Every company understands the critical role of their electrical system and the catastrophic damages that can occur if it fails. In order to prevent electrical failure, many companies have implemented an electrical hazard prevention maintenance program. This allows them to monitor the equipment and detect any early signs of impending failure, and is saving businesses worldwide billions of dollars annually. Many have turned to the technology and power of Infrared (IR) testing. IR uses a thermal-sensitive camera and related equipment to see equipment hot-spots immediately, record the hot spots, take a video or photo of the actual item, and make recommendation. While IR is a very beneficial resource for business, the key to establishing an effective predictive maintenance program is to utilize the power and accurate technologies of BOTH Infrared (IR) and Ultrasonic (UT) testing.
What is Ultrasonic Testing (UT)?
Ultrasonic can be performed on both open access and enclosed electrical equipment at all voltages (low, medium, high). Arcing, tracking and corona all produce ionization which disturbs the surrounding air molecules. An Ultraprobe detects high frequency sounds produced by these emissions and translates them (via heterodyning) down into the audible ranges. The specific sound quality of each type of emission is heard in headphones while the intensity of the signal is observed on a display panel. These sounds may be recorded and analyzed through ultrasound spectral analysis software for a more accurate diagnosis.
The Perfect Match
Combining infrared and ultrasonic testing methods is the safest and most un-intrusive way of testing that allows inspectors to easily see, hear, and record area of concern that would be difficult, or unable to detect before. Infrared thermal imaging and ultrasound can be used together on a wide range of equipment and plant operations including: aircraft inspection, bearing and mechanical inspection, electrical inspection, electric arc flash, steam trap testing & maintenance, bearing condition, rubbing conditions, pumps/motors, lack of lubrication, steam traps, switchgears, transformers, relays, bus bars, substation electrical inspections, electrical distribution systems, electric motor inspections, refinery process line insulation loss or leak detection, heat exchanger quality and efficiency evaluations, HVAC equipment evaluations and even pest infestation inspections. Infrared and Ultrasonic can work together to predict failures in machines before they become unmanageable – detecting weak spots, leaks, worn bearing, and overheating of electrical equipment, machinery and much more.
This video below shows the combined power of using both infrared and ultrasonic testing.
Interested in electrical preventative maintenance?