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

What’s Up with Wireless Thermal Imaging?

Jane Alexander | November 15, 2017

1711rmcthermal

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander

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