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Mechanical Applications

Mechanical Installations In many industries, mechanical systems serve as the backbone of operations. Thermal data collected with a thermal imaging camera can be an invaluable source of complimentary information to vibration studies in mechanical equipment monitoring. Mechanical systems will heat up if there is a misalignment at some point in the system. Conveyor belts are a good example. If a roller is worn out, it will clearly show in the thermal image so that it can be replaced. Typically, when mechanical components become worn and less efficient, the heat dissipated will increase. Consequently, the temperature of faulty equipment or systems will increase rapidly before failure. By periodically comparing readings from a thermal imaging camera with a machine’s temperature signature under normal operating conditions, you can detect a multitude of different failures. Suspected roller Overheated bearing This thermal image shows an electric engine under normal operation. Motors can also be inspected with a thermal imaging camera. Motor failures like brush contact-wear and armature shorts typically produce excess heat prior to failure but remain undetected with vibration analysis, since it often causes little to no extra vibration. Thermal imaging gives a full overview and allows you to compare the temperature of different motors. Other mechanical systems monitored with thermal imaging cameras include couplings, gearboxes, bearings, pumps, compressors, belts, blowers and conveyor systems. Examples of mechanical faults that can be detected with thermal imaging are:

  • Lubrication issues
  • Misalignments
  • Overheated motors
  • Suspect rollers
  • Overloaded pumps
  • Overheated motor axles
  • Hot bearings

These and other issues can be spotted at an early stage with a thermal imaging camera. This will help to prevent costly damages and to ensure the continuity of production. Motor: Bearing Problem. Motor: Internal Winding Problem. References: Flir Systems