It may seem that visual inspection goes beyond what thermographers are hired to do, but conscientious thermographers include notes and even images in their reports when they see code violations, broken equipment, incorrectly sized fuses, bad wiring, etc. A good thermographer will not ignore copper tubing used as a fuse, even if it looks fine in the infrared. Whether the inspection is insurance driven or a proactive stance, an infrared inspection and a visual inspection complement each other.
Continuous monitoring of the filter elements in a hydraulic system can provide valuable clues to the performance of the filter and the condition of the system. Before I discuss this, let’s consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of common filter locations in a hydraulic system.
When equipment fails, wind farms must deal with exorbitant crane mobilization expenses, lost energy production, soaring costs per kilowatt-hour and untimely delays in obtaining replacement parts in a burgeoning industry where the demand for necessary components routinely outstrips supply.
Motor Condition Monitor has many successful applications in different areas of industry. In this section, three applications of MCM in foundry industry will be presented.
Infrared Thermal Imaging is an excellent condition monitoring tool to assist in the reduction of maintenance costs on mechanical equipment. The technique allows for the monitoring of temperatures and thermal patterns while the equipment is online and running under full load. Most mechanical equipment has allowable operating temperature limits that can be used as guidelines. Unlike many other test methods, Infrared Thermal Imaging can be used on a wide variety of equipment including pumps, motors, bearings, pulleys, fans, drives, conveyors etc.
There are many uses for infrared thermography other than inspecting electrical switchgear and mechanical components. Inspecting buildings for heat loss was one of the first commercial uses for infrared thermography.
As with many condition monitoring techniques, infrared thermography is a skilled art form that requires technician and engineeers to be educated in infrared physics, have a thorough understanding of applications and be able to develop their knowledge with continual field experience.
Mirant Mid-Atlantic’s condition-monitoring team consists of a central group of four technicians and one team leader. The team’s primary responsibilities are the company’s four coal-fired power plants; as resources and priorities permit, the team also provides support to other assets.