Why do you need thermographic checks in industry plant maintenance?

Why do you need thermographic checks in industry plant maintenance?

Preventative maintenance scheduling is one of the best ways to combat unplanned equipment down time. Facility managers are able to take control of operational productivity by determining when and how a plant is checked for repairs and servicing. By doing this, there is no risk of unexpected breakdowns, so operators can be certain that all devices are working at their most efficient state.

A vital part of an industrial equipment maintenance schedule is a thermography check. But just what does a thermography inspection consist of? And why is it so important?

What is Thermography?
Thermal imaging devices are used to reveal areas of high heat in comparison to the surrounding areas. This is done using infrared detection. When equipment emits heat, a detection instrument is able to pick up light waves. It then is able to translate these light waves into a detailed temperature pattern map. This map is known as a thermogram. This can be used in a range of industrial servicing processes.

How is thermal imaging used in plant maintenance?
There are a number of core uses in plant maintenance using thermal imaging:

  • Monitoring and measuring the performance of temperature-bearing instruments in large motors and other rotating equipment.
  • Identifying leaks or hot spots in electronic equipment.
  • To find and locate faulty termination points in electrical circuits, or faulty insulation materials in pipes.
  • Checking for overloaded circuit breakers in a power panel
  • Capping industrial equipment temperatures. Checking production system readings is essential in ensuring that external factors do not affect the final product.

Why is thermography critical in plant servicing?
One of the earliest indicators of industrial equipment malfunctioning is heat. Infrared imaging instruments are able to help detect these heat leaks and thermal build up within equipment. Early detection reduces potential downtime later on, ensuring optimal efficiency for an operator’s industrial plant.

Improvement of industrial equipment is only the first step. Secondly, infrared thermal imaging technicians and facility managers are able to identify minor leaks and heat build up in equipment. While this may not necessarily be detrimental to operation, it still does contribute to wasted spending on energy. The more heat leaks, the more likely that equipment is costing you higher in electricity bills. This can add up to a significant amount over a period of time.

But more importantly, thermal imaging provides a safer work environment for employees. Overloaded electrical systems and circuits are at risk of fusing, and can potentially place equipment operators or maintenance workers in harm’s way. Thermography checks reduce the risk of injury ever arising.

How can Testo New Zealand help?
Testo offers a wide range of leading solutions to help industrial operators conduct more thorough servicing checks. Whether your focus is on mechanical or electrical installations, Testo has a thermographic instrument suitable for any application.

The Testo 885 thermal imager is designed with both industrial and building thermography in mind. It is an ideal solution for all needs within your business, offering these capabilities.

  • Inspection of high voltage systems
  • Optional high-temperature measurement up to 1200 degrees Celsius
  • Circuit board thermal analysis
  • Building shell thermography checks
  • Energy efficiency and thermal leakage tests

Furthermore, Testos 885 also offers the option to upgrade the standard 320x240 pixel lens to help operators capture and interpret data easier. Meanwhile, the Testo 890 thermal imager offers capabilities similar to that of the 885, but with a higher resolution lens and increased thermal sensitivity. Testo’s 890 solution also offers a sequence capturing feature. This helps to detect repeat patterns in thermal imaging data. Finally, the Testo 890 built in digital camera coupled with its improved image resolution features make it a premium thermographic data capturing option.

Want to become a qualified Thermographer?
Check out our Level 1 Thermography Certification Courses HERE.

Contact Testo New Zealand today for more information on any of our testing instruments!