Developing a successful infrared thermography program involves planning and continued action. The very first thing to do, is to purchase a thermal imager and to get some basic thermal imaging training.
Here are the key factors of a successful Thermography Maintenace Program…
Create Thermal Imaging inspection lists
Using existing lists of equipment from internal inventory, remove unsuitable items and isolate problem items. It’s worth asking yourself: where have failures occurred in the past? Still working off your list, group the remaining equipment together by area or function, into inspection time blocks. You know have a list of equipment to test, and time frame to do it in.
Take note of the conditions in which you have to do your inspections – are there any safety concerns or unusual conditions? Working from a pre-inspection checklist is also a good idea.
Modifications to improve inspection quality
A few modifications that could improve inspection quality include:
High-emissivity “targets” installed on such components as bus bars, tubular bus and any large metal electrical connectors
Infrared transparent “windows” installed in electrical panel covers
Modify equipment guards and covers on conveyance systems and motor couplings so that bearings and couplings can be inspected
Report formats can vary widely and should be customised to your needs. If possible, find a way to tie your report into the work order generated by internal work systems so that your findings can be tracked.
Key indicators to track your results
Long term data analysis is very important – this way, you will be able to see trends that may not be obvious in a day-to-day analysis. You will also be able to spot where/if your program is failing.
By following these steps, you will be able to develop a successful infrared thermography program that will in turn reduce maintenance costs for your company while improving productivity.