How to easily locate hot spots in cabling
Thermal imaging allows for accurate and timesaving inspections of electrical cabinets inside aircraft cockpits.
Aircraft cockpit inspections, both pre-flight and post-flight, consist of a wide range of control routines that need to ensure the safety of its passengers during a flight.
Next to that, it is essential that inspections are carried out as efficiently as possible. In that respect, Dutch technical inspection specialist Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden found a way to speed up electrical inspections inside the cockpit, while at the same time guaranteeing accuracy and reliability – using thermal imaging technology from Flir Systems.
Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden is an agency that is specializes in independent inspections, and provides recommendations to the industrial and construction markets.
“We had a long history of performing inspections of electrical cabinets for industrial applications by means of thermal imaging cameras, but we had never applied this technology for the inspection of cockpit electronics,” says. Ralf Grispen, owner of Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden.
“In fact, that particular question came directly from the firm’s long-term customer Star Air, a Danish cargo airline.
Grispen and Rob Huting, co-owner of the company, travelled to Cologne Airport, where Star Air’s aircraft fleet is located. Technicians of the airline company made the cockpit of a Boeing 767-200 ready for electrical inspections. Thermal imaging cameras showed the temperature differences of the cockpit’s electrical cabinets and found a defective resistor.
“Faulty resistors heat up, and that’s exactly the reason why thermal imaging technology can easily detect such defects, even very small problems in an early phase,” says. Grispen.
“In the case of Star Air, this technology proved to be a perfect fit for
preventive maintenance and electrical inspections inside the cockpit in general. Especially with older aircraft, which are subject to wear.”
The main advantage of thermal imaging is that you can locate electrical problems quickly and accurately.
Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden is using the Flir P640 camera, a highresolution thermal and visual camera that has a host of advanced features, which makes it a smart choice for thermal imaging surveys.
“The camera provides us with a very high resolution, which enables us to view the smallest electrical parts as well as the smallest temperature differences,” says Grispen. “An additional benefit of the Flir P640’s large colour LCD is that you can simultaneously share your images with your customer or your colleagues. For us, this is a feature that cannot be underestimated, because it allows us to reassure our customers and show them that we do a good job.”
The Flir P640 camera is easy to operate and delivers accurate temperature measurements at safe distances. It provides professional users, including infrared consultants and professional thermographers, with a unique competitive advantage.
The P640 presents more pixels, which means greater temperature measurement accuracy, particularly for small objects. To the professional thermographer, this means clear, practical benefits – and a strong competitive advantage.
With the P640, you can now resolve smaller objects from further away and still get accurate temperature measurements.
“The reporting software that comes with the Flir P640 is very easy to use and allows us to deliver a perfectly documented and detailed report of our findings to the technical staff that will do the actual repairs. We regularly receive the latest updates from the Flir software so we can enjoy extra features.”
Thermografisch & Adviesbureau Uden also makes use of the services of the Flir Infrared Training Center (ITC).
“We have a team of three people that are fully Flir ITC certified,” says Grispen. “We regularly attend trainings organized by Flir Systems, so we are always up to date with the latest developments of the company’s product portfolio.”
An image (top) from an infrared camera shows there are issues with cabling – even though it looks fine (bottom) to the naked eye.