For Key Maintenance
Don't think periodic
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
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
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
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 :-
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