One of the core components of quality manufacturing is the continued maintenance of all parts, full assemblies, and systems working in your facility. When you partner with Schreier Industrial, we’ll work with you to improve your maintenance capabilities to peak capacity. This includes implementing preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance practices, from routine check-up scheduling to condition monitoring using thermography and other techniques.
For many types of manufacturing facilities, thermography is one of the most useful noninvasive condition monitoring practices. Like humans run a fever when their bodies fight off infection, machine equipment heats up in the areas where something is going wrong. Because of this, thermography is a highly useful way of collecting data about hotspots.
Thermography measures temperature variations with what is essentially a digital camera calibrated to read heat rather than light. Thermography readers can record any heat emissions hotter than -268º C (-450º F), so virtually all materials used in common manufacturing operations can be diagnosed by their heat. Hotspots are considered thermal anomalies, and they almost always alert maintenance technicians of a problem.
Unwanted hotspots monitored with thermography alert technicians of potential equipment failure, allowing maintenance crews to fix problems before they arrive. This is a highly effective type of predictive maintenance that saves costs, eliminates down time, and keeps your equipment working optimally for longer.
Thermal anomalies mean there are failing or poorly-functioning components including:
- motors that are overworked and overheating
- bearings that are too loose or too tight
- unlubricated gears or worn gear structures
- belts that aren’t correctly aligned
- switches, connectors, or cables with escaping electrical energy
- other electrical components functioning incorrectly
- any other components creating excess heat from friction or electrical current
In addition to analyzing thermal heat anomalies, thermography condition monitoring is also highly effective in pinpointing areas that aren’t hot enough, including:
- three phase power sources not using the exact, optimal power supply
- plastic fabrication equipment not heating to the correct temperature
- welding and metalworking operations not heating and/or cooling to the correct temperature
- too-cool semiconductor, chemical, organic, or other components used in manufacturing
- ceramic, glass, or enameling kilns not meeting the required peak temperature
- other temperature requirements that aren’t meeting the heat required or are heating unevenly
Not only is thermography an extremely effective way of examining components and assemblies while in operation without invasive testing, it’s also used in some fabrication operations. For example, plastic welding, plastic fabrication, ultrasonic welding, vibration welding, laser welding, heat staking, and hot-plate welding all require exact temperatures. Using thermography can ensure quality control for components fabricated using these techniques.
To learn more about thermography and how Schreier Industrial can help you improve your maintenance capabilities, install new systems, establish condition monitoring, and create a maintenance scheduling program, contact us at (218) 402-0838 today.