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Geo Therm Ltd - Logistics News article - turning up the heat - March 2016

Geo Therm Ltd news article taken from Logistic News highlighting the successful uses of thermal imaging in the logisitcal chain in the Middle East

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Geo Therm Ltd - Logistics News article - turning up the heat - March 2016

  1. 1. CONNECTING TRADE PROFESSIONALS WITH INDUSTRY INTELLIGENCE MARCH 2016 I N F O C U S : I R A N Thelatestdataandinsightfrom theregion’snewestmarket F A C E T O F A C E The first in a new interview series with Logistics Executive T R A N S P O R T : S H I P P I N G Riding the waves as economics bite How and why the UAE’s national rail network came to a halt DERAILED
  2. 2. 34 | Logistics News ME | March 2016 TURNING UP THE HEAT F A C E T O F A C E In the fir t of a ne inter ie erie , rian Cart ri ht, re ional MD for o i tic E ecuti e, catche up ith eo herm ony Dale to talk about the popularity of thermal ima in for lo i tic in the Middle Ea t I recently caught up with Tony Dale the founder and MD of Geo Therm Ltd, a thermal imaging survey and condition monitoring company that was set up in 2002 in the UK and quickly grew into an international business. In the early days the company was mainly servicing the oil and gas sector but in recent years, particularly in the Middle East, the firm is increasingly being asked to run surveys for logistics service providers and other organisations operating warehousing facilities. Because of this I was very keen to speak with Tony to understand why thermal imaging surveys are becoming more important for the logistics sector in general and particularly why this is becoming so popular in the Middle East. WHAT TYPES OF THERMAL IMAGING SURVEYS ARE YOU NORMALLY ASKED TO COMPLETE? The surveys requested have been mainly for cold storage warehouses where we are looking for temperature differences and basically air infiltration. Additionally, heavily automated facilities where compressed air is used to move parts and electrical panels to supply power. Basically we support companies in managing preventativemaintenanceprogrammes. IS THERE A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A SPECIFIC SURVEY IN LOGISTICS THAT YOU COULD EXPLAIN? Building integrity cooling was an issue for one of our existing clients’ XPO logistics. They operate temperature controlled storage facilities and a concern in many cold stores is air infiltration between each panel, creating internal snowing, ice wedge formation and product contamination, this also increases energy consumption as the refrigeration system works harder to maintain a set -20˚C temperature. We map those areas affected by air infiltration and ice weight gain. We then flag them for repair or to create barrier zones in case of ceiling collapse. In the case of XPO we now undertake scheduled surveys, which means we provide regular cold store insulation efficiency scans to identify thermal anomalies in cladding, adversely effecting operational efficiency, energy use and product quality. XPO has since invested in our various technical equipment sensors which alert them via texts and emails about any immediate or unusual temperature differences. YOU ALSO MENTIONED AUTOMATED FACILITIES, HOW DO THE SURVEYS WORK IN THIS CASE AND HOW DOES A COMPANY BENEFIT? Non-invasive inspections using a thermal image survey dramatically aid a facility manager’s ability to optimise their operational efficiency, as incipient problems can be measured without hindrance to the operation, enabling managers to identify overheating equipment early before it results in an unscheduled breakdown. We basically help a company to identify potential equipment failures effectively preventing them from any unexpected surprises which could lead to shutting off critical systems, creating a back-log of orders and unhappy customers. DO YOU THINK THE NEED FOR PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE AND IN PARTICULAR THERMAL IMAGING SURVEYS IS AN AREA THAT IS GOING TO EXPAND IN LOGISTICS ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST? At this moment the Middle East is ripe for implementing thermal imaging into a facility’s management needs, however regional unrest combined with the accurate heat seeking sensitivity of thermal imaging has certain legal caveats. The technology and associated software cannot be exported to Iran and Syria in accordance with the United States of America Export Administration Regulations, since they could be used in the design, development, production or use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or missiles. Nevertheless there are several thermal camera distributors in the Middle East providing a first class service offering the latest generation of hand held and stand alone thermal cameras to assist facility managers with their in-house maintenance and security needs. As the technology and benefits become widely acknowledged new opportunities will undoubtedly arise, in particular to perform safe, non-invasive monitoring of electrical equipment to detect hot-
  3. 3. Logistics News ME | March 2016 | 35 F A C E T O F A C E spots likely to cause system failure, fire and breakdowns, or perform security surveillance sweeps to inform of intruder alert or fire breakout in ports, airports and warehouse facilities holding millions of dollars of inventory. The need is becoming increasingly prevalent as companies begin to revert back to the old ways of holding excess goods to buffer supply disruption in time of crisis. Operational disruption from equipment failure isn’t just years or months away – it can happen tomorrow, that’s why using a preventative maintenance strategy is vital to attain and manage logistical effectiveness. The question is will companies be ready to pay a small sum for a professional third party inspection or suffer the huge loss and indignation when disruption strikes. DO YOU SEE ANY DIFFERENCE IN HOW COMPANIES VIEW THIS KIND OF THING IN THE MIDDLE EAST AS OPPOSED TO HOW IT’S VIEWED IN EUROPE? an independent third party inspection company to perform annual building and electrical thermographic surveys in order to comply with insurance prerequisites that are aimed at reducing risks associated with fire and consequential losses. I think it is just a matter of time before insurance underwriters in the GCC realise the virtues of thermal imaging and stipulate its use as standard practice in building facilities maintenance. We only have to recall the high profile fire at the Address Hotel in Dubai on New short-circuit fault can destroy an entire building endangering the lives of many – all unnecessarily so. IN THE LOGISTICS SECTOR A REGULAR TOPIC IS THE IMPORTANCE OF INNOVATION. ARE THERE ANY RECENT INNOVATIONS IN YOUR INDUSTRY THAT COULD BENEFIT THE LOGISTICS SECTOR IN THIS REGION? Well actually yes, in March of this year I will visit the Middle East Electricity 2016 Conference at Dubai World Trade Centre where some of our suppliers will display the next generation of infrared inspection windows that have been purposely developed for the GCC market place and the harsh environmental conditions that exist across the GCC countries. Due to the nature of electrical switchgear, 90% of components that an electrician or thermographer want to inspect are normally locked behind bolted panel covers, cabinet doors with switched interlocks etc, making it dangerous to safely remove and routinely inspect live switch gear during surveys. Infrared inspection windows combined with our latest bolt-on gadget the Delta T AlertTM enable safe permanent visual and remote monitoring into energized electrical equipment without disturbing operations, so there is no shut down required. They can also be quickly retro-fitted into many types of electrical equipment such as switchboards, switchgear, transformers, MCCs and generator housings. BRIAN CARTWRIGHT Brian Cartwright is the Managing Director, Middle East and Africa for Logistics Executive Group, he has partnered exclusively with Logistics News to run a series of interviews with senior executives to uncover the facts and provide real time insight on what’s happening in the SC & Logistics sector across the region. As a respected thought leader with extensive networks and knowledge of the Supply Chain & Logistics sector, he’s the ideal person to get the inside word on behalf of Logistics News. At this moment the Middle East is ripe for implementing thermal imaging into a facility’s management needs