Thermal imaging technology is becoming prominent in multiple industries, but recently Mintek spoke at the NFMT conference in Orlando about the future of engineering technology and one aspect of that was using thermal technology in the maintenance industry to capture and identify infrared images of equipment to reduce downtime and optimize labor spend and improve ROI for facility owners.
Thermal imaging is a predictive measurement that should be added to your EAM CMMS software that allows you to have a proactive rather than reactive response to potential breakdowns and problems that could lead to failures in other equipment down the line.
Let’s look at the 3 W’s ( Who, What, and Where) of thermal imaging and how this affects facilities.
3-W’s of Thermal Imaging
- Who this affects? – Engineers, facilities maintenance, manual and process technicians, and I/E technicians
- What this affects? – Helps with safety, trouble to reach areas, images are easy to take, non-destructive testing method, and catches moving, spinning and energized targets
- Where this is affected? – Electrical and mechanical equipment, HVAC units, electronics R&D, and piping throughout the building
These 3-W’s affect multiple applications including: mechanical, electrical, and process. These types of applications include assets like electric motors, compressors, lighting circuits, fuses, tank levels, and chiller operations to name a few.
Engineers can monitor and spot malfunctions quicker and more safely with the use of this equipment. Engineers can also more accurately jot down meter readings and tank levels on assets by monitoring temperature levels to see whether an asset is at correct temperature or an issue could be arising.
Additional benefits to infrared readings include baselines and trending, wireless thermal imaging sensors, and data graph imaging.
Wireless Thermal Imaging Sensors
The most prominent of the three benefits above would be the wireless sensors that allow engineers to spot abnormalities and capture that data using a mobile device.
Wireless sensors help spot abnormalities that have developed over a period of time and automatically capture a series of thermal images to help determine a root cause.
Sensor software enables engineers to receive alarms based on thresholds you set for the asset. Engineers have the ability to remotely monitor multiple assets thus providing a sense of safety for the engineer.
The sensors can also produce multiple graphs per asset to see the correlation between temperature and power monitoring.
This infrared thermal technology incorporated with an existing EAM CMMS solution can be a powerful tool when tracking work orders, work requests, submitting new work, and monitoring assets at a safe and productive level. Thermal technology can reduce the risk of engineer harm and also increase accuracy to reports given on assets on a daily basis.