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Can you identify a malfunction with just hearing it?

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Alex’s Answer

If it sounds different than normal operation, it does not necessarily mean a malfunction, but might need to investigate further. Trace the source of the noise. Look back what the operator did differently before it started to happen. Look for signs of internal wear.

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Melody’s Answer

I think it depends on how comfortable you are with the machine you're listening to. If you've spent a large amount of time in the company of the machine and have an understanding of what it normally sounds like - trust your gut! My lab manager always says "if something sounds wrong, it probably is".

However, if you don't have a lot of experience with the machine, be more cautious. Depending on your industry, lots of machines can sound like they're going to fall apart any second when they're running perfectly fine in reality!