I've been writing a lot recently about machine vibration isolation, and it occurred to me that it might make sense to bring out a review article I wrote on failures in isolation systems.
I originally wrote this for a conference in 2010, and it ended up in Sound and Vibration Magazine as "Small Deviations and Big Failures in Vibration and Noise Isolation". It's still relevant, and it takes a high-level look at problems at all points, from concept design to isolator/hardware selection, to fabrication and installation. And while it's written from the perspective of high-end laboratories and imaging suites, the concepts are broadly applicable.
Part of what's vexing for machine isolation is the sheer number of options, and the fact that machine vibration impacts evolve over time. In contrast to the structural vibration design (for which there are only so many kinds of steel and concrete materials, concepts, and techniques), machine vibration isolation is heavily product-driven and sensitive to installation variability. And while that structure doesn't much change over the years, rotating machinery encounters wear-and-tear while isolators don't always stay in alignment.
It's no surprise that all isolator products are not created equal; quality and performance can vary considerably from vendor to vendor. What might not be obvious, however, is the degree to which "robustness" matters in the face of realistic installations. Many isolator concepts and products work very well in principle, but age poorly or demand impossibly-perfect installation conditions / workmanship. Since we want the building to work well not only at startup but also many years into the future, it makes sense to pay attention to these issues.
Anyway, take a look at that article if you're interested in good machine vibration isolation. And if you want to bounce some ideas off of me, note that the contact information given in that paper is now out-of-date.