What Is an Infrared Thermal Scan and Why Is It Important?

By North Central Electric,

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infrared thermal scannerInfrared thermology is the process of using a thermal imager to detect infrared energy (radiation or heat) omitted from an object, converting it to temperature and displaying the result as a real-time image. These images are called thermograms. Thermograms can easily show heat-producing objects that are invisible to the naked eye. Infrared thermal technology is widely used in predictive and preventive maintenance as it can help detect dangerous system problems quickly and before they become a bigger issue. The professionals at NCE are sharing why this process is important and why you should consider incorporating annual thermal scans at your facility for the health and safety of everyone.

Benefits of Infrared Thermal Scans

It’s estimated that over 20% of all electrical failures in buildings are caused by faulty electrical connections. Because of this, many insurance companies require facilities to survey their equipment using thermal scans every year. Inspecting equipment with thermal scans can ensure your facility’s equipment is running normally with no disruptions or inefficiencies. Because dangerous heat patterns cannot be detected by the naked eye, thermal scans can prematurely detect when components in your equipment are going bad before they completely fail. Several other benefits of infrared thermal scans include:

  • Easy to read images
  • Requires no contact with equipment 
  • Significant financial savings
  • Reduced risk of down time and unplanned outages
  • Reduced risk of electrical fires
  • Improved equipment performance
  • Increased safety 
  • Helps to determine if your system has been properly installed and working correctly

Unlike the results you receive from a multimeter, which are numerical and need to be interpreted, infrared thermography uses a thermal imager to capture an image that can be enhanced and highlighted to effectively and efficiently identify potential problems. This can be done in a hands-off way without making direct contact, providing you with real-time pictures of the condition of your equipment.

A thermographer will utilize one of three methods when performing a thermal scan for your facility including Comparative, Baseline and Thermal Trending methods. These three methods can be performed on several different areas in your facility like:

  • Electrical connections
  • Bearings, electrical motors and belts
  • Steam and boiler systems
  • Overloaded cables, fuses or breakers
  • Lighting 
  • And various other areas

Incorporating infrared thermography technologies at your facility is one of the most highly recommended preventive maintenance plans you can employ. Utilizing thermal scans can provide you with real-time and accurate information without any disruption to your equipment or day-to-day processes. Contact the experts at NCE today to create a maintenance plan for your facility that includes infrared thermography.