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What Industrial Applications Use Reinforced Polymer Infrared (IR) Inspection Windows?

Infrared (IR) Inspection Windows are one example of Electrical Maintenance Safety Devices (EMSDs) used by companies to enhance employee safety, reduce risk and maximize the bottom line. The adoption of Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows for industrial applications continues to increase annually as companies comply with national and local safety regulations. You may ask, “What are some of the industrial applications using IR Windows today?” You may not realize how broad the applications are!

Any industry that relies on power or power generation is a likely candidate for employing Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows. Electrical equipment requires periodic maintenance inspections while operating under full load conditions. The inspections require the infrared camera have direct access or direct line of sight to the energized components within the electrical equipment. The IR Inspection Window enables this direct line of sight into the electrical equipment under full load while maintaining a closed and guarded condition for the safety of the inspector. Find and Fix the Fault Before It Fails!

Here are industries that have recognized the benefits of Infrared (IR) Polymer Inspection Windows:

* Power Generation: The power generation industry, including coal, natural gas, hydro, solar, wind and nuclear has the some of the most vigorous electrical preventative maintenance requirements in the electrical maintenance industry. Certain critical systems, such as isophase and segmented busbar systems leave power generation industry extremely vulnerable due to accessibility issues. These systems are often the only critical components that have no design redundancy. The internal components of isophase busbar systems are impossible to inspect under load because they do not have covers over each joint that can be easily removed. Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows are extremely useful in helping asset owners identify issues before outages, allowing for more efficient outage planning and prioritization of needed repairs. cap-f-rp-1

Power Generation Case Study

Marine, Maritime and Offshore: Electrical safety compliance for marine, maritime & offshore workers is a maze of regulations. Safety is paramount in this segment as even a small problem can put hundreds of lives at risk. Regular inspections of electrical assets using IR Polymer Inspection Windows to detect early warning signs of potential failure is mission critical to insure seamless operations and safety. Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows are available with the requisite marine certifications including ABS, DNV and Lloyds approvals.

* Data Centers: One of the most common metrics for measuring efficiency in facilities that host data centers for financial, insurance, water and waste water, airlines and telecommunications facilities is a power usage effectiveness (PUE). Electrical distribution system losses account for 12% of the total energy consumed by the data center. In addition, unscheduled downtime in a data center is now estimated to cost over $8,000 per minute – not to mention the reputational damage to the data center company. One method for increasing reliability is to implement Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows allowing energized electrical maintenance tasks to be completed safely and efficiently.

* Manufacturing Facilities: Processing plants and manufacturing facilities are realizing that a failure of a critical electrical asset on a production line can add thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and wasted materials, even if the disturbance results in just a few minutes of downtime. Predictive and preventive inspection tools are essential to monitor the condition of assets in real time to prevent such loss. Electrical safety

compliance is equally critical. Many industry sub-segments are also characterized by temperature extremes, high humidity, continuous vibration and high duty cycles. Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows enable condition-based inspections at any time to find faults and fix them before the asset fails.

* Commercial Facilities: Electricity is essential for the operation and success of commercial buildings such as residential and office, distribution centers, hospitals, big box retail centers, etc. Electrical safety compliance for commercial electrical workers is a maze of regulations and challenges. These buildings have complex electrical infrastructure to support our ever-growing power needs in the internet age. Frequent infrared inspections should be performed on the distribution equipment and can be done much safer and faster using IR Inspection Windows.

* Mining: Mines provide the critical raw materials needed by our agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The first level metal processing facilities including ore processing, smelting operations, steel, copper and aluminum mills, and casting and forging facilities all use huge amounts of electricity to power the process equipment. The environmental conditions in these facilities can be severe and require robust equipment solutions. Airborne contaminants are always a concern and electrical infrastructure should be inspected at regular intervals. In addition, mining operations are governed by MSHA safety rules which are even more strict than OSHA guidelines. Patented Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows have been installed extensively in phosphate and other strip mining applications and were specifically developed for these harsh environments where dust, moisture, vibration even caustic contamination would destroy a traditional crystal infrared window.

* Original Equipment Manufacturers: Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) must provide modern technology and solutions to ensure customer satisfaction, business growth and profitability in our rapidly growing, competitive market. Electrical safety compliance for workers is a maze of regulations. Additionally, electrical assets are affected by temperature extremes, high humidity, continuous vibration and high duty cycles. Customers count on the expertise of OEMs to provide the modern tools and resources available to extend the performance and lifespan of these critical high-value electrical assets. The patented Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows have a long history of protecting the critical assets OEMs produce that are capable of meeting OSHA’s and NFPA’s standards for arc flash safety. Reinforced Polymer Windows are compatible with all brands of thermal imaging cameras commonly used in to identify electrical and mechanical faults.

As recognized from the industries highlighted above, the need for IR Inspection Windows is endless. Take any example above and imagine a power failure – the impact of a failure and potential downtime would be detrimental to the company not to mention the end user customer inconvenience.

Conclusion:

Improved operational reliability and productivity can be recognized by adopting Reinforced Polymer IR Inspection Windows to monitor and anticipate when an electrical asset will fail. These industries observe safer working environments, maximum end user customer satisfaction, compliance to safety regulations and overall improvements to reliability which results in minimal downtime and potential loss of revenue.

A Powerful Case for Infrared Windows

A regional Power Generation Facility had been tasked by their insurance carrier to perform regular preventive maintenance on the switchgear within their facility. Unfortunately, regular downtime was not a practical option for them as the processes required to do the live inspections were hazardous and required more manpower and resources than they had to provide. In addition, they too were feeling the pressure of the requirements of NFPA 70E and were starting to re-think their strategy since inspections of energized equipment was becoming more restrictive, more time consuming and more costly…

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