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Before you act on your furnace audit

While a thorough furnace audit should include a visual inspection, further data is often needed to verify the urgency of certain visual observations before investing in repairs. Cracks found in insulation or glass in furnace joints can often produce misleading conclusions. Without radar data to provide more context, a costly repair decision can be made prematurely.

This is one of the reasons PaneraTech Digital Furnace Management (DFM) customers have SmartAudit® and SmartMelter® inspections performed at the same time. Data collected from visual and thermographic inspections can be cross-referenced with radar scans to verify the full impact or extent of damage.

Is repair definitely necessary?

For example, one PaneraTech customer was able to avoid the error of a costly repair that would have been based on visual inspection alone. During a furnace audit, the auditor found glass oozing at sidewall block joints and bottom block joints. He also found cracking in the sidewall insulation. Many glass manufacturers would decide to overcoat the furnace based on those observations.

PaneraTech’s Asset Manager analyzed all the data collected from visual, thermal, and SmartMelter® inspections together to verify the initial conclusions. Anomalies were observed at two specific blocks. However, no wear was observed in the insulation on the SmartMelter® report. This showed the glass penetration was from the joint of the sidewall block only, and there was no need to overcoat. The customer could continue with some additional cooling instead of immediate overcoat.

This detailed report gave confidence to the customer to follow the recommended action plan and avoid spending money on an unnecessary action that would reduce the life of the furnace campaign.

Verify before taking action

Visual inspections without verification can create a false alarm and cause the auditor to make unnecessary recommendations. However, by using all of the tools available in Digital Furnace Management (DFM), PaneraTech customers can avoid such mistakes.