Thermography (6) – Finish

5. Case Studies

IR Diagnostics of Pump
A facility was having continual problems with some to its motor and pump combinations. Pump bearings repeatedly failed. An IR inspection confirmed that the lower thrust bearing was warmer than the other bearing in the pump.

Further investigation revealed that the motor-pump combination was designed to operate in the horizontal position. In order to save floor space, the pump was mounted vertically below the motor. As a result, the lower thrust bearing was overloaded leading to premature failure. The failures resulted in a $15,000 repair cost, not including lost production time ($30,000 per minute production loss and in excess of $600 per minute labor).

IR Diagnostics of Steam Traps
Steam trap failure detection can be difficult by other forms of detection in many hard to reach and inconvenient places. Without a good trap maintenance program, it can be expected that 15% to 60% of a facility’s traps will be failed open. At $3/1,000 lb (very conservative), a 1/4-in. orifice trap failed open will cost approximately $7,800 per year. If the system had 100 traps and 20% were failed, the loss would be in excess of $156,000. An oil refinery identified 14% of its traps were malfunctioning and realized a savings of $600,000 a year after repair.
IR Diagnostics of Roof
A state agency in the northeast operated a facility with a 360,000 square foot roof area. The roof was over 22 years old and experiencing several leaks. Cost estimates to replace the roof ranged between $2.5 and $3 million. An initial IR inspection identified 1,208 square feet of roof requiring replacement at a total cost of $20,705. The following year another IR inspection was performed that found 1,399 square feet of roof requiring replacement at a cost of $18,217. A roof IR inspection program was started and the roof surveyed each year. The survey resulted in less than 200 square feet of roof identified needing replacement in any one of the following 4 years (one year results were as low as 30 square feet). The total cost for roof repair and upkeep for the 6 years was less than $60,000.
If the facility would have been privately owned, interest on the initial $3 million at 10% would have amounted to $300,000 for the first year alone. Discounting interest on $3 million over the 5-year period, simple savings resulting from survey and repair versus initial replacement cost ($3 million to $60,000) amount to $2,940,000. This figure does not take into account interest on the $3 million, which would result in savings in excess of another $500,000 to $800,000, depending on loan interest paid.


One Response to “Thermography (6) – Finish”

  1. Brent King Says:

    If a facility wants to keep money is it pockets have the infrared scan done on your flat roofs, it will save you thousands if not more. I know I have done a few.

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