FLIR InfraCAM™ and E-Series infrared cameras save repair time and heating costs at hospital group
A hospital is good example of a facility management-intensive object.
Its core business is a clear priority: healing people. And secondary
processes, such as power supply, heating, ventilation, and maintenance
are vital to support this main business. Moreover, economic laws of
market and efficiency increasingly apply to the medical sector and its
facilities, especially in times of high energy costs and strained public
spending budgets. This example from Sweden shows the huge benefits that
can be generated by an intensive use of infrared thermography.
The Västmanlands district hospital group, located in
central Sweden, consists of five hospitals including one large central
hospital with intensive care facilities and additional polyclinics. All
these clinics provide medical care to 300,000 inhabitants in a region of
almost the size of Crete. The hospital group’s total facility area
comprises 450,000 sq m.
The Västmanlands district main hospital, Västeras, Sweden
Using the infrared camera every day
Thirty-six skilled workers are busy to keep these
regional health care facilities up and running, day and night. FLIR
Systems InfraCAM and E-series handheld infrared cameras have become
appreciated instruments for the many fields of application.
The cameras are used intensively to investigate
heating problems and inspect all installations from radiators to air
leakages. They are also used to survey the hospitals’ elaborate
ventilation and cooling systems, providing vital information for
adjustment of these systems to increase comfort and reduce energy costs.
Continuous and error-free running electrical
installations are critical in an environment where one blown fuse can
cost lives. The electricians on the team use an infrared camera during
their regular inspection rounds. These inspections include the entire
grid of a hospital, including the backup power supply station that
hospitals are provided with in case the regular power supply is cut for
some reason. The advantages of an infrared camera over a spot pyrometer
are at hand: while pyrometers show the temperature in one single spot,
infrared cameras scan visual evidence or temperature measurements over
an entire surface area, which substantially increases chances to find
The image clearly shows were not to drill.
The camera easily detects leaks and moist areas, showing which areas are to be repaired in order to avoid further mold development.
The infrared camera is also used by other
contractors such as plumbers to look at water piping systems, especially
prior to repair work, to be able to see where to drill (or not to
drill), where (not) to break open floors or walls etc...Its use
generates savings that are worth many times the price of a handheld
In addition, the infrared camera offers building engineers a valuable insight into the
building substance with regard to energy losses inside and outside the
building. A rising issue, given the increasing impact of relevant
Moreover, the Västmanlands maintenance team members
also consider the camera and its gathered results as a communication
tool: images made by FLIR Systems handheld infrared cameras are stored
inside the camera in a standard .jpg format. The workers easily
download, insert the images into standard Windows programs or sent them
by e-mail to any PC. And FLIR Systems QuickView software allows the team
to create simple reports in .PDF format for documentation and
Electrical trunking made visible by the infrared camera.
Image shows underground piping.
Raising security levels, increasing life cycle of facilities
“Our infrared cameras help to save money, improve
quality and simplify communication”, says Karl-Eric Bramming,
maintenance and operations manager at the Västmansland district hospital group. “We managed to reduce our time for problem
identification and analysis with at least 50%, but we have other
figures”, adds Bramming, while pulling out a balance sheet he is
required to send to the Landstingsförbundet, the Swedish association of
districts and to the Swedish national statistics bureau: “in 2005, we
reduced our overall costs with 7% compared to the year before. And since 2001, we have been able to save some 4 million Euros on heating costs”.
These achievements are only possible with cameras
that are handy, affordable, easy-to-use yet well equipped, and, last but
not least, operated by users understanding the basics of thermography:
Bramming has sent 10 members of his team to a one-day training course
set up by the local Infrared Training Center organization.
Floor heating becomes visible.
Thanks to Helena Wänerstrand, Market Research Manager Thermography at FLIR Systems Sweden, for providing information and support.
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