Posted on

Is Your Company Monitoring for Elevated Body Temperature (EBT)?

We hope that you are all safe and healthy, wherever you are.

Many organizations are looking to monitor the health of employees and visitors entering their facilities, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Perhaps the best way to accomplish this is through the use of Thermal Imaging or Infrared. Infrared is a quick and effective means to pre-screen individuals for elevated body temperature (EBT). An EBT could be indicative of a fever and therefore infection. Using an infrared camera offers several advantages over a thermometer in that it is fast, non-contact and can be performed form a safe distance.

Some companies pivoted quickly to implement a program by repurposing their infrared cameras. As it becomes clear that the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for an extended period of time, many have begun considering a longer term solution.

Here are some considerations and best practices if you are embarking on measuring body temperatures at your facility:

Temperature measurement can certainly be done with hand-held cameras, but there are several factors to consider in making the most accurate measurement possible, including:

  1. Focus
  2. Distance to target
  3. Camera resolution
  4. Speed of the measurement
  5. EBT threshold

To be sure, a short-term solution can be the use of a portable camera in the hands of a skilled and trained operator. However, for larger facilities and a long-term solution, those skilled operators are needed elsewhere in the plant, and the camera does have its regular duties. For these scenarios, we recommend an automated system which can remove many potential variables and issues, ensuring that temperatures are monitored quickly and accurately. Here is a video which explains it nicely.

Whether you seek a handheld camera, or want to explore a permanent installation, we can help. We have been a FLIR partner for nearly 15 years, and work with system integrators including Viper Imaging to deliver just what you need.

Finally, if you have been looking, you know that IR cameras are in high demand and stock is quite limited. There are however models which have shorter lead times, we can help guide you to the fastest solution.

Let us know how we can help you at this link, or by calling us at 866.225.0182.

Posted on

Soft Foot Measurement – It Really Is Important!

On a recent visit with a power plant the customer asked me to help them align a pump with their new Easy-Laser alignment system. It was a machine they had previously aligned with dial indicators, they thought it was “pretty good”. The initial measurement showed a vertical offset of about 7 mils, so we removed all the shims and measured soft foot. The results seen on the Easy-Laser system were as seen here:

As you can see there was a significant issue. We probed and found gaps under both the indicated feet. The foot showing 32.6 mils showed a parallel gap, the foot showing 22.1 showed an angular gap and required step shimming. Once the soft foot was corrected we continued with the alignment, and achieved excellent results.

In later conversation, I learned that the motors had been too high for the pumps when installed, so the contractor ground down the feet with a wheel grinder! That explains the soft foot issue!

Bottom line, ALWAYS check soft-foot. Not only does uncorrected soft foot make the alignment more difficult, it introduces stresses to the machine that reduce reliability.

Posted on

Major Laser Alignment Player
Brings in I&E Central

video-IE-ludeca-easy-laser-153x97June 15, 2016
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Bob Dunn (585-249-0179)

(ROCHESTER, NY) Ludeca a well-known company in the reliability industry has appointed I&E Central as their solutions provider partner for a territory including NY, New England, and Eastern PA.

“We are proud to have been selected to join this industry-leading team!,” shared I&E President, Bob Dunn. “The Ludeca product offering today centers on Alignment and Ultrasound, coupled with extensive service and training capabilities. I&E brings years of experience with both technologies, and our fanatic focus on knowing our products and supporting our customers.”

Of note with Ludeca is their transition to new technology lines. Alignment tools are manufactured by Easy-Laser. This new product platform brings significant new capabilities, particularly in the area of geometric measurements. Ultrasonic inspection with SDT Ultrasound offers the most extensive tool set for both airborne and mechanical inspection, coupled with powerful software for trending and analysis.

Request to see Ludeca products. “We have demonstration equipment for everything, and look forward to working with both old and new customers going forward”, conveyed Dunn.


I&E Central is a distributor of industrial test equipment, with an emphasis on tools for predictive maintenance (PdM), electrical and reliability professionals. Representing a variety of best-of-market manufacturers, I&E Central offers consultations to understand your application and needs. I&E Central was founded by Bob Dunn in 2001 and is based near Rochester, NY. See

Posted on

Using Motor Electrical Signature Analysis to Assess Pump Performance

A power generating facility was doing a performance study on some of their pumps. We were asked to come in and perform electrical signature analysis on a pump as a part of the assessment. The plant was performing a number of measurements including vibration, pressure, and flow, and wanted to include signature analysis in the test.

Electrical signature analysis is performed by connecting current sensors and voltage leads to the motor, and then capturing high resolution current and voltage waveforms, which can then be analyzed as FFT’s as well as raw waveform data. The resulting data gives insight into the entire motor system, both mechanically and electrically, from the incoming power through the driven load. This technology actually uses the motor as a transducer for the mechanical analysis. Any mechanical phenomena will be modulated onto the current waveform where they can be detected and analyzed.

  1. We used the ALL-TEST Pro Online system for this analysis. Signature data is collected in two segments.  A high resolution low fmax (100 Hz) current acquisition of 50 seconds which primarily shows issues at running speed (misalignment, unbalance), and below the synchronous speed (rotor bar or load related issues)
  2. A high frequency capture and FFT of both voltage and current which shows
    1. Electrical issues including power harmonics, power factor issues, voltage and current versus nameplate and balance)
    2. High frequency mechanical faults (stator mechanical and electrical issues, air gap, and even bearing issues)

The system we were connected to was a vertical pump with a 30’ shaft. Driven by a 350 HP, 480V Motor, the system was set to a flow rate of 5600 GPM for the test. In that the motor terminal box was kept opened for the test, we left the handheld data collector near the motor, and collected the data via Bluetooth from a safe distance away

What we found:

  • The motor was electrically perfect with balanced current and voltage, and 90+ power factor.
  • The motor and pump were mechanically excellent with no indications of misalignment or unbalance, bearing issues, rotor, or stator issues.
  • We did however see a significant fluctuation in the current draw, pulsing at about 10 Hz. We determined that this was due to non-laminar flow, or turbulence in the system.
    See the graphics below.

Electric Signature Analysis of AC Motor - waveform

Above is a raw waveform of the current acquisition over 50 seconds. You can see the variation, in this case between about 306 and 313 amps.

Electric Signature Analysis - AC Motor waveform segment

This is an expanded view showing about 2 seconds of the waveform, the pulsations can be clearly seen.

Electric Signature Analysis - AC Motor Demodulation

This is an FFT of the demodulated current spectrum where the pulsation is shown as a broad peak around 10 HZ. This is a typical indication of turbulent flow.

One of the key benefits of ESA is that it can see mechanical issues in the driven load – even in the case of this vertical pump with the impeller 30’ below. This is in addition to detailed information on the entire system, both electrical and mechanical.

For your critical motor driven assets, this is a powerful monitoring and diagnostic tool, and a great companion to vibration measurement. Contact us if you would like to learn more about Electrical Signature Analysis and how it might fit into your program. In select instances we can also provide this as a service.

Posted on

Case Study: Using the Dent ELITEpro to Measure and Document Energy Savings

This upgrade should save around $7,000 per year…
Written by Bob Dunn, President of I&E Central

See eBook below…
I belong to a church where we recently did a major lighting upgrade.  Old fluorescent and incandescent lights were replaced with LED lighting.  It was a great opportunity to use the Dent ElitePro XC to monitor power consumption before and after the upgrade.  In case you are not familiar with the ElitePro, it is a portable poly-phase power recorder.  Powered by the input voltage connection, it has available current sensors from 5A to 5000A full scale, and enough memory for years of recording.

The Dent ELITEpro as installed, using 3 RoCoil flexible current sensors to measure all three phases.

The church has a 3-phase 240V delta service.  The ElitePro XC was connected at the main service entrance and programmed to record every 15 minutes for exactly 1 week, Midnight Friday to Friday.  Note that its sampling rate is 1/second, so the measured values have revenue grade accuracy.

The initial measurements were taken in late March of this year.  Power consumption was 2981 KWH, the peak demand was 54 KW.

Before lighting upgrade: a view of kW consumption, as measured by the Dent ELITEpro. Note peak demand at 54.
Before lighting upgrade: a view of kW consumption, as measured by the Dent ELITEpro. Note peak demand at 54.

Lighting was upgraded in several stages, the last being completed in late October.  A follow up recording was done for exactly the same time frame during the last week of October.  Power consumption was down to 1588 KW with a peak demand of 21 kW, a reduction of 48%.   Based on the electric rate, this upgrade should save around $7,000 per year.

After lighting upgrade - kW consumption as measured by the Dent ELITEpro. Note reduced overall and peak demand.
After lighting upgrade – kW consumption as measured by the Dent ELITEpro. Note reduced overall and peak demand.

The The Dent ElitePro is an excellent, cost effective tool for measuring and documenting energy consumption.  In addition to what we’ve done here, other common applications include:

  • Energy audits on branch circuits or individual loads.
  • Documenting savings associates with lighting, motor, compressor, or other upgrades
  • Documenting savings associated with compressed air leak audits/repairs
  • Support for energy savings rebate filings
  • Load profiling
  • Sizing studies for backup generators or UPS’s
  • Green energy studies – it can record bi-directionally for solar/wind net metering.

Have questions about the Dent ELITEpro, or want a quote?  Contact us today!

Download the Step-by-Step Metering Project Guide for FREE!

Want easy-to-follow guidelines for your upcoming metering project?

Includes a checklist for each step
of your project!

As an energy manager, you know one of the fastest ways to start saving on building and equipment costs is to perform an energy audit to identify savings opportunities. Unfortunately, that is sometimes easier said than done! Not only do you need to figure out the right metering equipment for your project, the installation itself can by tricky, too.

Our FREE Metering Project eBook includes:

  • What tasks to complete before the site visit to maximize your on-site time
  • How to choose the best communication method for your situation
  • Power meter installation from start to finish.
  • Printable checklists to keep you on-track during the project

Download PDF here…

Posted on

Lathe Spindle to Tailstock Alignment

In the last week, we have had conversations with two prospective customers who are challenged with aligning the tailstock or sub-spindle on a lathe with the primary spindle. They way this is traditionally performed is by securing pieces of stock in both chucks, then machining both to see if they come out identically. If they are off, adjustments are made (usually to the tailstock), and another machining run is performed. The process is time consuming, and when adjustments are being made, there is no indication as to just how much adjustment is needed.

We will be able to help both of these customers with this measurement. With the Easy-Laser system, it is easy to measure the alignment of these two spindles. The measurement takes under a minute, and once completed displays both vertical and horizontal misalignment, both offset and angular. A further benefit is that the needed adjustments are displayed, and can be viewed live as the adjustments are being made. The distance between the two spindles can be up to 60 feet, so even the largest machines can be aligned. Measurement resolution can be as fine as .005 thousandths, more than enough for any machine.

Lathe Spindle to Tailstock Alignment


Posted on

Geometric Measurement of a Horizontal Boring Mill

Geometric Measurement and Documentation of Horizontal Boring Mill

Using the Easy Laser E940 (and related) systems, performing geometric measurement of your mills, lathes, and more is made fast and repeatable.  We recently completed documenting the geometry of a large Horizontal boring mill using the Easy-Laser E940 machine tool system. Documented measurements were required by the customer to satisfy their ISO quality program.

This machine has 4 axis of movement ranging from 19” on the W-axis, to 66” on the x axis.  We measured straightness on all 4 axis, plus the squareness of the column movement (Y axis) to the machine bed. Work was completed in about 2 hours with a break in the middle.

The Easy Laser technology available through I&E Central makes all manner of measurement and alignment easy, fast, repeatable and document-able.  Contact us today to discuss your application and how we can help you.

Posted on

Case Study: Automatic Lathe Alignment with Easy Laser

Lathe Alignment Using the Easy Laser Alignment System

Lathe Alignment is a challenging task, requiring specialized equipment and knowledgeable personnel.  With the Easy Laser Alignment system, Lathe Alignment is made fast, easy and accurate.  Read below for a recent case study on a successful Lathe Alignment.

In June 2015, I&E Central (along with a service partner) performed alignment on an automatic lathe similar to the photo above. The lathe is fed 20’ sections of tube stock which are supported alternately by V-rollers, and then clamped by “steady rests” while being machined. The objective of this alignment was to have the stock in perfect alignment with the rotational center of the collet when supported by either V-rollers or the steady-rests. I addition, there is a pusher system that advances the stock into the collet. The movement of the pusher needed also to be aligned with the rotational center.

This photo shows one of the steady rests in the open position, and one of the V-rollers, also in a retracted position.

Steady Rest of Automatic Lathe - Shown to Demonstrate Laser Alignment of the Lathe

Measurement Procedure:

Spindle Laser shown mounted in Lathe chuck, for purposes of laser alignment and measurement

A laser transmitter was mounted in the spindle with its beam directed through the collet. The laser was aimed to follow the rotational center, then the spindle was turned at 100 RPM for measurement. In this way the beam precisely marked the rotational center along the entire length of the machine.

Easy Laser Detector mounted into steady rest for purposes of laser measurement and alignment

The first measurement was the location of the center or each steady rest. A laser detector was mounted on a 12” x 2” piece of stock, which was locked in each steady rest for measurement. A center of circle straightness measurement was used to determine the position of each steady rest. Once that was complete, each steady rest was measured again, and adjusted live so that the stock was held co-linear with the center of rotation. The measurement and adjustment process was completed in under 3 hours.

Once completed, pk-pk deviation in the vertical plane was 0.0095”, in the horizontal plane it was 0.020”, well within the customer’s desired specifications.

The next step was measuring the straightness of travel of the pusher arm relative to the rotational center of the lathe.  This was accomplished by grasping the same piece of stock with the jaws of the pusher, then measuring its true position at 4 locations along its travel.

Laser Measurement and Alignment of pusher bar for automatic lathe

It was found that the initial path of travel was downward relative to the center-line, so 0.250” of shims were removed from the rear feet of the support structure. After adjustment, pk-pk deviation of the pusher in the vertical plane was 0.064”, and in the horizontal plane was 0.145. Further adjustment was possible, however this was well within the customer expectations.

The final adjustment on this end of the machine involved adjusting the V-rolls to support the tube stock in line with the center of rotation. This adjustment was actually done without the laser. Now that the pusher was aligned with the rotational center of the collet, a full length piece of stock was secured in the collet with the other end supported by the pusher. Each V-roll in turn was activated, and then adjusted with shims so that it supported the stock precisely on the center-line. Once adjustment was complete, the stock could be freely rolled into the collet without touching on any side, and when grabbed with the steady rests, showed no discernible movement (and this is a “violent” hydraulic grab).

Laser Measurement and Alignment of Industrial Lathe

For more info on the Easy Laser Alignment packages and offerings, click here for more info and literature.  Or contact us at 866-225-0182.  We love a challenge!

Posted on

Shim and Alignment Best Practices

There are many manufacturers of alignment shims. Chances are you use whatever shims you started with, and haven’t considered looking for something different. Not all shims and kits are created equal. The below will help you understand if you should be shopping around for a better product.

See alignment systems, accu-sized shims, and in full kits or replacement packs. Contact us at 866-225-0182 with your questions!

1.  You should have a full set including 13 thicknesses ranging from .001 to 0.125 “.  A full set contains 20 of each size, although starter sets may be available with 10 of each size

2.  Shims are available in a number of materials. Type 304 Stainless Steel is the standard, other materials are available for specialized applications

3.  Shims should be marked with the nominal thickness on all shims (i.e. 0.015, 0.050)

4.  Shims .050 and above should also be marked with the actual thickness. The allowable tolerance on shims goes up as they get thicker, a shim with a nominal value of 0.100 could be ± .004!  Having the shims marked with the actual thickness improves the accuracy of your correction, and can save you an extra move or so when aligning

5.  Markings on shims should be etched or stamped, so that they do not rub off

6.  Shims should be easy to get in and out of their box! While this sounds insignificant, different suppliers use different means to secure and separate their shims.  We have used shims at customer facilities that are very hard to remove from the box, and hard to replace when making a change. As a result, shims don’t get returned to their proper place, the shim kit ends up disorganized, and you run out of shims of one or more sizes

7.  Your shim supplier should be able to provide replacement packs of individual shim sizes when you get low on one. Keep them organized, and you’ll know when its time to restock!

Shims come in several standard sizes, A (2 X 2”), B (3 X 3”) C (4 X 4”) and D (5 X 5”). The proper size is based on the bolt diameter. For large and specialized machines, custom shims can be manufactured to order.

A Word on Shim Packs:

When shimming a machine, you should do the correction with 4 or less shims. If there is an existing shim pack under a foot, remove it, add or subtract the correction to the existing thickness, and build a new shim pack. You will sometimes find a machine with feet supported by a “deck of cards” thanks to a history of small realignments (maybe a problem with the base?). Pull them out, and rebuild the pack. A stack of many shims can become “spongy” and makes a less than ideal foundation.

Other Best Practices:

Some mechanics go so far as to measure the thickness of their shim packs with a digital caliper. While this is not strictly necessary, it can make a difference in the number of moves required to complete an alignment. If you have a caliper available, it’s OK to use it!

Sometimes you will encounter a machine that needs excessive correction (say more than ¼”). It may make sense in these cases to fabricate “chocks” to put under all feet, and start the alignment from that point.

In extreme cases, the only solution to appropriately aligning a machine may be to have a new base machined and installed. This is especially true in the case of a flexible, non-rigid or otherwise poorly designed base.

In addition to our excellent Easy Laser Alignment Systems, I&E Central offers accu-sized shims in all sizes, and in full kits or replacement packs. Download our shim data sheet for details and pricing on all of our shim options, or contact us at 866-225-0182 with your questions!

Posted on

White Paper: Evaluating Motor Insulation Systems


The leading cause of electrical failure in motors is deterioration of the insulation system. In an electric motor, the conductors that make up the coils are individually coated with resin or varnish that keeps the current flowing through the winding as intended. There is also insulation which separates the windings from the motor core or frame. Weaknesses or faults in the insulation system will allow current to flow through the insulation, either to adjacent coils/conductors, or to ground. When current flows to adjacent conductors, we have a winding fault. If it flows to the motor frame, we have a ground fault.

Insulation failures can be caused by mechanical (vibrating or moving, overloading), electrical (surges and spikes, over or under voltage), or environmental (heat, dirt, moisture) stresses.

Traditional Measurements

One of the more common tests used to evaluate an insulation system is the polarization index or PI Test. This test is normally performed with a megohm meter, and involves measuring and recording insulation resistance over a period of 10 minutes. By definition, the Polarization index or PI is the measured value at 10 minutes divided by the measured value at 1 minute. The general guideline is that a PI of less than 2 indicates there may be a problem in the insulation system. Challenges involving the PI measurement are:

  1. The PI works by measuring insulation resistance to ground, so gives little insight to insulation within the coils
  2. According to EASA, the test is not applicable to random wound motors – only for taped/sealed coils, generally found in medium and high voltage motors. While often used on 480V machines, it is not a recommended application
  3. It requires a minimum of 10 minutes to perform
  4. Some modern insulations polarize very quickly, showing a low PI, though being perfectly healthy.

An Alternative Measurement Technology

Dissipation Factor, also called loss angle or tan-delta has been used to evaluate the insulation system of power cable, transformers, and generators for years and is now being applied to other systems. Here is how it works in principal: If an insulation system is free of defects, its properties approach those of a perfect capacitor. In a perfect capacitor, the voltage and current are phase-shifted by 90 degrees, and the current flow is all capacitive. In real life, the electrical circuit is a parallel RC circuit, with some capacitive and some resistive current. The ratio of these (Ir /Ic) is the dissipation factor (DF) or tan-δ, often expressed as a percent.

If the insulation system is compromised, the resistance of the insulation decreases, resulting in an increase in resistive current through the insulation, and the DF increases. The higher the DF, the worse the condition of the insulation system.

So what tool would you use to measure DF on a motor?

ALL-TEST Pro has incorporated Dissipation Factor into their latest generation instruments, the ALL-TEST Pro 33 and ALL-TEST Pro 5. The test gives insight into the health of the insulation system (totally separate from insulation to ground), giving the electrician or repair shop new insight into the health of a machine. The measurement has a couple of advantages over the PI test:

  1. It is faster, only requiring a few seconds in many cases; nowhere near the 10 minutes required for a PI test
  2. It does not require a large amount of energy, so the test tool can be compact and lightweight
  3. It gives insight into the entire insulation system, not just insulation to ground.

Of course, if you are going to take the time to test a motor, you want to get as much information as you can. For evaluating total motor electrical health, the ALL-TEST Pro has no equal.

  • We use a combination of AC and DC measurements on all phases to detect virtually every possible electrical fault condition
  • We provide automated diagnostics with good-warn-bad calls for all measurements with a single test sequence
  • With one tool you can test any type, any voltage, and any size motor
  • We can compare and trend to detect small changes indicating a developing fault condition

Give us your challenge! If you have a motor health question or have an interest in improving your motor monitoring program, we can help!

Call 866-225-0182 anytime, or simply email us from our contact page.