibrate. Or you can have hinges frequently breaking because of vibrations caused by metal exhaustion.

“If you have recurring problems with components breaking, production stop, quality problems, or inexplicable problems caused by vibrations, it is a big advantage to use IRIS M technology. Maybe you have a suspicion what is causing the problem, and where it is located, but thanks to IRIS M it turns out to be another problem that causes vibrations in the plant,” Søren Uhre says.

Uhre & Nybæk has used the new video technology with several of their customers.

“We have helped a maritime customer, who since having a ship delivered 3 years ago have had a problem with vibrations in their engines. It was very difficult to convince them that our vibration measurements showed that several of the pipelines made it impossible for the engines to move freely. We insisted that our vibration measurements showed the actually issues and after some considerations and discussions they made the improvements we had recommended. With the video camera, we could have visualized the movements in the motor that our analysis showed”, Søren Uhre says.

“We have had the camera for a month now, and are still surprised by its field of application,” Claus Nybæk adds.

“We are vibrations specialists and know how to interpret signals measured in the plants. Now we are learning to shoot films under optimal conditions regarding light settings, choice of lens and so on. When you know, and understand, how the plants are supposed to work, you quickly learn to control the video technique and benefit from it”, Claus Nybæk says.

Members of DDV can meet Uhre & Nybæk at the DDV event May 9th in Horsens – the theme “Is maintenance ready for the future?”. At the event, Uhre & Nybæk will introduce the new IRIS M technology.

Uhre & Nybæk is one of the sponsors for this DDV event.


  • IRIS M is powered by Motion Amplification TM, a patented technique developed by RDI Technologies
  • Every pixel in the camera operates as a sensor and detects subtle motion and amplifies that motion.
  • Records minimum displacement 0,1 mil (2,5mm) at 3,3 ft. (1m) with 50 mm lens at max brightness
  • Danish agency: Uhre & Nybæk –
  • RDI website – – see the videos of project with IRIS M technology

Operation data

  • Shows displacements – time waveforms and spectrum
  • By turning every pixel in the camera into a sensor, IRIS M takes millions of measurements in a fraction of a second.
  • Effective communication equipment between technical and non-technical personnel
  • Perfect for troubleshooting and root cause analysis, alternative to traditional ODS
  • Easy export of Mp4 files for reporting and sharing data
  • Software produces an easy to understand amplified video
  • Non-contact motion amplification platform
  • Collection data under normal operation


This story was first published in Optimering – – issued by The Danish Maintenance Society –