Friday 15 March 2013

Inspection Windows

New plastic infrared inspection windows are now available from AXU to lower the costs of making routine thermal imaging inspections of electrical equipment.

Most process engineers are familiar with the advantages of using thermal imagers or infrared thermometers to routinely check temperatures in plants, and locate hot-spots that may lead to a premature failure or fire.

Usually, making a thermal inspection of an electrical cabinet requires opening doors, modifying the actual temperatures that exists in its normal operating state. Furthermore, internal inspections of equipment cabinets that are operating can expose operators to live circuitry and create a safety risk.

Alternatively, it might be possible to switch off a cabinet before making a measurement, but again this influences the process temperature, so the resulting images will not be accurate - and the return to routine operation might not be instant.

These infrared window panels are now available to allow accurate temperature measurements to be taken during normal operation, without opening cabinet doors or interfering with the process. The window panels are square, allowing them to be fitted easily on the front of virtually any electrical cabinet. Manufactured from special 2 mm thick plastic, the new infrared windows are much more economic than the crystal window panels that are used on high voltage switchgear circuitry that has the potential to flashover.

The new LookIR infrared window panels are 92 millimetres square. Depending on the size of the cabinet, and the location and shape of the critical components that need to be monitored, this compact size makes it easy to install multiple panels on cabinets if required.

The windows are manufactured by AXU in Italy, and are suitable for any processing environment where strong mechanical protection or arc resistance is not necessary.

The speed of thermal inspections when using LookIR windows provides such substantial savings in working time that it quickly repays the small investment outlay. They can also provide an easy means of monitoring process points that might normally be difficult to access, potentially allowing providing early warnings of any problems that might otherwise go unnoticed for long periods and lead to expensive downtime and damage.

AXU's plastic LookIR windows open up many new preventive maintenance possibilities where classic crystal windows are unacceptable because of their cost. For example, plastic windows can be installed to monitor key points on trolley busbars, low voltage power transformers, and low voltage cabinets in general. Further applications include inspection panels on machinery to facilitate routine checks for overheating. With LookIR windows installed, daily checking with a simple infrared thermometer is both easy and fast.

In addition to square LookIR panels, AXU has other sizes and shapes available to suit different process monitoring applications.

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