Theromography as a maintenance tool
As a follow-up to PLANT ENGINEERING’s April cover story on IR thermography, authors Jason Wilbur and William Gray noted in this article on thermal imaging , the use of IR thermography is effective in a predictive maintenance environment:
“In a PdM environment, maintenance personnel spend less time on reactive (fix-it-when-it-breaks) maintenance,” they wrote. “Equipment repair costs, as well as capital equipment costs, decrease when a PdM program extends the lifespan of machine assets. These costs decrease because PdM programs transition maintenance resources away from emergency repairs and into scheduled inspections of key equipment. Inspections simply take less time than repairs. In fact, Federal Energy Management Program studies estimate that a properly functioning PdM program can provide a savings of 30% to 40% over a reactive maintenance approach.
“Facilities that bring thermography inhouse can not only inspect equipment more frequently than annually outsourcing inspections, they can also inspect after a repair is made to verify its success. And, by controlling the actual measuring process, internal knowledge of equipment operations also increases.”