Infrared Inspection for Electrical and Mechanical Systems

What is the best way to ensure against the failure of electrical and mechanical systems? Infrared inspection can help by detecting potential failure in these systems. This is why many companies choose to use infrared as a controlling factor in their maintenance routine. By preventing breakdowns rather than waiting for them to happen, equipment and personnel are protected.

How do Infrared Inspections Work?

When inspecting electrical and mechanical systems infrared can detect "hot spots" that are caused by defective parts and connections. Infrared thermography or thermal imagery finds areas of increased resistance which are indicated by excessive heat. This lets maintenance personnel know this part is going to fail which could cause major problems including safety issues and loss of productivity.

Infrared inspections can detect many things including connections that have deteriorated or become loose, defective equipment, open circuits, and overloads. Finding these conditions early can help by increasing the life of the equipment. It reduces the need for unscheduled down time which saves money, and the equipment does not have to be shut down during the inspection. Many insurance companies charge lower premiums if businesses use infrared inspection because losses are reduced.

Early Detection is Key

Choosing infrared inspection services such as Predictive Services is one of the ways of reducing the overall expense for maintenance. Using a manual or visual inspection method is time-consuming and these methods do not always find potential problems. The use of thermal imagery has been proven to pinpoint problems by inspecting thousands of points in hours.

Scheduled maintenance using infrared inspection on a regular basis can aid in preventing the breakdown of equipment and the loss of time and money. This, combined with the repair of the equipment can result in huge savings. Even new electrical and mechanical systems should be inspected because they can be defective as well. For example, a circuit breaker with a wire screw that is loose will show as a “hot spot" when viewed using infrared because it has increased resistance.

Almost always mechanical and electrical parts will heat up before they fail. As this is generally the first sign of trouble, it makes sense that finding the problem before it causes bigger problems is the best way to protect against expensive repairs and loss of production. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) all industrial and commercial buildings in the US should have an infrared inspection at least once every year.

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