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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


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