If you troubleshoot or maintain equipment in an industrial setting, staying safe depends partly on the environment and partly on you.
You want to make sure the equipment is working within specifications to avoid damage or injury from overheating, misalignment, or power quality issues. If you’re responsible for keeping that equipment working properly, you want to be able to inspect and troubleshoot that equipment from a safe distance.
Using an infrared camera can help you on both counts. You can use it to scan equipment, structures, and processes from a safe distance, which reduces your exposure to hazards and in some cases, can eliminate the need to get a hot work permit.
Here are a few areas where a thermal imager can help keep you safe:
1. Inspecting electrical systems
With an infrared camera, you can stand well outside the arc flash zone and scan energized equipment through special infrared windows, all without having to open the panel. This can reduce your risk, and perhaps reduce the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) you have to climb into.
2. Potentially explosive environments
Using a thermal imager with a telephoto lens can allow you to stand farther away from the equipment in a potentially explosive environment and still get the detail you need. This long-distance scanning can also save you a lot of climbing to inspect towers, stacks, or air scrubbers and allow you to inspect areas you wouldn't be able to get close enough to otherwise without shutting down production.
3. Building inspection
The long-distance capabilities of an infrared camera with a telephoto and/or wide-angle lens can also allow you to scan a lot of ceiling, roof, or wall area and duct work from the ground. This reduces your chances of falling from the rafters and expedites your inspections.