Thermal imaging camera selected for predictive maintenance

Flir Systems has supplied a Flir T425 thermal imaging camera to Kawasaki Precision Machinery for use in a predictive maintenance programme.

Kawasaki Precision Machinery (KPM) hydraulic and electro-hydraulic equipment is used worldwide in construction, marine and manufacturing for lifting, pumping, moving, steering, winch control and regulating. KPM UK, the UK arm of KPM's Heavy Industries Group, focuses on the supply of hydraulic motors and pumps worldwide. It also provides a maintenance service, and it is in this field that KPM's investment in a Flir T425 thermal imaging camera is helping the company to predict mechanical faults before they become costly failures.

Ray Wilson, Assistant Manager for Maintenance with KPM, states: "We are actively developing new programmes to improve our overall equipment efficiency (OEE) by reducing unplanned downtime. To that end we are moving from a reactive to a proactive approach. So we have appointed a PPM engineer and it is his job to encourage machine operators and production managers to use predictive maintenance tools. Thermal imaging is now one of the tools at his disposal."

An important ingredient in this initiative is the introduction of a 'birth certificate' for each of the KPM machines. This record is retained on KPM's own IT system and a hard copy is displayed on the installed machine. Once this project is completed it will form an essential part of the PPM programme and provide a benchmark against which regular checks will be made.

Indeed it was in the creation of one 'birth certificate' at a customer's site that a problem with a breaker on a machine tool became evident. Wilson explains: "The Flir T425 camera detected the fault in time for us to get a replacement from Japan. This part had to be made to order, so if the camera had not flagged up the problem and the breaker had failed, we could have had a machine down for weeks. Worse still, if the faulty breaker had caused an outbreak of fire, the electrical system would have been damaged and the safety of the workforce compromised."

The Flir T425 was introduced for the express purpose of reducing energy consumption and minimising downtime through highly efficient electrical and mechanical fault-finding. Features such as auto-focus and digital zoom lens enhance its flexibility. Ergonomic design combined with low weight, picture-in-picture fusion, touch screen, tiltable lens unit, laser pointer and interchangeable optics made it the best choice for KPM. Wilson comments: "We tried a selection of different brands. The Flir camera and the training support provided by Flir best suited our needs."

One of the greatest advantages of thermal imaging is the wide range of applications to which it can be applied. And this is a benefit that KPM is now experiencing. The company is also starting to use its Flir T425 in the commissioning of new equipment and for evaluating health and safety issues such as fire risks.

Flir Systems

2 Kings Hill Avenue
Kings Hill,
WEST MALLING
ME19 4AQ
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1732 220011

sales@flir.uk.com

www.flir.com/thg

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