- Control panels
- Fuse boxes
- Disconnects switches
- Motor control centers
- Distribution panels
MechanicalAs with electrical systems, mechanical systems should also be inspected with thermal imaging to reduce downtime and improve efficiency. By establishing a baseline the condition of mechanical systems can be tracked over time. A failing bearing in a motor or on a conveyor system can use unnecessary energy without being detected until the bearing fails or the current draw on the system gets high enough to trip the over-current device. In some instances, adjustments are made to the over-current device to prevent downtime without correcting the problem. Mechanical devices would include motors, coupling alignment between motors and load, hydraulic systems, gearboxes, conveyor systems, bearing, dust collection system, ventilation systems, plumbing, steam traps and pressure relief valves, drive belts, and anything else that would develop a a temperature variation caused by a defect in the system.
UtilityUtility systems are probably one of the most important systems to monitor on a regular basis with infrared surveys. A small failure can lead to significant losses not only to the utility but to its customers. Thermal surveys seem to be common in substations and substation equipment but what about the distribution and transmission systems. When you look at these systems and the numbers of components needed to operate these systems you realize the opportunities for failure. Each component is subject to failure and when that happens you have a customer unhappy. However, using a thermal survey can detect many possible failures before they happen allowing the opportunity to schedule an outage. In most cases, a schedule outage will be much shorter and less expensive for all involved.
Building ApplicationsThe building envelope is what separates the exterior from the interior as well as the climate controls of the building. Thermal imaging can be used to evaluate the envelope. A thermal scan can detect insulation voids, air leakage, structural defects, poor workmanship, and moisture ingress in structure to name a few. With an appropriate temperature difference between the condition and the unconditioned space the thermal camera will show areas where the insulation has settled or not installed correctly or just plain missing. It will also show where air may be leaking in or out of the conditioned space.
Motor Shaft TestingWith the increase in the use of variable frequency drives today, a maintenance concern has arisen and that is circulating currents in a motor. When the current exceeds the dielectric properties of the bearing grease it arcs over in the bearing and goes to ground leaving a small arc burn in the bearing race. As this continues to damage the race eventually the bearing will fail. Today 30% of premature motor failures are caused by bearing failures due to these currents. The magnitude and frequency of the voltages associated with these currents can be measured and the amount of bearing damage can be assessed.
OMI Infrared is an Ohio company founded in 2013 and based in the northwest corner of the state. The main focus of OMI Infrared is infrared inspection for preventive and predictive maintenance for industrial, commercial, utilities and residential use. The use of an infrared inspection not only helps increase reliability but will also assist in reducing energy and maintenance costs.