In the industrial sector, efficiency and safety are crucial to guarantee success. However, high temperatures can pose a significant challenge.
For this reason, it is essential to have advanced monitoring and detection tools. Let's take, for example, the technology found in thermal imaging cameras, which have become an effective instrument to prevent problems and guarantee safety while extending the useful life of equipment and machinery by identifying thermal anomalies and helping to promptly avoid dangerous situations.
In this article, we'll explore this technology and how it helps to identify and mitigate risks associated with extreme heat.
What is a thermal imaging camera, and what is it for?
The thermal imaging camera is an electronic device that uses infrared technology to capture and measure the thermal radiation emitted by objects. It can visualize the temperature and display it in a thermogram image. This image visually represents temperature differences, allowing hot or cold areas to be identified quickly and accurately.
In addition to its ability to measure temperature, the thermographic camera is versatile in applications where conventional sensors are not used, specifically when moving objects are pushing belts, rollers, and other similar appliances.
The difference with a traditional camera is its operation and the type of information it captures. While the traditional camera captures visible light to form images, the thermal imaging camera uses thermal sensors to detect the infrared radiation emitted by objects.
As an additional fact, according to the Grand View Research report, the global market for industrial thermal imaging cameras is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.5% between 2022 and 2028, which demonstrates the growing employment of these instruments.
Advantages of using a thermal imaging camera during any industrial process
The use of this type of tool offers significant advantages. Some that stand out are:
- Early detection of failures and temperature problems. It allows us to identify hot spots and overheating in equipment, machinery, and electrical systems before they cause severe damage. This makes it possible to carry out preventive interventions and avoid costly breakdowns or unscheduled stoppages.
- Improved security. Safety is a priority in any industrial environment. With a thermal imaging camera, it is possible to identify risk areas where extreme temperatures can pose a danger to workers.
- Energy savings. Thermal imaging allows us to identify heat leaks and energy losses in equipment and thermal insulation systems. By rectifying these deficiencies, energy consumption is reduced, and process efficiency is optimized, which translates into significant savings in the long term.
- Predictive maintenance. Based on the precise data and analysis provided by the thermal imager, it is possible to schedule maintenance procedures according to their actual state, avoiding unnecessary, costly actions by instead tackling them promptly.
Thermal imaging camera applications
As mentioned before, the thermal imaging camera can convert infrared radiation into an image, showing radiation or temperature distribution. In this way, any situation in which heat transfer processes occur can be scrutinized. Some of the main industrial applications are the following:
- Inspection of equipment and machinery. It can inspect motors, transformers, boilers, furnaces, and other equipment. This makes it possible to catch issues such as bearing wear, motor overheating, and electronic component malfunctions, facilitating maintenance planning and avoiding catastrophic failures.
- QA. In an industrial production chain, it is essential to guarantee the quality of the products. In this context, a thermal imaging camera can identify issues such as weld defects, malfunctioning refrigeration systems, and heat distribution problems in manufacturing processes.
- Inspection of electrical installations. Faulty electrical connections or overheated cables are sources of danger in industrial environments. Hot spots can be detected in electrical panels, power distribution systems, and wiring.