What is Thermographic Testing?

Thermographic testing, also known as infrared inspection, is a predictive maintenance method that helps maintain the longevity of equipment. Available only as part of our comprehensive factory maintenance plan, it involves using thermal cameras to monitor how heat flows through equipment.

Thermographic imaging for early detection of problems

Temperature changes are an early sign of problems developing inside production equipment. Implementing a program of infrared inspection for predictive maintenance lets a maintenance organization adopt a more proactive stance. Planning repairs instead of reacting to breakdowns raises overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) by reducing unplanned downtime.

Thermographic imaging entails pointing a thermal imaging camera at the electrical housings and components of equipment in operation and capturing an image. This image reveals a pattern of heat flows through the equipment’s electrical components. As electric components deteriorate, electrical resistance increases and so does heat. As a result, infrared electrical testing can instantly reveal areas of abnormally high temperature. Thermographic testing of electrical equipment also captures data that can reveal longer term trends, aiding in predictive maintenance.

Infrared electrical testing provides numerous benefits. As an always-on predictive maintenance practice, it identifies issues in real time. This increases safety by identifying potential electrical problems earlier and allowing them to be addressed well before they pose a danger.

In addition, collecting infrared thermographic testing data for subsequent analysis helps with optimizing repair and replacement schedules. This lowers maintenance costs while improving equipment availability. Benefits include a reduction in unplanned downtime, increased mean-time-between-failures (MTBF) and even extended equipment life.

Typical applications for thermographic testing include::

  • Bearing monitoring
  • Electrical cabinet monitoring
  • Detecting leaks
  • Insulation monitoring
  • Process temperature analysis

Thermographic testing – part of ATS’s predictive maintenance technologies

Performing an infrared electrical inspection or any other type of thermographic imaging involves more than buying and using an expensive camera. Setting up an effective thermographic testing program requires a good understanding of the technology coupled with detailed knowledge of the process equipment. That is where ATS comes in.

Our skilled predictive maintenance technicians have the training and experience to capture and analyze the data-driven metrics provided by this technology to increase your asset availability.