Importance of Thermography to the food industry
Thermal Imaging is fast becoming an integral part of the food industry. Continuous production pressures have meant emphasis on keeping machines running at optimum capacity has never been higher. Maintenance downtime reduces production by at least 5%, and many lose 20% or more. Maximising efficiency and minimising downtime then, is a clear challenge faced by any food manufacturers.
Thermal Imaging Cameras can help drastically reduce downtime and improve energy efficiency in the food processing sector; it is a mature technology and already often used in food processing facilities both for maintenance and monitoring food product temperature and levels.
Thermography can also be used to identify opportunities for energy saving measures, which not only reduces carbon emissions but can also cut operating costs for businesses. Wasted energy in the form of thermal leaks and inefficiencies, can be easily identified using a thermal imaging camera to visually inspect oven temperature spreads, door seals on refrigerated areas, pipework, ventilation and any other thermal processes on site.
So what are the main areas thermal imaging cameras can benefit your food processing facility? Here are 5 Ways to Improve Food Processing Efficiency with Testo Thermal Imaging Cameras:
1. Energy savings – use the camera to check the seals on cool stores and ovens to stop wasting energy and potentially spoiling product. Typically, a refrigerator with a split door seal uses up to 11% more energy than an efficiently operating refrigerator and a split door seal on an oven can lose 20% of its heat.
2. Mechanical wear – maintenance staff can check mechanical components for wear so that preventative maintenance can be scheduled to replace components that have degraded over time (such as bearings) before they cause catastrophic failure and loss of production.
Example of Thermal Imaging being used for Mechanical Maintenance
3. Insulation surveys – check the integrity of pipe insulation to save energy. for example a 2” hot water pipe with 4” of insulation, which has suffered just ½” of damage, would require 7% more energy to maintain temperature. A thermal imaging camera lets engineers locate the heat signature of damaged pipe insulation in need of repair.
4. Electrical surveys – identify failing electrical circuits which left unchecked could cause unscheduled downtime or even electrical fires. Fuse clips will start to lose their spring tension at approximately 200°C. When this happens the fuses become loose, small gaps develop and more power is needed to jump across that gap, thus generating heat. These tell-tale hot spots and heat signatures allow easy identification of necessary replacements and maintenance requirements using a thermal imaging camera.
5. Vessel checks – save time and gain access to difficult locations to check the fill level of vital liquids. Make monitoring the surface temperatures or contents of large containers, such as tanks or vessels, easy and efficient. The ability to perform these inspections is particularly important for safety purposes, checking fill capacity or temperature maintenance purposes.
Testo Thermal Imaging Cameras
The key to the successful use of thermal imaging is in determining basic parameters so that when abnormal conditions are encountered they can be easily detected, analysed and remedied. This means establishing operation criteria as part of the original acceptance inspection or following a planned maintenance overhaul when everything is operating within expected tolerances.
By reviewing these images against the reference images, more effective decisions can be made about repairing or replacing components. The adoption of increasingly accessible thermal imaging technology (as described) will lead to cost savings through reduced maintenance hours, increased plant operating efficiency and allow the more effective operation of maintenance engineers.
Please see above some examples of testo’s thermal imaging equipment which is already being used by businesses all around the world, and increasingly within the food production industry.
For more information Thermal imaging or any of our products please visit our website: http://www.testolimited.com/thermal-imaging-cameras