Preventative maintenance is all about finding the problem and fixing it before it a disaster occurs.
To that end, researchers are constantly working to develop new ways to spot problems. Thermal imaging, examining the factory equipment with an infrared camera, is one such solution. The thermal imaging cameras
don’t just see into the machinery, they highlight problems involving overheating, overloading and
leakage. For this reason, these cameras are becoming a popular addition to any plant where machinery is in constant use.
There are three major points to think about when considering these cameras:

They Can See Through the Machine

Thermal imaging cameras are designed to penetrate the fires burning in industrial furnaces and boilers.
In doing so, the cameras can help you see the problems that may be present. The high temperature
environment is no longer an obstacle for machinery maintenance workers performing their regular
inspection. The cameras see through the dense metal housings of any machines to reveal a thermal
image of the interior. Overheated areas are easily identified in their higher heat signature than the
surrounding components. The thermal imaging equipment can also scan electrical components,
including fuse panels, power supplies and even transformers.

Cuts Down Major Repairs and Breakdown Time

Thermal imaging system cost less than they did just a few years ago. Because of this, there is less cost
to absorb over the life of the system. The most obvious cost cutting is from finding issues within the
machinery long before they compromise the equipment. Just think of the cost saving from repairing an
overloaded circuit, rerouting the power before the circuit is blown and the machine fails. The repairs
can also be scheduled to occur when the plant or during the period of least production to minimize
losses.

Cuts Maintenance Time

By working the imaging equipment into the maintenance schedule, you can save time in completing
the routine. The infrared imaging sees into the machine, eliminating the need for vibration analysis and
other testing on the machines. Instead, a scan using the thermal imaging scanner can pass the machine
or help maintenance workers tag it for repairs.

Thermal imaging equipment fits nicely with the concepts and processes used in preventive
maintenance. It cuts cost and time, while also finding small fixes before they become big ones. As
technology produces more innovations in preventive maintenance, you can expect more cost savings.

Eagle Technologies group is an industry leader in the design and implementation of factory automation systems worldwide.