Proactive Preventative Maintenance

The demand for increased productivity and production lines running 7 days a week, 24 hours a day is now an everyday manufacturing challenge. ‘Downtime’ is now the enemy, but luckily advances in technology are available to help in your fight against unplanned downtime and help you spot potential problems early.

 

Digital Thermography

Commonly referred to as Thermal Cameras, the last couple of years have seen these devices entry cost fall and functionality increase.

A thermal camera offers the engineer a non-intrusive way of seeing changes in the heat signature of many different devices found across a production plant.  From motors and gearboxes, to contactors and circuit breakers, the thermal camera allows you to see the invisible infra-red heat generated by a component.

You can then monitor or compare this heat pattern against other components or keep a track of changes helping you identify points of failure and problems early.

 

 

Inspection Camera

A few years ago the inspection camera was a costly investment, but is now a must have addition to any tool kit.  They are ideal for remotely inspecting areas that are inaccessible to the naked eye, such as inside drivetrain components, valves or pipework. Or can be simply used to save time inspecting areas which would have previous required guards or panels to be removed.

Offering a durable, flexible inspection camera head which is oil & water tight and resistant to most chemicals means there any many inspection tasks in which they can’t be used.

 

Electronic Stethoscope

While visual and thermal inspection methods are great additions to your armoury to help spot changes and potential points of failure, the electronic stethoscope is still a very useful tool to help identify wear early.  It can help locate the source of excess bearing and machine noise easily, and at relatively low cost, again enabling you to monitor components and drivetrain components while they are running.

 

 

Data logging

Regular inspection is important, but you can’t be everywhere at once and sometimes problems only occur during certain times of the production cycle or working day.

Using data logging – for example of current or temperature – allows you to obtain a record of the operating conditions over an extended time period helping you to better understand the root cause of trips or failures.  This data can be very useful when the solution may require operator re-training or a modification to the production process rather than regular maintenance activity.