Rethinking maintenance procedures using IR thermometers

by T Czech, Optris


Published in:

Electricity+Control, August 2014 (pages 34 – 35)

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As alternative solutions to portable thermal imagers, both portable and fixed Infrared (IR) thermometers are gaining importance in preventive maintenance applications, the latter for example, in OEM solutions and for the IR monitoring of large plants with a multitude of measuring points.

The detection of defects in switchgear, fuses, motors or electrical connections is almost impossible with the naked eye. We do know, however, that almost any electrical device will get warmer than normal very soon after an anomaly occurs. As with portable thermal imagers, high-end portable IR thermometers are increasingly being used for the detection of weak spots. Fixed pyrometers are used predominantly in plants where electrical or mechanical components to be monitored are hard or impossible to reach.

The handheld IR thermometer enables users to verify critical components once they have been identified by means of a thermal imager. This allows for a fast inspection capability for temperatures from -32 to 900 ºC. The integrated laser sight with crosshairs permits accurate targeting of the measured object and indicates the real measurement spot size. A single touch-button shows the temperature reading on the display with a 0,1 ºC resolution. An alarm signal is output to indicate temperatures above or below programmed limit values (Max/Min function) so that users can systematically scan the measured object and rapidly pinpoint the source of the malfunction.


Take note

  • The detection of defects in switchgear, fuses, motors or electrical connections, is almost impossible with the naked eye.
  • In plants which are expansive or comprise hard-to-reach electrical or mechanical equipment, portable instruments are time consuming and labour intensive.
  • Near absolute safety can only be offered by a fixed system providing full-time continuous monitoring.