When a local fire pump test facility needed to eliminate human error from its test procedures, it contacted Instrotech for advice. Sales account manager, Tinus Ludik, recommended an Optris Xi80 infrared camera, which combines the benefits of infrared cameras and infrared thermometers, be installed to replace the existing handheld temperature ‘gun’ that was in use to monitor the temperature of the pumps under test.
Levey’s PumpTest Lab (LPL), in Pretoria, measures the temperature of the fire pump units it tests and certifies them for a wide range of industries. “Recently, we conducted a test run of the fire pump set of an industrial fire sprinkler system, which typically runs for six hours,” says MD, Francois Levey. “During the test, the unit’s thermostat failed to open. This led to its overheating and catastrophic failure, with a resultant replacement cost of R200 000. On Instrotech’s advice, we decided to purchase the Optris Xi80 thermal camera to prevent such incidents happening again in the future.”
While using the Xi80 and PIX Connect standard software for the temperature measurement, LPL realised that it needed even more features. Pieter Deysel, Instrotech MD, explains: “The possibilities and applications of Optris’ Xi80’s technology are virtually limitless. However, Optris is realistically not able to customise the unit for every specific customer application. And in this case, LPL wanted not only to measure temperature, but additional parameters like pressure and flow as well. In other words, LPL required a customised solution.”
Enter Dewald Scholtz of Rhizoo Christos Technologies (RCT), who came in and utilised the Optris Software Development Kit, supplied with the Optris PIX Connect software, to develop software specifically to address the ‘picture-in-picture’ function LPL required. With an additional high-resolution camera, LPL can now access a custom-developed user interface and switch between the different live camera feeds, with customised probe placements, to see exactly how the pumps are performing.
Scholtz elaborates: “It is crucially important for any company that supplies sensors to provide some sort of interface for a custom solution, adaptable to a variety of industry and application needs. This enables solutions that satisfy the exact requirements of every client, which is exactly what was done for LPL.”
In addition, RCT has written software for LPL’s customers, giving them secure login access to see, in real-time, the performance of their pumps during their equipment’s test run.
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