Article Originally Featured in Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)
Author: Bret Bevis, SEAM Group Program Manager – Infrared & ViewPoint
Facilities operate advanced machinery and complex systems using substantial amounts of electricity.
As businesses constantly look for ways to increase safety and reliability, it is critical to proactively identify, prioritize and control risks associated with your facility’s electrical assets. Electrical failure is a leading cause of fires and injuries in all types of facilities. The U.S. Fire Administration reported that in 2017, more than 8,200 fires occurred from electrical malfunctions totaling $431 million in losses. This article examines the use of infrared technology to detect electrical, mechanical and safety issues to minimize risks, avoid excessive costs, maximize facility productivity and help to provide a safe workplace.
Infrared inspections are a proven preventive technology in data centers (where maintaining 99.99 percent uptime is critical), manufacturing, food processing, pharmaceuticals, the hospitality industry (especially important as occupancy rates increase), retail and any other industry using electrical assets.
Facilities operate advanced machinery and complex systems using substantial amounts of electricity. In manufacturing facilities, complex robotics and machinery as well as electrical systems such as compressors and control sensors are essential to maintain efficient production. In the hospitality industry, mechanical systems such as elevators and HVAC equipment run 24/7. In any facility, electrical systems and components include, but are not limited to:
- Power distribution
- Transfer switches
- Distribution panels/sub panels
- Mechanical/motors and drives/bearings/belts/anything as directed
Virtually any electrical asset, from switchgear to a breaker, can experience issues from wear and tear, manufacturer defects or improper installation and maintenance. According to Aberdeen Research, 82 percent of manufacturers have experienced unplanned equipment downtime in the past three years. The cost reaches as much as $260,00 per hour.