Analysis Automation IIoT Infrared Non-Destructive Testing Reliability & Maintenance Center Sensors

What’s Up with Wireless Thermal Imaging?

Jane Alexander | November 15, 2017

randmWith the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), remote monitoring of equipment is becoming more common for control and operation.

Many maintenance tasks are still manual, however, requiring a technician to be present to gather data, especially on Tier 2 equipment. That scenario is changing.

Thermal imaging is an example of a condition-monitoring technique that has historically been carried out with handheld devices. According to Frederic Baudart with Fluke Corp. (fluke.com, Everett, WA), the emergence of connected, semi-fixed, wireless technologies has expanded thermal-imaging capabilities. He summed up several of those expanded capabilities in terms of why, where, and when.

Leveraging Thermal Imaging for Reliability

Thermal imaging can provide a wide range of benefits for a reliability program. For preventive and proactive maintenance, this technology can quickly make visible what might have been invisible problems within rotating- and other equipment systems. The areas of a plant where it can be leveraged are virtually endless, and the reasons for doing so are many, including:

• troubleshooting
• 
data collection
• 
mobility and flexibility.

Now, with the ability to capture images without a technician present, thermal imaging has become an even more versatile tool.

Why

Contact-free, wireless technology is safer for personnel and processes because it is noninvasive and requires no shutdowns or downtime to install. It can monitor difficult-to-access equipment or large areas quickly. Valuable data can be saved and trended in the cloud.                                               

Where

A semi-fixed, wireless sensor can remain in place or be moved to different equipment depending on specific site requirements. Among other things, this technology can be used to monitor:

• motors and drives
• 
pumps and compressors
• 
process instrumentation
• 
small transformers
• 
pre-commissioning activities.

Wireless technology places even the most difficult-to-reach equipment within the range of a thermal imager, without the need for personnel to take the measurements.

When

Wireless, cloud-based thermal-imaging capabilities run 24/7/365, allowing visibility into a plant’s equipment systems and access to actionable data at any time. Authorized personnel are immediately notified of any condition changes in time to take corrective action to prevent damage/downtime. EP

Frederic Baudart is lead product specialist for Accelix, a suite of solutions from Fluke Corp., Everett, WA (fluke.com). To learn more, visit connect.fluke.com or accelix.com.

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Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander

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