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The Importance of Regular Thermal Imaging Inspections on Electrical Equipment

As business owner or facility operator, it is crucial to ensure that your electrical

equipment is functioning safely and efficiently. One of the most effective ways to do so is through regular thermal imaging inspections.

Thermal imaging is a non-invasive technique that uses infrared technology to detect and

measure heat radiating from electrical equipment. This technology is particularly useful in identifying potential electrical faults and hazards before they become critical issues.

Regular thermal imaging inspections can save you money in the long run by:

  1. Preventing costly breakdowns: Thermal imaging can detect faults such as loose connections, overloading, and unbalanced loads before they cause equipment failure. By identifying these issues early on, you can address them before they result in costly breakdowns.

  2. Reducing downtime: Equipment failures can result in significant downtime, which can be expensive and disruptive to your operations. By detecting and addressing potential issues before they become critical, you can reduce the risk of downtime and keep your business running smoothly.

  3. Improving energy efficiency: Thermal imaging can identify equipment that is running hotter than it should, indicating inefficiencies in the system. By addressing these inefficiencies, you can improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.


Here are some real-world examples of how routine thermal imaging inspections have saved businesses money:

  1. A hospital in the Manitoba detected an overheating transformer during a routine thermal imaging inspection. The issue was promptly addressed, and as a result, the hospital avoided a potential outage that could have resulted in significant patient harm and financial losses. In a report titled "The Cost of Power Disturbances to Industrial & Digital Economy Companies," published in 2018 by the US Department of Energy, power outages cost businesses an average of $100,000 per hour, making the hospital's investment in thermal imaging well worth it.

  2. An automotive manufacturing plant in the US experienced recurring issues with their switchgear, resulting in frequent downtime and lost productivity. After a thermal imaging inspection, it was discovered that the switchgear was overloaded and not properly balanced. The issue was promptly addressed, and as a result, the plant was able to reduce downtime and increase production. According to a report by the US Department of Energy titled "Advanced Manufacturing Office Downtime Cost Study," published in 2016, manufacturing downtime can cost businesses up to $17,244 per minute, making the investment in thermal imaging inspections a smart financial decision for businesses.

  3. A paper mill in British Columbia detected a hot spot in one of their motors during a routine thermal imaging inspection. The issue was quickly addressed, and as a result, the motor was able to continue functioning safely and efficiently, avoiding costly breakdowns and repairs. According to a report by the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, a single equipment breakdown at a large industral mill can cost businesses an average of $164,000.


These examples highlight the importance of regular thermal imaging inspections in detecting potential issues and addressing them promptly, saving businesses significant amounts of money in the long run.


In summary, regular thermal imaging inspections are an essential aspect of maintaining safe and efficient electrical systems. By detecting and addressing potential issues early on, you can save your business money, prevent downtime, and improve energy efficiency. Don't wait until it's too late – schedule your next thermal imaging inspection today.



P. Miller, ASNT T/IRT Level II Thermographer


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