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Acoustic imaging, or the ability to see ultrasonic sound, has emerged as an effective method for manufacturing and utility organisations to locate compressed air leaks or the existence of partial discharge (PD). It enables professionals to conduct more frequent predictive maintenance routines, to help provide a crucial first warning of impending electrical/mechanical failure that could lead to energy loss and even worse, downtime of critical systems.

To help customers take advantage of the benefits of ultrasonic imaging, FLIR made its Si124 industrial acoustic imaging camera available for purchase globally. The FLIR Si124 industrial acoustic imaging camera senses, displays and records sound waves producing a precise acoustic image. The acoustic image is overlaid, in real time, onto a digital camera image all with an easy-to-use, ergonomic, one-handed camera solution weighing a little more than 2 pounds (980 grams).

Detecting compressed air leaks

The blended visual and sound image can be viewed live on screen to help users’ pinpoint issues from the sound source, helping staff identify issues up to 10 times faster than traditional inspection methods for common mechanical, electrical, vacuum and compressor systems. Built with 124 microphones and a high definition visible-light camera, the battery-powered Si124 can detect potential issues up to 100 meters away, even in loud industrial environments, for up to seven hours of continuous use.

Two primary use cases for the Si124 include detecting compressed air leaks and partial discharge (PD) such as corona, arcing, and tracking. Compressed air is often the single most expensive energy source in factories, but air is often lost due to undetected leaks or equipment inefficiencies.

Potential unplanned downtime

The Si124 provides the ability to perform quick non-contact inspections from a safe distance

That leaked air can be difficult to detect by the human ear or touch, particularly in loud manufacturing environments where workers are required to wear hearing protection. The Si124 can solve this issue by visually pinpointing the exact source of a leak instantaneously, especially in hard to reach places that might otherwise go unnoticed. For high-voltage electrical systems, PD can preface a catastrophic failure, creating an unsafe environment and potential unplanned downtime.

The Si124 provides the ability to perform quick non-contact inspections from a safe distance. The system then immediately provides the PD type, allowing users to prioritise repairs. What sets the Si124 further apart from other cameras is the FLIR Acoustic Camera Viewer cloud service.

Online cloud portal

Image captures are quickly uploaded over Wi-Fi to the cloud service then immediately analysed, providing the user in-depth information such as the size and energy cost of a compressed air leak or the PD classification and pattern of an electric fault. This information is accessible on the Si124 and through the online cloud portal.

In addition, users get 8 GBs of storage and wireless data transfer capabilities, making sharing photos and data simple and efficient.

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