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Read our primer article on Infrared Thermography.


I am new in our Predictive Maintenance Department. I am in the stage of learning on the tools which I will need to perform my duties and responsibilities effectively.

May I ask on the uses of thermography in mechanical systems? Would it be a good combination with vibration analysis?

How do you incorporate this two in your analysis on mechanical equipment problems?

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A good PdM program will incoporate Vibration, Thermography and Oil Analysis. Each tool has its own benefits and complement each other quite well. You can use thermography to detect a lot of mechanical issues such as mis-alignment or bearing issues but ultimately vibration analysis is the best tool for that. Often times you find something with vibration analysis and confirm with thermography. Not always though. I have used thermography to quickly find over heated bearings in a motor. I'll run through the plant and look for anything obvious that jumps out. If I find something I'll confirm with vibration analysis. Sometimes I have found bearings that are warmer than normal and they just need a few shots of grease. At my plant we have PMs set in place to look at all motors every 6 months. It's just a quick scan to see if anything is obviusly wrong. Most of the time we catch problems via vibration because we do monthly monitoring on most equipment. Quite simply, you can't go wrong having an IR camera.
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