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Infrared Thermography inspections of Overhead Cranes can detect and prevent numerous problems that can result in costly downtime. In some industry, the unexpected failure of a crane component can cause the entire production process to come to an abrupt halt.

While timely inspections are crucial in preventing downtime, there is one component of a crane inspection that warrants very careful consideration, and that is SAFETY.

Crane infrared inspections must be performed while the equipment is in operation, so communication with the operator is crucial. Two way radios on a different frequency than the company uses is a good system. This way, you and the operator are not confused by processing or maintenance talk from the plant's system.

Some industrial cranes are quite large and may have a Main Trolley and one or more Auxiliary Trolleys. You must be aware that all of this equipment can move back and forth and up and down.

Talk with the operator on what you are going to do on the crane. Let them know you are going to perform an IR inspection that entails checking the electrical components on each one of the cabinets on the crane. Tell them you will contact them on which part of the crane you want to run-and try to be specific on what exactly it is you want the operator to do. The operator can not see you, so what you relay to him is very important.

Avoid climbing around on any area of the crane that is not guarded. If there is an area you need to access that is not guarded, see if the operator can position some of the crane components to accommodate you. Do not put yourself in harms way!

After you complete your survey, discuss any communication problems you might have had with the operator. This will make the survey go better the next time.

Finally, be aware of your surroundings. Remember, you are on an operating crane.

Tip provided by: The Timken Company

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