INDUSTRY FIRST FOR PUMP TEST LAB
When a fire pump test facility decided to eliminate human error from their testing, they contacted INSTROTECH. Tinus Ludik, sales account manager, recommended an Optris Xi80 infrared camera to replace their hand-held temperature “gun”. The Optris Xi80 combines the benefits of infrared cameras and infrared thermometers.
Levey’s PumpTest Lab (LPL), in Pretoria, Gauteng, measures temperature of fire pump units it tests and certifies them for a wide range of industries. MD, Francois Levey, says, “Recently, we conducted a test run of the fire pump set of an industrial fire sprinkler system – which typically runs for 6 hours – and during the test, the engine’s thermostat failed to open. This led to its overheating and catastrophic failure, with a resultant replacement cost of R200 000,00. We then decided to purchase the Optris Xi80 thermal camera to prevent such incidences in future.”
While using the Xi80 and PIX Connect standard software for the temperature measurement, LPL realised that they needed even more features. Pieter Deysel, Instrotech MD and supplier of Optris locally says, “The possibilities and applications of Optris’ Xi80’s technology is virtually endless. Optris, the manufacturer of the camera and software developers, is realistically not able to customise the unit for each customer’s specific application. And in this case, LPL wanted not only temperature, but additional parameters like pressure as well as flow, and so LPL had to customise a software solution.”
This is where Dewald Scholtz of Rhizoo Christos Technologies (RCT) came in, and utilising the Optris SDK (Software Development Kit) supplied with the Optris PIX Connect software, developed software specifically to address the “picture-in-picture” function LPL required. With an additional hi-resolution camera, LPL can logon to a custom developed user interface and switch between the different live camera feeds with full adjustability and customised probe placement, and see exactly how the pumps are performing.
Dewald Scholtz added, “Its crucially important for any company that builds sensors, to provide some sort of interface for a custom solution, adaptable to any industry and application requirement. This enables its customers to develop a solution that satisfies the actual needs of the client, which is exactly what we did for LPL.”
In addition, RCT has written software for LPL’s customers, giving them secure log-in access to see – in real-time – the temperature and performance of their pumps during their equipment’s test run. The software overlays the HD video with the Optris IR camera, and combines it to produce a “picture-in-picture”, clearly showing in context, which part of the engine is overheating. LPL are able to set adjustable threshold indicators in the software, so that if things are not running as expected, they are able to halt the test and contact the customer.
Pump performance is linked directly to its operating temperature. So, to be able to monitor a live, online service is regarded as an industry first for pump testing companies in South Africa, and sets the benchmark for this specific service.
Contact INSTROTECH for more on Optris Xi80, a compact pyrometer and modern IR camera on 010 595 1831 or sales@instrotech. co.za
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