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Infrared for PdM, upgraded

Feb. 19, 2018
Sheila Kennedy says rugged next-generation IR cameras and sensors offer better quality and context.

Thermal imaging options for electrical, mechanical, and building envelope inspections and maintenance are becoming more versatile, effective, and rugged. Nondestructive infrared (IR) cameras and sensors can detect conditions such as unbalanced electrical loads, heat loss from steam traps, air leaks from wall vents, water leaks in the roof, and gas leaks from valve stems. Integrated software helps automate analysis and corrective actions.

Heat-seeking sensors

Remote condition monitoring is simplified with infrared sensors that visualize thermal patterns and send alarms when thresholds are hit. The Fluke Accelix 3550 FC Thermal Sensor assesses asset health with no technician’s presence required. It enables the capture and comparison of process images, such as the surface temperatures of multiple motors in a row.

The 3550 FC gives end users “access to continuous infrared image data that is automatically uploaded to the cloud using the Fluke Connect Mobile App,” says Frederic Baudart, lead product application specialist at Fluke Corp. “This remote monitoring sensor can be used in indoor facilities to monitor any equipment—including motors and drives, pumps and compressors, process instrumentation, and small transformers.”

Essential software integration

Virtual inspection software helps infrastructure owners better manage their critical assets and sites. ContextCapture CONNECT edition reality modeling software from Bentley Systems, which produces 3D engineering-ready reality meshes of infrastructure conditions, now accepts thermal imagery to quickly identify leaks and other asset anomalies.

ContextCapture provides visual context to accurately determine the position of everything on a site, says Francois Valois, senior director of software development for reality modeling at Bentley Systems. “With ContextCapture’s new thermal imagery support, owners can determine if their assets are functioning well by detecting changes in temperature and accurately locating where the potential problems might be,” he says.

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