Calculate the cost of faults

Discovering faults before they cause damage can save an estimated $55 million.

05/15/2015


This thermographic image shows a poor connection on a disconnect. Courtesy: FlirAccording to CNA Insurance data, electrical faults occur more frequently than people realize. From March 2005 through June 2010, the company’s thermographers conducted 6,445 IR surveys, averaging about 100 surveys per month. Using 22 FLIR P65 model IR cameras, these thermographers found 47,077 faults (or deficiencies) for an average of 7.3 faults per report. 

CNA estimates an electrical repair cost savings of $500 for minor or intermediate faults and $3000 for serious or critical faults. The company identifies four fault categories based on temperature differentials above the norm:

  • Minor faults: 1° – 9°F
  • Intermediate faults: 10° – 34°F;
  • Serious faults: 35° – 74°F;
  • Critical faults: 75°F or greater.

Using FLIR’s Indirect Power Calculations from Surface Temperatures estimates, the per-kW-hr cost for such faults were:

  • $1.50/day for critical faults;
  • $0.75/day for serious faults;
  • $0.40/day for intermediate faults
  • $0.15/day for minor faults.

Discovering these faults before they cause damage is said to pay for the cost of the survey (estimated at $2,000), based on the $0.15 per kW-hr cost over 250 working days in a year.  That equates to $12,890,000 total value. CAN reported its clients saved an estimated $55 million, or about $4 saved for every $1 value of IR survey. These savings include both reduced electrical repair costs and energy savings. 

Also, electrical fire losses are avoided by correcting faults discovered during IR surveys. Insurance loss statistics (from 1992-2001, as published in 2002) showed that “average” electrical fire losses were about $200,000 for circuit breakers; $500,000 for switchgear; and $1 million for motor control center (MCC) rooms.

The Bottom Line:

  • Even with improvements in thermography technology, a skilled professional is still required to provide expert analyses of readings.
  • A layered approach in some smaller plants could allow in-house technicians to perform basic readings and thermographers to provide a detailed analysis.
  • Develop a basic checklist for your thermographic program.

Key Words:

Here are some of the articles at plantengineering.com, KEYWORD: INFRARED CAMERAS  that further discuss this topic:

Use infrared imaging for energy auditing

  • Increasingly, facility owners recognize that energy auditing is not a one-time procedure. It needs to be a continuing routine to assure that manufacturing processes and buildings are operating at optimum efficiency. Processes change, equipment ages, and buildings are modified and can also change in their efficiency through time. For this reason, organizations today frequently organize internal energy audit teams. For these auditors, digital infrared imaging has become an important tool. 

IR cameras: The new tool for emission leak detection

  •  IR cameras allow users to visually discern gases in their host atmosphere. With an IR imager, one can “see” where the gas is originating, as well as where the gas cloud is traveling. From first detection to eventual gas containment and even remediation, the benefits of applying this technique are vast.

Proper operator training crucial in infrared condition monitoring

  • Building Science Thermography is the use of infrared cameras as a non-invasive means to inspect, diagnose and monitor building conditions. Through thermal imaging, structural anomalies may be revealed and addressed more easily than by conventional inspection methods, saving time and costs and providing a safer building environment.

Gary L. Orlove, P.E. is the Global Curriculum Manager at the Infrared Training Center and Chairman of the InfraMation Thermography Conference. He can be reached at gary.orlove@infraredtraining.com



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Diagnostic functions for system safety; Specifying industrial enclosures; Effective decision support for a crisis
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me