What happens when recommendations are not followed – “when things are left to burn”.
How often have you performed a reliability survey and issued a report of findings and recommendations to reduce the risk of unplanned system failure… and the client does not follow the recommendations.
This is one example of an infrared thermal imaging survey that highlights the importance of following the recommendations and also that a thermal survey should be performed by an experienced/qualified reliability technician who does not just rely on the thermal camera to rush round the site but also uses the human senses and experienced to assess system condition.
One panel unfortunately had Perspex in the way of the cable terminations, so this could not be surveyed with thermal imaging. Through the perspex cover it was noticed that the cable sheath has split, probably due to excess heat and exposing the copper cable.
This was reported on the day to the site supervisor, and in writing in the report. Site confirmed that they were going to schedule in repair at the soonest opportunity due to the high unknown probable risk.
This is the thermal image of the panel, note no readings as infrared energy doesn’t pass through Perspex.
This is the digital image of the panel showing the Perspex cover and damaged cables.
This was not inspected/repaired and the panel caught on fire. This caused shutdown of the plant and a huge costs to the company in downtime and reputation due to unfilled orders to their customers.
Images of the failed component.
Image of the repair. Here you can see the burn fire marks on the back panel.
Sometimes we try our best to ensure our clients do the right thing for reliability on their plant. Unfortunately they don’t always action what we recommend, not matter how much we try to convince them. In this instance all we can do is keep spreading the word of how important it is to know the condition of your system and then to actually action any risks. This in turn will reduce the risk of unplanned failure.
A special thanks to James Pearce for sharing his experience.
Recently I saw a post from Terrence OHanlon of Reliabilityweb.com, that I feel summed up Reliability.
A RELIABLE plant is a SAFE plant
…..an ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND plant
….. a PROFITABLE plant
……a COST-EFFECTIVE plant