Thermal imaging technology from FLIR Infrared Cameras & Thermal Imaging is being used by a Dutch company to carry out accurate and time-saving inspections of electrical cabinets inside aircraft cockpits.

Aircraft cockpit inspections are conducted pre-flight and post-flight to ensure the safety of passengers during the flight. However, it is also important to complete these critical inspections as efficiently as possible to avoid keeping the aircraft idling on the ground. 

Dutch technical inspection specialist Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV is using FLIR thermal imaging cameras to significantly speed up electrical inspections inside the cockpit, while simultaneously guaranteeing accuracy and reliability. 

An experienced agency specialising in independent inspections for the industrial and construction markets, Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV’s expertise ranges from building inspections, over climate and mechanical installation inspections, to process control and inspection of electronic components. For all of these applications, Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV heavily relies on thermography.

Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV owner Mr Ralf Grispen says they have been using thermal imaging cameras for a long time to perform inspections of electrical cabinets for industrial applications, but have never applied this technology for the inspection of cockpit electronics. 

Prompted by their long-term customer Star Air, a Danish cargo airline and part of the A.P.Moller-Maersk Group, Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV decided to try out the technology for the inspections of wiring and cabling inside the cockpit.

Mr Grispen and Mr Rob Huting, co-owners of the company, travelled to Cologne Airport, where Star Air’s aircraft fleet is located. Technicians of the airline company readied the cockpit of a Boeing 767-200 for electrical inspections. The Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV team’s inspection job was a success with the thermal imaging cameras showing the temperature differences of the cockpit’s electrical cabinets in the greatest detail, and even helping to detect an initial defect in a resistor.

The test resulted in a contract award to Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV by Star Air for the maintenance inspection of 11 Boeing 767-200 freight aircraft. 

Mr Grispen explains that thermal imaging technology can easily detect very small problems in an early phase; in the case of Star Air, this technology proved to be a perfect fit for preventive maintenance and electrical inspections inside the cockpit in general. It is critical to inspect connections and fittings on a regular basis, especially in older aircraft that are subject to wear. 

Cockpit inspections with thermal imaging technology are very accurate and time-saving, enabling electrical problems or problematic components to be detected very quickly and accurately. FLIR thermal imaging cameras can get the inspection job done in a fast, accurate and cost-effective way.

Mr Carsten Holm, Vice President - Technical at Star Air comments that the use of thermal imaging for cockpit inspections gives them an accurate view of the condition of the aircraft, guaranteeing all equipment is in perfect state and that cargo and crew can enjoy a safe flight. 

Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV is using the FLIR P640 thermal imaging camera, a high-resolution thermal and visual camera incorporating advanced and smart features for thermal imaging surveys.

Key features and benefits of the FLIR P640 thermal imaging camera include a very high resolution that enables the smallest electrical parts as well as the smallest temperature differences to be seen; large colour LCD that allows simultaneous sharing of images; capability to make short movies; robust and ergonomic design; easy operation delivering accurate temperature measurements at safe distances; and reporting software for perfect documentation and reporting of findings.

The FLIR P640 provides professional users, including infrared consultants and professional thermographers with a unique competitive advantage. The P640 presents more pixels, which means greater temperature measurement accuracy, particularly for small objects. This feature in the FLIR thermal cameras provides clear, practical benefits and a strong competitive advantage to the professional thermographer. 

Thermografisch&AdviesbureauUden BV also makes use of the services of the FLIR Infrared Training Center (ITC) to keep their team up-to-date with the latest developments of the company’s product portfolio as well as help them apply thermal imaging technology in real-life applications.