Thermography (5)

4. Equipment Cost/Payback

As indicated earlier, the cost of thermography equipment varies widely depending on the capabilities of the equipment. A simple spot radiometer can cost from $500 to $2,500. An IR imager without radiometric capability can range from $7,000 to $20,000. A camera with full functionality can cost from $18,000 to $65,000.

Besides the camera hardware, other program costs are involved. Computer hardware, personnel training, manpower, etc., needs to be accounted for in the budget.
Below is a listing of equipment and program needs recommended by a company recognized as a leader in the world of IR program development:
• Level I thermographic training
• Level II thermographic training
• Ongoing professional development
• IR camera and accessories
• Report software
• Laptop computer
• Color printer
• Digital visual camera
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for arc flash protection

Payback can vary widely depending on the type of facility and use of the equipment. A production facility whose downtime equates to several thousands of dollars per hour can realize savings much faster than a small facility with minimal roof area, electrical distribution network, etc. On the average, a facility can expect a payback in 12 months or less. A small facility may consider using the services of an IR survey contractor. Such services are widely available and costs range from $600 to $1,200 per day. Contracted services are generally the most cost-effective approach for smaller, less maintenance-intensive facilities.

to be continued….

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