Thermal imaging surveys for mechanical applications
In many industries mechanical systems serve as the backbone of the whole business. The failure of mechanical systems can disrupt production and cause huge loss of revenues as a result of unplanned down time.
Mechanical systems by their very nature will produce heat, however misaligned or failing components can cause increased heat due to friction. This in turn can lead to complete mechanical failure or even worse – fire. Poor lubrication of components such as bearings can cause the failure of the component or associated equipment, for example a failing bearing can put excessive strain on a motor, potentially causing the motor to fail if left unchecked. This type of failure may be difficult to quickly identify in some environments – Thermal imaging surveys address this problem.
Minimising Down time
In a fast moving manufacturing environment maintenance has to be carefully scheduled to minimise the impact on production processes. By conducting a thermal imaging survey of equipment that is working at its normal capacity a full overview of the equipment can be taken without any disruption to manufacturing processes.
Any problems identified can be recorded and reported to maintenance staff allowing them time to categorise and prioritise the fault. A scheduled shutdown of the equipment can then be carried out to rectify the issue, using standby systems if appropriate to maintain production.
By storing historical thermographic data, comparisons can be be made between accepted normal operating conditions and any deterioration over a period of time.
By utilising qualified thermgraphers and state of the art thermal imaging equipment whole sites can be checking in as little as one day with no disruption to site operations. Reliance on site staff is kept to a minimum allowing them to carry out their normal daily duties. Issues that have been identified by us and rectified by site staff in the past include :-
- Misaligned or worn bearings
- Motor brush contact wear
- Misaligned conveyor belts/pulleys
- Faults in pipework and insulation
Many of these faults would not have been identified until the equipment had failed or caught fire resulting in potential disruption to site operations, stock loss, equipment/building fire, serious injury or death.