Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 36

INFRARED TECHNOLOGY

Make the Most
Of IR Inspections

Safety first
PdM pros love thermal imaging because it's a noncontact and non-invasive technology. Even so, always
remember the safety hazards presented by electrical,
mechanical, rotating, and heated components, especially in unfamiliar parts of a plant and when components are near failure.
Know your stuff
Compile a list of all plant assets and systems that
should be inspected. Many first-time users don't realize
the wide gamut of components in a plant that should be
inspected using thermal imaging. They include, among
other things:
■ electrical systems such as motors, pumps, and
switchgear
■ steam lines and traps
■ rotating-equipment systems, such as belt drives,
turbines, mixers, and fans
■ heating and refrigeration systems in process and
climate-control applications
■ compressed air systems
■ facility building-envelope insulation
■ vessels.
Prioritize
Determine what equipment and systems are most critical to your operations in terms of avoiding unplanned
downtime and rank them or their corresponding physical areas in a plant accordingly.

Motors, pumps, and other rotating equipment are just some of the
many systems that can benefit from thermal-imaging inspections.
Photo courtesy FLIR Systems Inc.

WHEN IT COMES to the non-invasive technologies that
make up a plant's predictive-maintenance (PdM) program,
thermal imaging-often called infrared (IR) imaging-has
seen dramatic growth in recent years. Whether you and/or
others at your site are just beginning to perform thermalimaging inspections, rely on a third party for them, or have
been using this technology for a while, it's a good idea to
periodically review the basics and the best practices associated
with these inspections. The thermal-imaging experts at FLIR
Systems (flir.com, Wilsonville, OR) offered the following tips
for making the most of your infrared inspections.
-Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Stick with it
Adoption of new technologies in some PdM programs
often can be categorized as "burning bright and brief,"
i.e., while there might be great enthusiasm and interest
when the technology is introduced, it can be shortlived. With thermal imaging, real benefits are realized
from a sustained momentum of routine inspections
wherein changes are often identified from one inspection to the next, and costly failures prevented. The key
is to love thermal imaging because it's a non-contact
and non-invasive technology. Even so, always remember the safety hazards presented by electrical, mechanical, rotating, and heated components. Unless a PdM
program is feasible by design, it will be hard to keep up
with what needs to be done.
Get on the training train
As plant managers put thermal imagers in the hands of
more and more technicians, it's tempting to promote
a "point and shoot" approach. It is crucial, however,
that users receive proper training to optimize imager
settings for each application. This allows users to distinguish normal anomalies from true abnormal conditions
and, most important, helps ensure their safety. MT

For more information on a range of thermal-imaging topics, including basic and advanced training, visit flir.com

36 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

SEPTEMBER 2017


http://www.flir.com http://www.flir.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology September 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Filling The Skills Gap
Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Update Grounding Knowledge
Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Alternative LOTO Measures
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Compressed Air Filters
IR Inspections
Crack The Lube-Fault Code
DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 14
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Filling The Skills Gap
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 18
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 19
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 22
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Update Grounding Knowledge
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 25
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 28
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Alternative LOTO Measures
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 31
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 32
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Compressed Air Filters
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 35
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - IR Inspections
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 37
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Crack The Lube-Fault Code
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 40
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover4
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