What is 'Thermal Imaging'?
Thermal Imaging (or Thermography) is another form of Condition Monitoring. It is a special type of photography which, instead of looking at the visible light range of the electromagnetic spectrum (which a standard camera does); it instead looks at the infra-red range. Using this range of the spectrum allows heat energy to be displayed in a visual manner, thus showing 'hot spots' without physical contact to the unit in question. This process helps us to identify failures and even potential fire hazards within various industrial systems (such as electrical panels).
What are the benefits of 'Thermal Imaging'?
There are many benefits which may encourage you to adopt thermal imaging as part of your routine maintenance:
Reduce maintenance costs - Predictive maintenance reduces overall maintenance costs by identifying specific problems to machinery rather than replacing and/or repairing unnecessarily. Thermal imaging, if performed regularly enough, can identify a problem before it becomes a safety concern and/or causes a potentially dangerous and expensive failure.
Reduced downtime - by identifying faults which may have been overlooked in the electrical side of your process, thermal imaging can reduce down time by identifying the problem early.
Identify root cause - Thermal imaging can be used alongside vibration analysis to help identify root cause of some mechanical & electrical problems, assisting to iron out the underlying problem in a machine.
Safety - A lot of faults which thermal imaging detects are potential fire hazards and there have been many cases where a fire has been prevented by identifying a thermal issue before it becomes lethal.
What faults can 'Thermal Imaging' detect?
Thermal imaging specialises in identifying electrical problems but does have other potential uses:
Electrical failure - This is the largest category of faults which thermal imaging is used for. It includes faults such as loose terminations in electrical panels, phase imbalance, stator damage and so on... Loose terminations are much more common than usually anticipated, and thermal imaging makes easy work out of identifying these kind of safety concerns (as seen on the picture above, a loose connection can heat up well over 100 degrees Celsius due to electrical arcing).
Mechanical failure- this includes problems such as cocked/badly installed bearings, bent shafts, belt misalignment and so on... this is a relatively smaller category in comparison to electrical, however it is still useful, especially when paired with vibration analysis.
Insulation failure - Similar to house insulation, but on an industrial scale, Thermal imaging can help identify heat loss on lagged or insulated units where heat loss is a major concern.
Why choose PFE Limited for your 'Thermal Imaging'?
We have an extensive knowledge and enthusiastic drive when it comes to our work, we will always go the extra mile to ensure our service is the best service we can possibly provide.
PFE offer tailor-made reporting for every client, every part of the report can be modified to suit your needs and/or requirements, we are proud of our in-depth reports and we are sure you will be happy with our reporting standard.
With competitive pricing and an unrivalled quality of service, PFE Limited will meet your thermal imaging needs.
Types of 'Thermal Imaging' we offer and how we do it
Similar to vibration analysis, there are a couple of options when it comes to getting a thermal imaging survey conducted. Unlike vibration analysis however, thermal imaging is only usually as effective as the instance it is done in:
Routine based thermal imaging- One of the most cost efficient choices, using an infrared camera, thermal & visible images are taken on regular intervals (completely dependant on your need, whether it be safety or cost based, we can tailor your requirement). These images are then uploaded to our server back in the office, and analysed for faults whilst a report is compiled, this report will consist of an overview graph for the year, showing a list of your assets being monitored and the current alarm level of each asset using a traffic light system. Those assets which are under Normal Operating Conditions do not require any further reporting, any assets in Warning or Alarm will have an additional exception report page included which identifies what the potential problem is, recommendations on how to improve or fix the fault, as well as data supporting the find. We will also highlight any visual issues with the machinery such as leaking ducts, pipework and any visual issues inside panels (such as an unconnected wire).
One-off thermal imaging - if you do not have a routine imaging survey in place or possibly want a second opinion on the asset, PFE Limited will conduct a one-off thermal imaging survey. This is reported in the same way routine-based imaging is however only for a one-time occurrence rather than across an entire year. If you like what you see, we will be happy to assist in setting a routine based route up.