Keeping you ahead of the Curve!


Below is more specific information about the different technologies used by Peterson Predictive Maintenance and how they are more effective when combined.

An Effective Team

Ultrasound and Infrared Thermal Imaging
Make an Effective Team

By Mark A. Goodman, UE Systems, Inc.

Why do Infrared Thermal Imaging and Ultrasound Detection work so well together? One answer is to look at our own senses. The more senses we use, the better we are able to navigate through our world.

To expand on this concept, Infrared Thermal Imaging and Ultrasound Detection are expansions of the senses of sight and hearing. Infrared “sees” what we cannot see; ultrasound “hears” what we cannot hear.

By combining them we advance our ability to detect problems. In essence, Infrared Thermal Imaging will detect changes in emissions related to heat characteristics of equipment it “looks” at, while Ultrasound Detection senses changes in sound patterns. Without getting into the basics of each technology, let’s examine some of the common areas of application for these two inspection methods.

Steam systems

There are many opportunities to use both Ultrasound Detection and Infrared Thermal Imaging in steam system inspections. A simple way to determine when to use a specific instrument is to look at the system from an objective perspective. Which components have more of a tendency to produce a change that is heat related and which are more sound related?

As an example, the loss of or weakening of insulation is measured best by determining heat-related changes. Pressure is calculated by checking temperature changes upstream and downstream of a valve or steam trap. Sound-related processes are best tested by using Ultrasound Detection. Valve leakage, steam trap inspection, and conditions such as cavitation in pumps are examples of sound-related inspection.

Heat or Infrared Thermal Imaging alone cannot be used to validate steam trap operation. There are many subtle and not-so-subtle pressure changes that occur in and around the steam trap that can effect changes in temperature which can in turn lead to a false diagnosis.

Since a trap produces a distinct sonic signature, listening to the sound of the trap as it cycles can accurately determine the trap condition. Many steam trap manufacturers refer to this as a “positive” test. Infrared Thermal Imaging is useful in determining blockage conditions and whether a trap is on-line because the former will indicate a lower temperature than a working trap in the same area and the latter will be observed as producing heat. Using both Infrared Thermal Imaging and Ultrasound Detection together will help make certain that the most common conditions of trap operations can be thoroughly inspected.

Using the two technologies in valve condition inspection also can provide useful information. In some cases, heat can be used to determine valve condition, while in other situations; the fact that a valve leak can be isolated and heard will help improve the accuracy of the diagnosis. By using an ultrasonic sensor’s contact probe to touch a valve upstream and downstream, valve leakage or valve blockage can be identified. A leaking valve will be heard through the headphones as a gurgling or rushing sound while blockage will produce no sound. Valve blow by in steam systems will produce a higher temperature reading downstream. Ultrasound Detection will tend to find smaller leaks, especially when the fluid does not have a higher temperature.

Loose connections and damaged conductors, electrical problems that produce increased resistance resulting in higher temperature of affected elements, are easily detected by inspection with Infrared Thermal Imaging.
Heat exchangers

The two technologies can be utilized quite effectively in the inspection of heat exchangers. An Infrared Thermal Imaging scan of a heat exchanger can indicate heat-related changes that can be diagnosed as anything from flow blockage of the cooling element to tube leakage. Once the condition is spotted with the scan, Ultrasound Detection can be incorporated to confirm a diagnosis and, in some instances, locate a leaking tube.

The Ultrasound Detection is performed while the exchanger is either on partial load or off line. By pressurizing, or by keeping a vacuum on the shell side, the headers of the exchanger can be removed and the tube sheet scanned to identify the leaking tube. A leaking tube produces a turbulent, rushing sound as air flows from the high-pressure to the low-pressure side of the tube leak.

The sound will be isolated to the leaking tube and will be heard as the scanning module passes over it. Combining infrared and ultrasound provides a fast, accurate way to keep on top of heat exchanger problems.

Underground leaks

Underground water leaks of any type are a very difficult proposition. Unless the leak is so gross as to produce an obvious wet pool or bubbling around the site, many days can be spent trying to locate the source. There are often situations in which inspectors have been called to locate a leak after most other methods have failed. This experience indicates that not one method works all the time. However, utilizing Ultrasound Detection and Infrared Thermal Imaging together can produce effective results.

In an actual event, a condensate return line in a major airport was reported to be leaking. The area of investigation covered about 3 miles of piping located approximately 6 ft below the asphalt surface. Standard methods using listening devices that detected only the audible range were not successful. To find the leak quickly, a method incorporating Ultrasound Detection and Infrared Thermal Imaging was devised.

Recognizing that condensate was heated water, it was determined that a late-night scan would be effective because the heated water would be easier to locate with the cooler ground around it. A scan of the piping system as determined by piping diagrams was performed. Every hot spot that could be suspected as a leak site was marked.

Metal wave-guides were then positioned in the ground over the marked hot spots. A contact probe from the Ultrasound Detector was placed directly on the wave-guide and an operator listened for a flow. The Infrared Thermal Imaging/Ultrasound Detection inspection began shortly after midnight and continued until 4 a.m. Identified leaks were repaired before the end of that same day.

Motors and pumps

Here we have a combination of electrical, mechanical, and fluid flows that produce heat and sound. While the condition of most bearings can be diagnosed through changes in sound as determined by Ultrasound Detection, as well as by vibration analysis, there are also Infrared Thermal Imaging scans that detect heat-related problems.

According to NASA research, the earliest indicator of incipient bearing failure is a change in the amplitude of a monitored ultrasonic frequency. Ultrasound Detection also can reveal lack of lubrication and prevent over lubrication.

Bad motor coils, windings, stators, or rotors can cause an increase in resistance and will produce heat that is readily detected with an infrared scan. In addition, over lubrication, misaligned belts, and bearings in advanced failure states can be quickly spotted due to the heat generated by friction and metal fatigue.

Pumps running dry, plugged feeds and distorted vanes are all candidates for Infrared Thermal Imaging detection. Cavitations, which is caused by air bubbles being trapped in fluid and then bursting under pressure, can destroy a pump or valve over time. Because these bursting bubbles produce a distinct sound, Ultrasound Detection can trend the cavitations from onset. As it continues toward destructive levels, there is a combination of sound and heat.

Hydraulic valves and actuators

Heat is a good indicator of a leaking hydraulic valve. The forces of fluid moving through a leak can produce heat as a by-product. This has been a useful effect in aircraft inspection.

However, not every leaking hydraulic valve will produce heat, and the proximity of valves in certain configurations can lead to a potentially inaccurate diagnosis due to heat (and in some instances sound) transference. This inspection process can be aided by incorporating ultrasound with Infrared Thermal Imaging. A valve, when leaking, will produce a louder sound downstream. By comparing Infrared Thermal Imaging results and Ultrasound Detection readings taken upstream with those from downstream, an operator can quickly make a positive diagnosis.

Electrical equipment

This is the most common area of application. While Infrared Thermal Imaging detects problems related to resistance and heat, Ultrasound Detection can be used to locate sonic-related problems. Corona and tracking in its early stages do not produce readably detectable infrared emissions but they do produce ultrasound.

In addition, with enclosed switchgear and transformers where surface heat cannot be relied upon for diagnosis, scans can be aided by using Ultrasound Detection to listen. This can be accomplished by scanning switchgear door seals and air vents while listening to the sonic pattern. Corona produces a steady buzzing sound while tracking has a gradual build-up followed by a sudden drop off of signal. Arcing is heard as sudden starts and stops.

Inspection time can be greatly sped up by utilizing Infrared Thermal Imaging and Ultrasound Detection scanning. Since switchgear can be inspected by scanning doors and air vents, there is no need to open each compartment.

In all types of mechanical function, changes in heat and sound are the most reliable indicators of potential problems. Fluid flow patterns, line blockage, and leaking valves and steam traps are best-diagnosed through Infrared Thermal Imaging/Ultrasound Detection inspection. Hydraulic systems produce sound and heat that can be observed through an integrated approach, as does high voltage equipment.

Using Infrared Thermal Imaging/Ultrasound Detection inspection will allow users to accurately determine the condition of operating equipment as well as identify the location of problems. These two technologies complement each other and advance the goals of condition monitoring programs.



In a steam system with 150 lbs. of pressure and a production cost of $6 per thousand pounds, a leak 1/32″ in diameter – no larger than the tip of a ball point pen – can cost $249 per year.

In a 50 p.s.i. system with a production cost of $8/1000 pounds, a number of small leaks totaling about 1/4″ will cost $8,339.52 in one year. Double the number of leaks to total 1/2″ and the cost will be $33,358.08.

At Sun Co.’s Toledo, Ohio refinery, the Ultraprobe® identified 188 malfunctioning steam traps. Savings from replacing these traps has been in the range of $56,000 per year based on reducing 450 p.s.i. steam consumption by about 1,000 lb./hr.

Chevron USA, Perth Amboy NJ has six to eight thousand steam traps throughout the plant. The plant generates close to 500,000 lb./hr. of steam. A steam trap audit with the UE SYSTEMS’ Ultraprobe® revealed the trap failure rate was up to 28%. The refinery has increased its steam trap reliability by 15% within two years after the Ultraprobe® was put into use. The reduction in steam losses is saving at least $50,000 a month.

Indiana University-Perdue University campus at Indianapolis has three to four thousand steam traps. Technicians using the Ultraprobe® to monitor steam traps and by-pass valves estimate they are saving $300,000 per year.


In a 75 p.s.i. system with a production cost of $0.14/m cu. ft., a number of leaks totaling 1/4″ will cost $5,734.15 in a year. Double that to 1/2″ and the cost of wasted air will be $22,940.25.

In a 100 p.s.i. system, based on nozzle coefficient of .65, and a production cost of $0.10 per thousand cubic feet, a number of leaks totaling 1/8″ will result in the loss of 740,210 cubic feet of air per month, at a cost of $74.01 per month. Triple that to 3/8″ and the waste will be 6,671,090 cu. ft. per month and $667.19.

An electronics components company estimated the Ultraprobe® would be instrumental in saving them $25 per day in the cost of operating two 250 cfm air compressors at 110 p.s.i. and eliminate the immediate need to purchase an additional compressor.


N-Ren:   A bearing on one of their two 500 H.P. motors froze up and did $2,500 damage. Using the stethoscope module, they picked up a bad bearing noise on the second motor . . . resulting in immediate repair and avoiding a complete shutdown in one area of the plant.

Anaconda Wire:  On a Saturday, when the shop was shut down, maintenance personnel used a regular stethoscope and picked up a bearing noise with the machine running at low speed. The housing they listened to contained two bearings at a cost of $1,500 each. Their stethoscope could not determine which bearing was going bad. With the plant back in operation on Monday, and all other machinery running the Ultraprobe® was brought in to check the machine in question, while running at top speed. The Ultraprobe® identified the front bearing as being the culprit while the back bearing was okay. They immediately replaced only the front bearing at a cost of $1,500, and were back into production much sooner than would have been the case had they replaced both bearings.

One of the largest construction companies in the Southwest USA uses the probe to check the hydraulic systems on earth moving equipment, tower cranes, etc. In a recent case, ten minutes of PM prevented the destruction of two pumps worth $2,000 each. This predictive maintenance prodedure saved the company a number of potential losses: two or three days down time in the midst of a project with operators and other worker standing idly by, the cost of eight hours maintenance time (at overtime rates), air freight charges to fly in new pumps, and even the possibility of a penalty for the delay in completing the project.


Key Benefits:

  • Save money in less down time and repairs
  • Schedule down time for repairs
  • Thermographer is Level One Certified from the John Snell Infrared School


Thermography is evolving daily into new and specialized applications.
We can accommodate any thermographic applications you may have.

Thermography applications:

  • Electrical Inspection in Buildings, Plants, Facilities, and Refineries
  • Thermal heat loss inspections for buildings, plants, facilities, refineries
  • Moisture contamination evaluations in buildings, condo’s, plants facilities
  • Concrete integrity inspections
  • Concrete Water Heated floor inspections for leaks and temperature distribution
  • Flat roof leak detection for buildings, plants, facilities
  • Power generation generator inspections
  • Power Plant boiler flue gas leak detection
  • Substation Electrical inspections, transformers and capacitor evaluation
  • Overhead urban and rural Electrical Distribution Systems
  • Electric Motor inspections
  • Mechanical Bearing Inspections
  • Cold Storage cooling losses
  • Refinery process line insulation loss or leak detection
  • Refinery process evaluation
  • Heat exchanger Quality and efficiency evaluation
  • Furnace refractory (insulation) inspections
  • Furnace Internal flame evaluation and tube inspections
  • Flame propagation explosion analysis
  • HVAC Equipment evaluation
  • Pest infestation inspections


To ensure the integrity of electrical installations for reduced down time, fire and safety, or insurance company compliance, we highly recommend performing Infrared Thermal Imaging of electrical installations to find overheating in connections and components, or faulty components.



Infrared Thermal Imaging of motors, pumps, fans, bearings, compressors, heating elements, humidifiers etc. can be analyzed for faults and decrease in efficiency. Fatigue and stress concentration in components can be detected and verified.

Buildings and Processing Equipment

Internal properties in walls and pipes such as building and cool room/oven insulation and furnace refractory breakdown and efficiency, scale build up, fluid build up in composite structures etc. can be determined.

Environmental and Surveillance

Infrared Thermal Imaging can be used to determine sites of burst gas and water pipes, hot spots in bush fires, waste water spread, biological diversity and pest/fungus spread in plantations, and it is widely used for night surveillance.

Airborne applications:

  • Pipeline inspection, leak detection, stress corrosion cracking area
  • Environmental inspections, pollution dumping, thermal dumping of waste water
  • Fire Mapping, hold over fires, fire line and mop-up inspections
  • High Voltage Aerial Electrical inspections for transmission lines
  • Search and rescue
  • Covert surveillance

What is a Thermographer?

A thermographer is a thermal evaluator and imaging expert. He or she will have a solid understanding of heat transfer laws, thermal dynamics and properties of why objects are hot or not or appear to be hot or not.

A thermographer is a person who uses an Infrared Thermal Imaging Camera and his or her knowledge of the subjects they look at in combination with other non-destructive testing tools to evaluate the condition, (good or bad) of any object, subject or body in the world at large today… as long as there is a thermal difference to be detected. Otherwise objects with the same thermal radiant pattern or temperature will be invisible to each other.

Like when old Arnold Schwarzenegger “fooled” the “Predator” covering himself with mud, he changed his thermal pattern to match the surrounding “temperature” of his surroundings and turned himself “thermally invisible”. Eventually the mud would warm up and his “stealth” would disappear. The old movies where the “Star” looked though the wall to “see” the bad guy plotting to kill the good guy are not true. Infrared Thermal Imaging can only “see” the surface of anything. We see the effect of conduction transfer of heat from within the object to the surface and make assessment from there.

People choose to be thermographers to be in the lead of exciting new careers and challenges every day. Thermography is not a 9 to 5 job. Thermography is evolving daily into new and unusual applications. There are so many areas the same thermal expert can be involved in, with the exact same thermal camera it offers diversification like no other career.

Advantages of using Thermography:

  • Quick problem detection without interrupting service
  • Prevention of premature failure and extension of equipment life
  • Identification of potentially dangerous or hazardous equipment
  • Reduction in Insurance Premiums
  • Effective infrared scanning in order to save revenue and prevent down-time
I.R. to Analyze Mechanical Systems
Read More
Power Distribution Systems
Read More
MCCs & Switch Gears
Read More
Electric Motors
Read More


About Our Equipment

Raytheon 500D

This camera is a long wave, handheld, Focal Plane Array camera that is capable of temperature measurement. This camera is best suited for Preventive Maintenance, Research and Development, and Medical Applications. The camera stores images on a PCMCIA Card, and the images can be analyzed using included software package.


System Type:

 Focal Plane Array

Spectral Range:

 Long Wave


 320 X 240

Detector Material:


Measurement Accuracy:

 2% or 2 Degrees C

Measurement Range:

 -20 to 300 Degrees C

With Filter:


Field View:

 18 X 13.5 Degrees



Spatial Resolution:

 Lens Dependent

Thermal Sensitivity:

 <.10 Degrees C at 30 C

  Detector Refresh Rate:

 60 Hz

  Dynamic Range:

 12 Bit

Emissivity Adjustment:

 0.01 to 1.00


 Color and B&W

  Display Type:

 Eye Piece & PDA LCD

  Image Storage Capacity:

 >150 Images

  Storage Medium:

 PCMCIA Card or Internal Memory

  Operating Temperature:

 15 to 35 Degrees C

  Camera Weight:

 4.8 Lbs.

  Camera Size:

 5.5 X 5.5 X 10

  Focus Distance:

 18 Inches to Infinity

  Video Output:

 60 Hz NTSC

  Power Supply:

 6 V DC NiMH Camcorder Battery

  Voice Annotation:


  Available Accessories:

 Software Included

The World’s Most Advanced Ultrasound Inspection System

Inspect · Record Sounds · Store Information · Manage Data

The Ultraprobe® 10,000 brings Ultrasound Inspection technology to a whole new level. With this one system inspectors can perform condition analysis, record sounds, store and manage data.


Utilizing just two controls:
User friendly Spin and ClickTechnology of the Ultraprobe®10,000simplifies sound recording, data collection, system customization and data entry


The Ultraprobe® 10,000
Has On-board Sound Recording

With the push of a button, it is now possible to record a sound sample directly into the instrument and link it to one of 400 record files stored in the Ultraprobe.

With The Ultraprobe®10,000 System Test The Way You Want

Specialized Application Screens
Adjustable On/Off Features
Connect to External Devices
Flexible Reporting Options

ULTRAPROBE® 10,000 is a Complete Ultrasonic Asset Management System

Something for Everybody:
Whatever you‘re going to test, the Ultraprobe® 10,000 has application-specific software for you. With the “click” of a button you can select an Application with Specialized fields for accurate reporting and analysis.

Select any of 6 applications:
Generic, Leaks Valves, Bearings, Electrical or Steam and the Ultraprobe® 10,000 automatically sets relevant fields for your data logging convenience. All stored data is easily downloaded to the Ultratrend DMS software.

Select One of 6
Specialized Applications
Specialized Fields for the Valve Application
Review Stored Data On Specialized Screens
Data Storage Screen
Test Info Screen
Expand you inspections. In addition to on-board data logging, the Ultraprobe 10,000 accepts and stores data from external devices such as thermometers and tachometers.


What Do You Want to Test Today?

Practically everything you‘ll need for specialized inspection is included with the Ultraprobe® 10,000 Inspection System; LRM, MMP, EXC and more!

will double the detection distance of the standard Trisonic Scanning Module and enhance performance for any electrical or leak inspection job. With a 10° field of view, you can pinpoint the exact location of a problem at a safe distance; no need to climb ladders or use a lift.
Magnetic Mount will provide accuracy and consistency in your mechanical inspections. Test excessively vibrating equipment accurately or have a consistent test approach for your bearing inspections.
Attach any module to this 8‘ (2.4m) cable and extend to hard-to-reach areas, or connect the assembly to a magnetic mount.


MORE SOFTWARE For Accurate Records & Reports

The Ultraprobe® 10,000 System includes both Ultratrend DMS and UE Spectralyzer software to help you organize and analyze all your inspection information.

Data Management System

Ultratrend DMS is a comprehensive record storage, data management and data analysis program. Multiple views allows you to review data either by date or as a history. A history table can be sorted to review any changes in any of the relevant test fields such as decibel, frequency, test results, temperature or rpm. Data can be easily exported to Specialized reporting software such as compressed gas survey software or bearing trending software.
Spectral Analysis Software

UE SPECTRALYZER is a spectral analysis software that converts your PC into a fully functioning FFT analyzer. It provides both spectra and time series views of your recorded sounds. With the UE Spectralyzer, sound images are easily produced for reporting. You can attach each sound sample to a file or include an image of the spectra in your report.

View Data by Date


View Subject Sound Samples as a Spectrum

View Data History and Sort Columns   for  analysis

View Sound Samples in Time Series
ONBOARD SOUND RECORDING… as easy as 1, 2, 3

With onboard sound recording, just Spin and Click. That‘s all you need to do to record a sound sample with the Ultraprobe® 10,000. All sounds are stored on a Compact Flash card for easy download to your computer.

The compact flash card will hold all your sound files for easy downloading to your computer. Kit includes an adapter for downloading to your PC

ULTRAPROBE® 10,000 Consider the Possibilities: 

There are a number of ways the Ultraprobe® 10,000 System assists your reporting, analyzing and record keeping. For example, you can: trend a group of bearings over time, trend one bearing over time, analyze steam trap history and costs, analyze leak costs, note patterns in electrical failure, record valve sounds, analyze mechanical sounds…

Here‘s a possibility: Trend a bearing over time, when it exceeds an alarm level, take a spectra and combine all the data into one report.

Typical ULTRAPROBE® Applications

Data Based Mechanical Inspection/Trending
Data Based Leak Detection/Energy Audits
Data Based Electrical Inspection
Bearing Condition
Rubbing Conditions
Gears/Gear Boxes
Lack of Lubrication
Compressed Air
Compressed Gases
(O2, NO, etc.)
Vacuum Leaks
Seals & Gaskets
Condenser Tubes
Cockpit Windows
Heat Exchangers
Steam Traps
Bus Bars



Toll Free: 1.800.223.1325
Phone: 914.592.1220
Fax: 914.347.2181
Copyright ©1999-2003 UE Systems, Inc.  All rights reserved.

TI-25M Series Ultrasonic Wall Thickness Gauges


The new CHECK-LINE TI-25M Wall Thickness Gauge accurately measures wall thickness and the extent of corrosion of allmetals, ceramics, glass and most rigid plastics – from only one side!

The TI-25M can be used in a Single Thickness Reading mode or in a Scan mode , where the probe is dragged over a large measuring area. The minimum thickness reading recorded during the “scan” will be displayed.

The TI-25M probe is waterproof and can be submerged in water. The gauge is impact-resistant and environmentally sealed to provide trouble-free operation under the toughest field conditions.

The TI-25M is supplied as a complete kit with the gauge, probe, 4 oz. bottle of coupling fluid, 2 AA batteries, NIST Calibration Certificate, and Operating Instruction Manual – all in a foam-fitted carrying case.


Resolution of 0.001 inch (0.01 mm) Switch-selected units for inches or mm
Large, backlit LCD display retains last reading For underwater surveying, probe cable lengths up to 50 feet are optionally available
CE Certified
Simple operator controls virtually eliminate training Special-purpose probes are offered for a variety of applications




Product Specifications:


0.025-6.00″ (0.60-150.0 mm)


.001″ (0.01 mm)


4½ – Digit, 0.5″ Backlit LCD

Velocity Range

6,500-33,000 ft./sec (2000-10,000 m/sec.)


7.5 MHz, 0.25″ Diameter (6.35 mm) with rubber molded grip.

Probe Wearface

PEEK (Polyethlethylketone)


4 ft. (1.2 m) waterproof cable with non-polarized, quick-disconnect connectors. Optional lengths up to 50 ft. (15 m).

Temp. Limits

Ambient: -20 to 120° F (-30 to 50° C)
Material: –ll0 to 200° F (-20 to 100° C)
Special high temperature probes are optionally available.

Battery Type

Two AA batteries

Battery Life

200 hours


7 ounces (196 g)


2.5 x 4.5 x 1.25″
(64 x 114 x 32 mm)

Accessories Included

Probe/cable assembly. 4 oz. bottle of coupling fluid, NIST Calibration Certificate, 2 AA batteries, operating instructions, hard-plastic carrying case.


Gauge: 5 years
Probe: 90


Minimum radius for convex surfaces 0.350″ (12.7 MM)
Minimum radius for concave surfaces 6″ (63.5 mm)
Probe surface can be rounded to allow it to lie flat in small pipes to 1″
Minimum headroom 1″ (25.0 mm)
Minimum sample diameter 0.150″ (3.8 mm)