Themography gives us the ability to monitor the thermal condition of equipment. With this thermal information we can determine normal or baseline temperatures. This is done to reveal thermal anomalies or variances which deviate from the norm.
These variances could be due to excessive heat or lack of heat. The anomalies that thermography identifies are used to make a decision on whether to repair now or track the variance over time and plan for repair at a later date.
Deteriorating components, such as poor contact caused by oxidisation or loose connection, usually cause excessive resistance. This resistance in turn causes excessive heat. Whilst the human eye cannot detect this heat, thermographic devices can.
This is the main benefit of thermographic services. It uncovers deteriorating components prior to catastrophic failure allowing you to repair components in planned downtime. Thermographic surveys are conducted with thermographic equipment. These devices capture information about the heat of the item they are focussed on by using thermal detectors.
Items that are typically surveyed are: switchboards, transformers, motors, machinery, lifts and elevators, refractory, pipe work, cold rooms, boilers, conveyor belts and air conditioning.
Benefits of thermography include:
- Problems can be identified before failure. Usually there is plenty of time before it is critical to fix the component. This allows you to plan a convenient time to repair the item and avoid any catastrophic failure
- Improving safety is another benefit that using thermography will give you. Workers may be put in a dangerous position due to sudden and unexpected equipment failure. For example thermography can identify rollers that are seized in conveyor belts. These seized rollers can wear the belt so thin that it snaps. Workers may be harmed by the unexpected breakage of a conveyor belt
- Reduced outage costs. It is far cheaper to close down at a time selected by you then it is to have emergency downtime
- Reduced risk of expensive damage to plant and property, including potential damage due to fire
- Reduced insurance premiums, in some cases, insurance will not be granted until a thermographic survey is conducted
- Prevents energy wastage caused by resistance in the faults we identify, reducing the cost of energy
- Extension of asset life leads to reduced replacement costs. For example, thermography can show early identification of worn bearings in a motor. The subsequent repair can prolong the life of the motor and reduce replacement costs
- Lower repair costs as thermography will pinpoint where the problem is, meaning you are not wasting time repairing what does not need fixing