How your business can benefit from infrared technology

Technician using thermal imaging camera to check the temperature in a factory.

Infrared thermographic inspections can help your business avoid costly systems failures and prevent property damage, bodily injury and loss of business income

The inspections involve of the use of a thermal imager, or camera, to detect infrared radiation (heat) levels that could indicate issues in electrical or mechanical systems. This technology can provide a critical early warning of potential mechanical and electrical system failures, which are two major causes of industrial fires and explosions, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).1 2

How does it work? 

Thermal imaging of electrical and mechanical systems can take the guesswork out of preventative maintenance and can help identify possible issues. Levels of heat in the images are represented by a colour spectrum that distinguish the hottest and coldest areas through a gradient. Hot spots, in thermal images, show areas of excessive heat and indicate increased resistance which could reveal possible defects such as damaged components or lubrication failures in electrical and mechanical systems. NFPA regulations recommend annual infrared inspections for commercial and industrial buildings.3
 

In electrical systems infrared thermography can detect:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Overloaded circuits
  • Overloads and unbalanced loads
  • Loose or deteriorated connections
  • Inductive heating
  • Harmonics
     

In mechanical systems it can help identify:

  • Misalignments
  • Overloaded systems
  • Overheated motors, joints, belts, bearings and shafts
  • Open circuits 
     

Improve production and save money

Keep costs low by focusing on necessary repairs. Infrared thermography allows you to identify, prioritize and conduct repairs on an as needed basis. Because you can target specific current or imminent issues, there is no need for costly shutdowns of the entire operation. Temperature readings can also help you determine the urgency of actual repairs and eliminate hazards before they become costly safety issues and long before they halt production. 
 

Hire a qualified thermographer

Infrared inspections should be performed by someone who is well-trained in reading thermographic scans. There are three levels of certification offered by several organizations in Canada and your technician should be at least Level 1 certified.
 

Insurance

Whatever your focus – safety, productivity or cost-savings – the adoption of infrared technology offers a solution that can protect your business operations and employees. Talk to your broker about whether this technology is beneficial to your business. 






Sources

1 Watkins, Stephen. 2017,. "Preventing the Five Major Causes of Industrial Fires and Explosions," Occupational Health & Safety,  February 7, https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2017/02/07/Preventing-the-Five-Major-Causes-of-Industrial-Fires-and-Explosions.aspx?Page=5%20pages%204%20&%205

2 "Fire Safety Leader's Guide," Workplace Safety North, September, 2003, https://www.workplacesafetynorth.ca/sites/default/files/Fire%20Safety%20Leader%20Guide.pdf, p.4

3 NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance, published by the NFPA, provides a listing of maintenance and equipment testing intervals. NFPA 70B.11.17.5 recommends an Infrared survey at least annually prior to shutdowns and more regularly, quarterly or semi-annually for example, if “loss experience, installation of new electrical equipment, or changes in environmental, operational or load conditions,” warrant it.

Department of Energy. (2018). Retrieved from Thermographic Inspections: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/thermographic-inspections

Flir. (2018). Retrieved from Why Use Infrared?: https://www.flir.ca/discover/why-use-infrared/

Infrared Inspection: Reduce Costs, Downtime, Failures, Equipment Damage. (2018). Retrieved from IR Analyzers: http://www.iranalyzers.com/EMBrochure.pdf

Infrared Thermography Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from Proline Inspections: http://prolineinspections.com/infrared-thermography-guide/

National Fire Protection Association. (2019). NFPA 70B Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance. Retrieved from National Fire Protection Association: https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=70B

Overview of Infrared Inspection . (2018). Retrieved from Inspectioneering: https://inspectioneering.com/tag/infrared+inspection

Why are Electrical Infrared Thermography Inspections Important? (2018). Retrieved from Care Labs: http://carelabz.com/electrical-infrared-thermography-inspection-important/

The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice.


Copyright in the whole and every part of this site belongs to Aviva Canada Inc., unless otherwise indicated, and may not be used, sold, licensed, copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner or form or in or on any media to any person without the prior written consent of Aviva Canada Inc.