This article was originally posted in Plant Services, 2020.
Imagine an undiagnosed hot spot in your plant. It may signify a weakened asset surface, prior to equipment failure. It might adversely affect your food recipes or pharma processes, resulting in bad product batches. Or even worse, it might be due to improperly grounded current, something which puts the safety of your workers at immediate risk.
Thermal imaging is a mainstay of industrial monitoring and inspections for good reason. Overheating, underheating, hot spots, and other undesirable temperature-related conditions can be detected early with thermal imagers and proactively addressed before the situation escalates. Compared to the days when plants and personnel were blind to the warning signs, this is a monumental improvement.
Thermal imaging in industrial environments has conventionally been used as a periodic condition inspection function conducted with handheld infrared (IR) cameras. That use has evolved to include fixed thermal imaging to continuously or intermittently monitor critical assets, systems, processes, or safety conditions 24 hours a day 365 days a year – even remotely via a tablet or similar device. They utilize advanced cameras mounted in fixed locations and integrated with factory automation systems, and intuitive software analytics that automatically generate notifications when abnormal or inconsistent temperature events are detected.
Thanks to the capabilities of this increasingly affordable technology, imaginative temperature monitoring and control applications are extending throughout the enterprise. Today’s multipurpose solutions, such as the ThermoView TV40 thermal imaging system from Fluke Process Instruments, are simplifying crucial functions including safety inspections, product quality checks, process control, predictive maintenance, and more.
Screenshot of ThermoView Software companion to the TV40 Thermal Imager.