Infrared Consulting News


infrared testing

Can Infrared Testing Reveal as Much as Cutting into a Pipe?

When you can see condensation or feel heat on a pipe, you know something may be wrong inside of it. Cutting into that pipe to discover a potential problem, though, is a serious and costly step. Infrared testing may be a better choice.

Even where no obvious signs of temperature disturbances are visible, problems may still exist under the surface. In situations like this, IR cameras and trained thermographers are invaluable. All objects radiate IR energy, which an IR camera can “see.” The thermographer reads the thermal radiation patterns to determine the condition of a pipe or other material vital to your business.

Doing this right takes a highly-trained thermographer because of thermal reflectivity. Some of the radiation being emitted from the pipe or other components won’t have anything to do with true surface temperature. Thermographers go through extensive training to learn how to identify, understand, evaluate and control this reflective energy. Thermography also requires deep knowledge of physics and environmental factors that influence surface temperatures.

Thermography has two big advantages or other NDT (nondestructive testing) tech:

  •      Speed – thermography is almost instantaneous
  •      In-situ inspection – large areas or a vast number of objects can be tested in a short period of time

Other advantages include:

  •      Environmentally friendly
  •      No destruction of what’s being examined
  •      Major savings in employee compensation, downtime and machinery costs
  •      Can be done day or night

Contact at (888) 925-4404 or via our online form to talk about inspecting your pipes – and saving you money.

infrared detection technology

Importance of Evaluating Distribution Lines and Substation

Working in a high voltage environment comes with a lot of risks. One minor mistake could lead to an employee become injured badly. Companies are beginning to realize the importance of using infrared detection technology in their overall maintenance plan. Not only will infrared surveys give employees a safer work environment, but they will also ensure systems run more efficiently.

Distribution lines and substations are important to evaluate accurately, so having an experienced infrared thermographer conduct a survey is critical. Here are some of the main benefits of infrared inspection when it comes to these components.

Reliability and Safety of Systems

With the high voltage equipment used in industrial environments, regular evaluation of different components is critical for safety and overall reliability of various systems. Whether it’s transformers, regulators, switches or any other component, infrared detection technology can help ensure they run efficiently and safely.

Like with other electrical testing, infrared thermography can identify points where temperature is hotter than in other areas. Most importantly, these surveys can identify heat where heat shouldn’t be. A rise in temperature in some of these components make them work harder, meaning they are less energy efficient and cost more money to operate. Plus, they are a potential hazard for fires or explosions if not operating efficiently.

Predictive Maintenance Can Prevent Disasters

When it comes to substations and distribution lines, predictive maintenance can prevent major disasters from occurring. Any given substation has hundreds, or even thousands, of different connections. If even one of these connections is faulty, it could lead to a broken machine, a dangerous environment or even a costly shutdown.

With the non-invasive infrared detection technology, these connections can be evaluated without having to put a halt to production. The technology used can determine faulty contacts or connections much better than the human eye, so most companies consider it a worthy investment. The best part about electrical testing with IR technology is it not only identifies current issues, but it can also predict future problems before they occur.

Avoid Costly Shutdowns

From a business standpoint, the last thing any company wants to do is shut down due to an equipment failure. With regular evaluation of distribution lines and substations, these costly shutdowns can be avoided. Some companies make the mistake of avoiding the use of infrared consulting services because of the upfront cost. However, the long-term risk is greatly reduced when you know your systems are functioning properly.

In addition to the reduced risk, the surveys essentially pay for themselves when you think of the money companies would have to pay for a replaced machine or a shutdown. A thousand dollars here and there is much better than paying hundreds of thousands of dollars later on to fix a major problem.

At Infrared Consulting Services, we have experienced infrared thermographers to conduct surveys on any of your distribution lines and substations. Be sure to contact us for an evaluation.

thermographic scanning

Cost of Electrical Systems Fire (and How to Prevent Them)

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year in property damage as a result of fires in industrial environments. These fires can be caused by a number of factors, but one thing they all have in common is they can be prevented. It’s easy to understand the benefits of infrared inspection for companies, especially when used as a disaster prevention tool.

The scary thing about electrical systems fires is you may not even know something is wrong until it’s too late. By incorporating thermographic scanning into your regular maintenance budget, you’ll be able to put your company in a safer spot.

Causes of Electrical Systems Fires

Electrical equipment is going to be hot in most cases. Fires can occur when dust, dirt or grease is covering the equipment. Those particles provide fuel for a fire to continue burning, rather than being short-lived if the equipment were clean. Other causes of electrical fires include:

  • Overloaded circuits
  • Exposed or damaged wiring
  • Overloaded outlets
  • Worn extension cords
  • Static discharge

With the high-paced work occurring in industrial workplaces, it can be difficult to spot a potential electrical issue. However, all it takes is a little spark from one of these components to cause a potentially devastating fire. That’s why many companies are leaning on IR thermography to identify any possible issues so they can be fixed before a disaster occurs.

Preventing Electrical Systems Fires With Thermographic Scanning

It’s obvious how to avoid fires started by some of the most common causes, like replacing damaged wires or extension cords. However, these are just temporary fixes, for the most part. Instead, the best way to prevent electrical systems fires in your workplace is to incorporate regular thermographic scanning into your schedule.

With a thermal imaging survey, you don’t even have to shut down your operations most of the time. A thermographer can come to your workplace and give you a comprehensive view of what may need to be fixed or replaced. Infrared thermography detects heat and moisture and is clearly identified on the survey. When these spots show up, it’s a clear indication that something isn’t how it should be and needs immediate attention.

Have a Plan in Place 

The great thing about IR thermography is companies are able to detect problems they didn’t even know they had. This is especially important when it comes to electrical equipment. Have a plan in place to have a thermal imaging survey conducted quarterly, or at least a couple times each year.

Not only will these surveys create a safer work environment, but they could save your company thousands, if not millions, of dollars by avoiding potentially devastating fires. A regular survey, along with general maintenance and awareness on a daily basis, will go a long way in ensuring your company doesn’t have to deal with an electrical fire.

To learn more about the technicalities of infrared thermography, or to schedule your next survey, be sure to contact us.

infrared detection technology

History and Future of IR Detection Technology

Infrared detection technology may seem like a new and innovative technology, but the reality is it’s been around since the 19th century. Of course, the technology has evolved over the years, but the original idea is more than 200 years old. Companies across the country and the globe rely on infrared detection technology today to prevent a multitude of problems from occurring. Infrared thermography has come a long way over the years and will still continue to evolve in the future.

The First Infrared Detectors

Some of the first IR thermography devices simply relied on variances in temperature of the device itself. The same basic principles apply to the technology today, but it has advanced in many ways. Back in the 19th century, these were simple devices, but could still work in a similar manner as they do today.

The Evolution of Infrared Detection Technology

As we moved into the 20th century, thermographic imaging continued to evolve and could be used for more purposes. The technology began to detect issues on different materials and equipment, and also expanded from just being able to tell different temperatures. As companies realized the benefits of conducting an infrared inspection for their business, the IR thermography technology developed along with it to keep up with the demand.

What the Future Holds for IR Detectors

Companies will continue to have infrared problem prevention policies in place as IR detectors evolve. Thermographic imaging will only be used more frequently in the future, as the surveys can detect invisible gas leaks, temperature differences and more. This is especially valuable for oil and gas plants, which could prevent serious risks and dangers to employees.

Eventually, it will be mandated that all companies conduct at least an annual infrared inspection for their business. Companies already have strict safety policies and procedures in place, but in order for them to keep their employees safe, an IR thermography test is necessary.

Incorporating Infrared Testing in Your Company

The great thing about infrared testing is it very rarely requires a shutdown of the business. An infrared thermographer can conduct tests during the middle of the day while the machines are running, or he could wait until after hours, if that’s what the business owner prefers.

Today’s business world almost requires 24-hour production in order to keep up. Even a shutdown or slowdown in production for a couple hours could lead to thousands of lost dollars. With the future of infrared detection technology, companies will be able to appreciate a safer work environment and also a boost to the bottom line because of fewer shutdowns and potential injuries to employees.

To learn more about the future of IR detection technology, and to schedule your infrared survey, be sure to contact us at any time for a consultation.

infrared electrical inspection

What Happens in an Electrical Systems Failure

One of the worst nightmares any business has to worry about is a possible electrical systems failure. Not only does an electrical outage slow down or completely halt production, it could lose the business money or, more importantly, put lives at risk. In order to prevent these failures from occurring, you need to know what happens with an electrical systems failure. If you don’t know the causes, then you won’t be able to know how to fix the root of the issue.

Causes of Electrical Systems Failures

The majority of electrical failures are because of failed electrical insulation. This insulation is designed to keep the high voltage from going places it shouldn’t be. But when the insulation is torn or compromised in any way, a serious electrical failure could occur.

Loose electrical connections are also another big cause of electrical failures. A loose connection will generate excessive heat and could eventually cause a fire or other damage.Unless you have an infrared electrical inspection conducted, it’s very difficult to detect a loose connection or even faulty electrical insulation.

Dangers and Risks

Not only will production likely shut down when electric systems fail, a real possibility of fire and explosion exist. Anyone near the source of the electrical failure will be at risk of serious injury or death because of the explosion or flying debris as a result. The best way to protect employees from this is to conduct regular thermal imaging electrical inspections.

What to do When Electrical Systems Fail

The first thing you should do when your electrical systems fail is to order an electrical infrared survey. This survey will be able to identify the root of the issue and can help to detect any other potential problems. Once all of the problems are identified, the faulty components can be fixed.

Preventing Electrical Systems Failures With an Infrared Electrical Inspection

The best way to prevent electrical systems failures in the future is to conduct at least an annual infrared electrical inspection on all components in the facility. Not only will this ensure your business won’t experience any shutdowns, but you’ll also be keeping your employees safer.

Infrared testing is critical when it comes to electrical safety. You can do your own testing throughout the year, but no human can see what an infrared test can see. The best thing about infrared electrical testing is you don’t have to shut down your facility to run the test. A professional can come in while production is still happening, so you won’t have any down time.

At Infrared Consulting Services, we strive to keep every company safe from electrical systems failures and other potentially dangerous issues. Whether you’ve had an electrical infrared survey conducted at your facility or not in the past, be sure to contact us to learn more and to schedule a survey today.