Infra-Red Thermography

Many motor and pump problems can be predicted. An infra-red Thermography spectral display is a snap shot in time, showing the disparity of temperatures exhibited throughout a motor. When seen in comparison with baseline displays the effect is even more dramatic.

Elevated temperatures can be the result of bearing faults, shaft misalignment, belt misalignment, loose or tight bearing fits, mechanical binding or overloaded motors. Even winding faults can sometimes be caught in the early stages of failure. Knowing the condition of a critical piece of equipment allows for scheduling of required maintenance, in many cases avoiding catastrophic failure at the most inopportune times.

EMX’ thermal imagers deliver high-resolution images so temperature differences can be seen, even very fine differences. This technology uses the previous image and captures a visible light image to provide enough detail for the results, helping to identify all components for repair. Our onsite thermography service and documentation ensures a complete quality system; while minimizing unscheduled down time.

Electrical Systems

The multitude of possible applications for thermal imaging within the range of electrical systems can be divided into two categories: high voltage and low voltage installations.

High voltage installations

Heat is an important factor in high voltage installations. When electrical current passes through a resistive element, it generates heat. An increased resistance results in an increase in heat.

Over time the resistance of electrical connections will increase, due to loosening and Infrared-Thermography-4-Fuse-Clipscorrosion for instance. The corresponding rise in temperature can cause components to fail, resulting in unplanned outages and even injuries. In addition, the energy spent on generating heat causes unnecessary energy losses. If left unchecked, the heat can even rise to the point where connections melt and break down; as a result, fires may break out.

Examples of failures in high-voltage installations that can be detected with thermal imaging:

  • Oxidation of high voltage switches
  • Overheated connections
  • Incorrectly secured connections
  • Insulator defects

These and other issues can be spotted at an early stage with a thermal imaging inspection, assist to accurately locate the problem, determine the severity of the problem, and establish the time frame in which the equipment should be repaired.

Low voltage installations

Infra-red Thermography is used for inspections of electrical systems and components in all sizes and shapes and their use is by no means limited to large high voltage applications alone.

Electrical cabinets and motor control centers are regularly scanned using thermal imaging. If left unchecked, heat can rise to a point that connections melt and break down; as a result, fires may break out.

Besides loose connections, electrical systems suffer from load imbalances, corrosion, and increases in impedance to current. Thermal inspections can quickly locate hot spots, determine the severity of the problem, and help establish the time frame in which the equipment should be repaired.

Examples of failures in low voltage equipment that can be detected with thermal imaging:

  • High resistance connections
  • Corroded connections
  • Internal fuse damage
  • Internal circuit breaker faults
  • Poor connections and internal  damage

These and other issues can be spotted at an early stage with a thermal imaging camera. This will help to prevent costly damages and to avoid dangerous situations.

Mechanical  Installations

In many industries, mechanical systems serve as the backbone of operations.

Thermal data collected with a thermal imaging camera is an invaluable source of flir-ultramax-bearingcomplimentary information to regular vibration studies in mechanical equipment monitoring.

Mechanical systems will heat up if there is a misalignment at some point in the system.

Conveyor belts are a good example. If a roller is worn out, it will clearly show in the thermal image so that it can be replaced.

Typically, when mechanical components become worn and less efficient, the heat dissipated will increase. Consequently, the temperature of faulty equipment or systems will increase rapidly before failure.

By periodically comparing readings from the thermal imaging results with a machine’s temperature signature under normal operating conditions,we can detect a multitude of different failures.

Benefits of IR Thermal scans:

  • Predictive Maintenance – Identify electrical and mechanical problems before they cause failure.
  • Industrial Maintenance – Determine if repairs have been performed successfully.
  • Quality Control – Examine prototypes and refine thermal management designs.
  • Process Monitoring – Real-time observation to ensure efficient and safe operation.
  • Quick to find problems
  • No need to shut down the system
  • Reduces downtime
  • Increase equipment life
  • Prevents costly failures
  • Low risk
  • Lower equipment repair cost
  • Improve inspection efficiency

What can be found in IR Thermal scans:

  • Short circuits
  • Loose connections
  • Open circuits
  • Bad breakers
  • Faulty fuses
  • Overloads
  • Unbalanced loads
  • Inductive currents
  • Energized grounds
  • Defective Bearings

Infra-red thermography can provide significant warning of potential problems with critical equipment before catastrophic failure. With infra-red thermography you can identify overheating electrical connections and other machine components, scheduling repairs to be made during planned downtime.

Benefits of Infrared Thermography

•  Reduce unscheduled downtime

•  Detect problems quickly

•  Assess priorities for corrective action

•  Reduce catastrophic failure of equipment

Applications for Infrared Thermography

•  Power distribution and control cabinets

•  Building envelopes & structures

•  Electric motor conduit box & frame temperature

•  Mechanical bearing inspections

•  Electrical systems

•  Process problems due to heat loss

Got a Thermal Imaging Question! Contact us at 856-362-4553 or email to