Infrared Thermography

What is Infrared Thermography (IR Scanning)?

Infrared (IR) scanning is a noninvasive predictive maintenance technique. It uses a thermal imaging camera to detect high levels of heat—one of your asset’s top three enemies—emitted in the form of infrared radiation. The camera can also identify cold spots that should be hot, which could indicate a problem. Early fault detection helps prevent permanent damage to most every electrical and mechanical equipment and the unplanned downtime that comes with it. If paired with other predictive maintenance measures, IR scanning allows for a more specific problem-solving program.

Why is Infrared Thermography (IR Scanning) Important?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a thermal image is worth even more. When used in conjunction with consistent PM and visual inspection, IR scanning provides additional data points for a comprehensive snapshot of your asset’s condition. IR scanning is a proven complement to any program that can be performed on energized equipment simultaneously as other testing with minimal disruption and can provide a substantially clearer understanding of potential failure modes.

What does Infrared Thermography (IR Scanning) Find?

IR scanning can identify failure modes not detected by regular operation and can add the clarity needed to address anomalies that other simple testing does not uncover. By analyzing the asset’s thermal images, it is possible to detect:

  • Overloading
  • Unbalanced loads
  • Low liquid levels
  • Defects or issues in cooling systems and radiators
  • Oil circulation issues
  • Malfunctioning temperature or level gauges
  • Hot spots
    • Tank
    • Bushing
    • Loose or faulty connections
    • Load tap changer (LTC) and no-load tap changers (NLTC)
    • Breakers
    • Loose/corroded lugs

Mechanical issues can be seen as well:

  •  Alignment
  •  Bearing failure
  • Unbalance
  • Looseness

How Does Infrared Thermography (IR Scanning) Work?

IR scanning is a non-contact inspection, but non-contact does not mean risk-free. To be accurate, IR thermography must be performed on energized equipment—which involves opening energized switchgear, breaker panels, and cabinet transformer doors, increasing the risk of arc flash. IR windows offer a safer alternative that comes with less time, less PPE, and less risk. IR windows can be installed on most cabinet transformer doors, as well as metal-enclosed and metal-clad switchgear.

IR scanning of electrical equipment can be as easy as 1-2-3. Here’s how it is performed:

  • A field technician scans your equipment from every critical angle and transmits the thermal images for analysis (along with equipment and load data)
  • A specialist analyzes the images, noting anomalies, and uploads to our database for future recollection.
  • We send you a detailed report that includes any recommendations on what to do next

What Makes TAW TFS Different with Their Infrared Thermography (IR Scanning)?

Not all IR cameras are created equal. TAW TFS  invests in top tier componentry to provide quality reports for their customer’s equipment. For example, today when you purchase an affordable camera the pixel count is lower than say a DSLR camera. This example is very similar to the ability of a cost-efficient IR camera vs. a top tier IR camera, that can spot small finite problems from the same viewing distance.

A lot can occur in a year, and your electrical equipment is no different. From changing annual temperatures to adding and decreasing loads to your switchgear and panel boards, allow TAW TFS to come to train your in-house technicians to optimize utilization of their IR cameras to create a dedicated IR PM program. Couple that to allowing TAW to install the newest Poly Crystal Iriss IR windows, we can generously increase your plan’s electrical reliability. 

TAW has nearly 100 years of industrial Technical Field Service experience, including the internal expertise and resources to be a full, turnkey solution for your business.

Call us Toll-Free at 866-660-4940, or email us at Lakeland_Quotes@tawinc.com, to request more information on, Technical Field Services.

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