Maintenance Q&As

How can my facility use infrared analysis?

Answered July 28 2019

Like many other parts of the predictive maintenance (PdM) toolkit, infrared analysis can be applied to any assets or pieces of equipment that give off heat. This is because it’s easy to gather infrared data, allows you to scan a relatively large area at the same time, and doesn’t require physical contact with equipment.

Electrical equipment
With electrical equipment, it’s nearly impossible to discern when a panel or relay is becoming too hot, which puts employees in danger due to electrical fires and arc flashes, which cause significant third-degree burns.

Infrared thermography makes it simple to see the heat of a transformer or cable prior to performing any maintenance, minimizing the danger to technicians and creating a safer overall situation.

Infrared analysis also makes it far easier to determine where loose connections may be so there’s no game of plug-and-check needed – identify which wire or connection has an abnormal heat signature and fix it.

Undetected energy loss
Energy loss can be a problem with many facilities, especially because it’s difficult to know where exactly in the facility the energy is going. Infrared analysis allows technicians to track down areas of heat where energy is dissipating and fix leakages (like in the event of poor insulation in a roof).

It’s also possible to identify air, water, or heat leaks around a facility by examining the difference between the ambient air and the place where the leakage is occurring.

Motor function
Motors produce heat when they are running, which makes infrared analysis a useful tool both for establishing a temperature baseline for motors (normal operation) and for diagnosing abnormal motor temperatures (issue with the motor).

Within a motor, infrared analysis can also be used to check couplings and connections, as well as understand how the airflow of the motor and its housing works (or doesn’t work).

Asset Management Questions & Answers