CAT IV Vibration Analyst Certificate

Milt Olsen, CEO and Chief Engineer of MTS, receives CAT IV Vibration Analyst Certification


This year after the annual meeting of the Vibration Institute, Milt joined the ranks of the vibration analyst elite by successfully completing the Category IV certification. The Vibration Institute’s vibration analyst personnel certification program is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board and includes four classifications—or categories—of vibration analysts, the top tier of which is CAT IV. Currently, there are only 116 CAT IV vibration analysts in the world—and only 64 in the USA!

A category IV certification includes mastery of advanced vibration control and analysis, including extensive knowledge in the following categories:

  • Vibration principles
  • Data acquisition
  • Condition monitoring
  • Signal processing
  • Fault analysis
  • Corrective action recognition
  • Equipment testing and diagnostics
  • Reporting and documentation
  • Fault severity determination
  • Relevant ISO, IEC, and national/regional standards
  • Field balancing
  • Theoretical rotor and bearing dynamics

When asked what he is most excited about receiving his CAT IV certification, Milt responded:

“Clients don’t usually hire a CAT IV vibration analyst full time—they look to get someone like us (MTS) for their specialty. I’ve been in the industry—and certified at CAT III—for a long time; but completing the extra mile to get CAT IV certified will help our customers feel that they’re getting the very best that is out there.

Our products beat the socks off every other vibration testing and analytical tool that I’ve ever used. But adding the demonstrated level of proficiency that a CAT IV certification brings to the table just adds an extra level of confidence for our clients.”

How it all Began: From (Almost) Disaster to CAT IV Certification

Milt had no intention of becoming a founder or CEO in the world of predictive maintenance. Then, in an instant (at the speed of a rock hurdling from a conveyor!), that all changed.

He had been working as a self-employed vibration analyst for 12 years and had been using his trusty data collector for over 10 years. Despite its age, his data collector still worked and collected reliable data…as well as weighing in at 6 lbs and boasting a whopping 1 Mb storage capacity.

To put it mildly, the wonderful old horse he had been riding was, well, getting old. Then, one day a golf ball size rock from a conveyor system took aim and that was it. The old monochrome screen had displayed its last.

With his old data collector destroyed, Milt set about looking for an upgrade. However, the more he looked, the more he realized there was nothing that fit his needs. Everything available was prohibitively expensive, utilized confusing software, required steep learning curves, or relied on complicated databases.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and for Milt that was true. With his data collector destroyed and no good replacements available, he could see his career slipping away. The solution was to create what he needed. So, he set to work creating a “new horse” that would work for him and, ultimately, for everyone looking for a better approach to vibration-based machine condition monitoring.

The fruit of his labor was the V-Box series of vibration data collectors and the revolutionary MTSXPlorer software. Maintenance Technology Systems was born—and boasts solutions that are affordable, accurate, easily implemented, and user-friendly.

The company has since grown to be one of the leaders in vibration-based machine condition monitoring. Maintenance Technology System’s data collection systems have now been used throughout industry and across the world for more than 15 years. From the coal and gas fields of Wyoming to the copper mines of Mongolia, you will find Maintenance Technology System’s products and services protecting the equipment that matters most.


Now, back to current events and to Milt completing his CAT IV vibration analyst certification. Receiving his CAT IV certification is just another testimony of Milt’s dedication to the industry and his belief that there should be new technology to be leveraged to help businesses grow and save money—without being clunky, prohibitively expensive, utilizing confusing software, requiring steep learning curves, or relying on complicated databases.

Still riding an old horse? Come check us out. Come see the “new horse” and take it for a test drive.

Our engineers have spent years in the field performing vibrations-based machine condition monitoring. We started this blog so that you can tap into their knowledge and get answers regarding vibration sensors, our products and services, how we compare to similar products on the market, maintenance tips, and more…but we’re just getting started. If you have any specific questions you’d like addressed as we build up this resource, we’d love to hear about it! Contact us here or send us a message on LinkedIn.