How can an infrared predictive maintenance program offer greater benefits and convert your facility’s operational costs along with increasing safety, reducing unscheduled downtime, reducing equipment damage as well as reducing insurance costs?

The Benefit of an Infrared Pdm

If your facility is like so many out there, the first sign of a looming failure is a change in how the equipment functions and/or sounds. If and when these indications are overlooked or unnoticed, you may face catastrophic failure, as resistance builds up, heat increases, and failure begins. The unscheduled downtime that now occurs is both costly and can increase the possibility of further damage or fire.

Through infrared equipment inspections along with scheduling maintenance when required, facilities decrease the likelihood of unscheduled downtime due to equipment failure, spend less on “reactive” maintenance fees and equipment repair costs, reduce the risk of fire and catastrophic failure, and increase the lifespan of equipment assets.

In moving past the old-fashioned method of running equipment to the point of failure, you may try to maximize the facility’s uptime with an infrared predictive maintenance program. Scheduling infrared inspections and creating a program will be based on time estimates for components from historical records, OEM recommendations, fire code compliance (NFPA 70B, 70E), or insurance mandates.

The Value of Predictive Maintenance

With infrared predictive maintenance, inspections will gather relevant, real-time data on the condition of the equipment being inspected. The comprehensive reports with detailed findings and thermograms are then stored in a secure, cloud-based client portal that you can access at any time. Data from the inspection can be used to predict when parts need to be repaired or replaced. To minimize disruption and increase safety, infrared predictive maintenance inspections are performed while equipment is operating under full load.

Ultimately, the goal is to transition maintenance resources away from emergency repairs and into scheduled inspections of the facility’s electrical, mechanical, steam, and PV equipment. Inspections take less time than repairs, especially if done with a thermal imager (infrared camera).

Cost Savings

Studies by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), estimate that a properly functioning predictive maintenance program can provide a savings of 30 % to 40 % over reactive maintenance. Other independent surveys indicate that, on average, applying infrared thermography to predictive maintenance programs results in the following savings:

  • Return on investment: 10 times
  • Reduction in maintenance costs: 25 % to 30 %
  • Elimination of breakdowns: 70 % to 75 %
  • Reduction in downtime: 35 % to 45 %
  • Increase in production: 20 % to 25 %

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E requires that all personnel be educated about the risks they face when working near electrical equipment. Personal protective equipment (PPE) must also be made available to minimize the risk if an accident should occur. For thermographers, PPE generally includes flash-resistant clothing and a face shield. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA 29 CFR, 1910 Subpart S Electrical and Subpart I Personal Protective Equipment Safety standards cover electrical systems, safe work practices, and maintenance requirements. ISO 6781 International Standards Organization (ISO) (American National Standards Institute) discusses thermal insulation, qualitative detection of thermal irregularities in building envelopes, and infrared methodology. ASTM International ASTM E 1934, 1213, 1311, 1316, and 1256 Standard guide for examining electrical and mechanical equipment with infrared thermography, lists thermography practices and certifications standards. Also reference ASTM 1060 and 1153.