Taken from our insightful e-book on IR Windows, we take a look at the front cover fixing methods of the window itself and explore the best methods in which to attach the panels.
Previously used front cover fixing methods
If we look at the IR Window front cover over the years, we know that traditionally, they tended to rotate around a pin which was perpendicular to the panel itself. You may have also witnessed some front covers that were held in place with a magnet when not in use, and others may have used a bolt instead. The issues with IR Windows in the past that used bolts, is they had to be removed each time you wanted to perform a scan. If you had experience of this particular fixing method, then you’ll know that they were not very effective at all. This was because of two main reasons:
- Bolts were not captive, meaning they got lost easily
- Removing them was time consuming
New and improved panel fixing methods for IR Windows
You will find that the evolution in infrared windows technology means that in this day and age, they usually are fitted with a hinged cover of some description. This doesn’t mean that the rotating variety are completely eradicated, but the majority of them will be hinged.
The issues with rotational covers are that the user will be limited by the orientation of the IR Window itself. So, if you are working on a low voltage panel board for example, the panel fronts can actually get very crowded, meaning that the standard IR Windows orientation would cover another component. This is the main reason for the modern day IR Window being fitted with a hinge.
The hinged IR Window panel will always expose the optic in full view, even in the event that it is not open 90 degrees. This is something that you would not really see on a rotational cover.
There are some drawbacks to this panel fixing method for IR Windows, and that is that the thermographer themselves would have to hold them in the open position while he carries out his work. You will mostly find this if the hinge is fitted at the top of the panel, however, this is not always necessarily the case.
What about the locking mechanism?
The locking mechanism on the IR Window panel is designed to hold the cover in place when it’s not in use. This particular element of the IR Window was not always there, as some of you may remember that a magnet used to hold the cover in place and in the closed position. Although this was a great solution at the time, it just wouldn’t suffice in today’s health and safety conscious world.
Most, if not all IR Windows have some sort of locking mechanism that requires a tool to allow the cover to be removed. The issues behind this element of an IR Window really lies with how the end-user is managing each individual project, their Return On Investment (ROI) and how long it will take them to remove each protective cover and then replace it.
For example, if a plant intends to install 1000 IR Windows, scanning them once per quarter, this will result in four thousand ‘open and closes’ per year. Because of this, the smartest and most efficient fixing methods must be considered on a case-by-case or company-by-company basis.
Find out more on our thinking behind the different fixing methods that are available and how to calculate your ROI based on the number of scans per year you do in our fantastic e-book. ‘IR Windows 101: The Answers to the Questions You Didn’t Dare Ask!’ is available to download now for free from the white paper section of our website.
IR Windows 101 eBook
Are you considering using IR Windows? Then you need to download your FREE copy of our ‘IR Windows 101: The answers to the questions you were afraid to ask’ White Paper today. A decade ago Infrared IR Windows were very much in their infancy, but today things are very different.