For Key Maintenance Don't think periodic ……think continuous Over the last decade, the accepted preventative method of reducing the risk of switchgear failure has been periodic thermal imaging. Indeed, it has become mandatory for certain "high risk" category organisations. Though a significant step forward from shutdown and conventional inspection, it has significant shortcomings. There are two major drawbacks with thermal imaging. Firstly inspections are normally only periodic, (typically once or twice per year) due to the high costs / time involved. The growing desire is to have thermal monitoring 24 hours a day 365 days a year ensuring potential problems are identified as soon as they develop, so reducing the risk of failures and giving ample time to organise planned maintenance/replacement of components. Secondly, thermal imaging is carried out externally to the switchgear enclosure. Since no infrared device can "see" through solid objects, only components immediately adjacent to the external panel can be inspected. These components cause the panel surface to heat via radiation and only this "image" is seen by the infrared camera. Thermal "windows" improve the situation, but still require direct line of sight to the target, anything hidden by internal structures or other components cannot be accurately inspected. The answer is to have a system actually inside, directly and continuously monitoring all key components. ExerTherm, is the only system of this kind; developed by QHi-Infrared it is based on small patented, plastic bodied, non-contact infrared sensors, which are placed INSIDE the enclosure continuously monitoring key components. The sensors link back via data acquisition cards to PC and the easy to use software provides on-going trend analysis. Further protection is provided via 2 separate alarm levels per sensor (warning and alarm), which automatically activate in the event of pre-set temperature levels being exceeded. ExerTherm has already been successfully installed with many major blue chip organisations in financial services, media, telecommunications, computer data centres, shipping, and large-scale manufacturing. This new technology is suitable for new build and retro-fit. Systems can be from as low as16 sensing points or up to several thousand and can be expanded if your requirements grow. ExerTherm can work as a stand-alone system or link with over 250 BMS. Though originally designed to monitor electrical switchgear, virtually all key plant can be continually monitored on the same system, using either IR, contact or air sensors. Typical key plant would be pumps, motors, bearings, gearboxes steam traps, air / refrigeration systems; indeed anything which increases or decreases in heat as a symptom of malfunction. The latest option is wireless telemetry and machine to machine communication (M2M). Our extensive telemetry module program can be supplied in many different configurations and versions to enable the monitoring of remote sites 24/7, from one central location. Data collected can be transferred via network, Intranet, Internet or cell phone. No more unnecessary routine visits to un-manned sites, sending out engineers only when required, knowing the problem and with parts in the van. These innovative devices can also be programmed to carry out I/O logic tasks, and can receive instructions e.g. in event of alarm on main pump, an instruction can be sent to switch off main pump and switch on auxiliary pump. In transparent port mode, they can even access system information via RS232 input, acting like a virtual cable connection back to PC - but with no wires! For those organisations where failure of critical power / plant results in significant downtime costs, continuous predictive maintenance should be regarded as a necessity not a luxury. To learn more about how ExerTherm Predictive Maintenance System can help protect your business contact QHi-Infrared. __________________________________________________ For further information, contact :- QHi-Group
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February 2005
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