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Investing in any maintenance or inspection tool for power plants is a big purchasing decision. With a high-quality video borescope, you’ll find that the value and ROI far exceed any doubt that comes with a buying decision. That is why RF System Lab’s borescope experts want to provide you with a better idea of the specific types of power plant maintenance and how investing in a video borescope can make those maintenance procedures stress-free.

Power plants must operate under reduced operation and maintenance budgets while maintaining high reliability and availability. Early detection of equipment faults such as turbine blades, gearboxes, nozzles, and diaphragms degraded by erosion, corrosion, or foreign object damage can reduce costs and downtime while maximizing availability and operating efficiency. Portable, hand-held video borescopes can handle the rigors of just about any environment and are a useful and cost-effective information source for equipment fault detection and diagnosis. This diagnosis process, better known as preventative maintenance, can help you meet plant availability goals while reducing costs.

Preventative maintenance analyzes, detects and predicts likely maintenance requirements of equipment prior to the cost, inconvenience, and stress of an unplanned outage. As part of a preventative maintenance program, video borescopes can help you preserve and enhance equipment performance and reliability by preventing failure of equipment before it occurs. With features such as image and video capability, video borescopes like RF System Lab’s VJ-Advance document important internal details and assist in preventing potential damage.

Another type of maintenance benefited by the use of a borescope is predictive or condition-based maintenance. Predictive maintenance saves time and money by identifying and fixing problems before they occur, when conditions warrant. Borescopes allow you to detect signs of machine degradation before there is damage to rotating equipment and help you determine what corrective maintenance may be required before an equipment failure occurs. With video borescopes like the VJ-Advance, it’s easy to obtain a visual record of the condition of your critical internal components. Monitoring and recording conditions over an extended period allows maintenance professionals to quickly notice differences and identify corrosion or deterioration.

Corrective maintenance is best-defined as taking action to fix an issue that has occurred. Emergencies happen, no matter what measures you take to prevent them. The key is to be prepared, which is easy with a video borescope. When there is a noticeable deterioration in machine condition, remote visual inspection of turbines, compressors, gearboxes, generators, boiler lubes, lubrication, or fuel lines is an essential diagnostic tool in troubleshooting equipment faults. Including a borescope as part of troubleshooting and diagnostics strategy can help you meet plant availability goals and reduce downtime and outages.

Some power generation maintenance professionals may point out that much of their internal inspection related corrective maintenance is outsourced, so justifying the cost of a video borescope is not always easy. However, purchasing a high-quality video borescope to utilize during planned preventative maintenance, confidently ensuring that your plant is exceeding industry regulation and even day-to-day troubleshooting, is a smart long-term investment. Frankly, you want your components to last as long as possible and perform efficiently. A video borescope can make sure that they do that.

Having a video borescope onsite to perform preventative and predictive maintenance saves hours of tear down, troubleshooting, outages and can even help to avoid performing corrective maintenance, easily allowing you to see wear or damage to equipment and stay ahead of the game. Corrective maintenance may mean that your machines are down for days, or even weeks while special parts are ordered, or third parties come in when available. An investment in a borescope will help keep you ahead of the damage game and ahead of repairs, allowing you to preorder parts and drastically decrease downtime.

This is just a glimpse into the numerous ways video borescopes are a crucial addition to power plant maintenance plans and procedures. For a more detailed explanation on using video borescopes for your specific application, contact one of RF System Lab’s borescope experts at (888) 747-6526.

A while back we introduced you to RF System Lab’s newest Sales Consultant, the Detroit Tigers Lovin’ J. St John. This time around, we want to offer you a chance to get to know the rest of RF System Lab’s sales team. Therefore, we chatted with Jess Kuznicki, Edward Thomas, and Casey O’Tool so that you could have a better idea of whom exactly makes up our team of video borescope experts.

Question 1 (Q1): What has been your favorite part about working at RF System Lab?

Jess Kuznicki (JK): Being able to provide our customers with unparalleled value. Our product provides both high-quality imaging and control at a fraction of the cost of the competition, and I can consult our customers with confidence when helping them decide which of our scopes will best suit their application needs. Also, the comradery and sense of family you get working with a small group of people. Not to mention, the level of talent coming from each person in each department helps evolve my skills every day.

Edward Thomas (ET): Learning more about the technical side of all the various industries that we work with (Aviation, Oil & Gas, Power Gen, Manufacturing).

Casey O’Tool (CO): The relationships I have established and built with esteemed colleagues and valued customers.

Q2: Favorite place to eat in Northern Michigan?

JK: The Lighthouse in my hometown Rogers City, MI. Not much to look at, but the best pizza on Earth. And it’s connected to a bowling alley. What more could you ask for?

ET: Georgina’s Authentic Asian & Latin Taqueria, hands down.

CO: Apache Trout Grill or Brutus Camp Deli… both are excellent choices.

 

Q3: What is your favorite VJ-Advance video borescope feature?

JK: The support that comes along with it. You won’t find a more dedicated group ready to help a customer at the drop of a hat.

ET: The pistol grip design and seamless 360-degree articulation.

CO: Designed use of AA batteries giving our customers a long-term reliable power source that is not restricted to carry on airplanes like most lithium ion battery packs.

 

Q4: Do you have any hobbies?

JK: Watching and playing sports (football, basketball, baseball). Playing, singing, and listening to music. I enjoy exploring Northern Michigan with my family.

ET: Playing pranks on co-workers (well, at least it’s about to be a new hobby…)

CO: Motorcycling, snowmobiling, boating, golfing, and skiing.

 

Q5: Where are you most excited about visiting / where do you hope to visit in your trade show travels?

JK: I have been quite a few places already on the trade show circuit. My favorite so far has been New Orleans. I’m a sucker for good food, and they have plenty of it. I’m excited to get a chance to visit San Francisco for the first time this fall for the A4A Forum.

ET: Montreal for the RSI/CMA Canadian Railway Summit. I visited earlier this year for a show and had a great time – I cannot wait to be back.

CO: My most exciting trip to date was my trip to the Big Apple…that’s right, New York City. I’d enjoy going back there, but I would also like to make it to San Diego or San Francisco for a tradeshow soon.

 

So there you have it – a little bit of insight into ¾ of the RF System Lab Sales Team. Make sure to read up on our fourth sales consultant, J. St. John, if you haven’t already.

You can contact any of our sales consultants and find out more about the VJ-Advance articulating video borescope (or maybe to find a good place to eat in Northern Michigan) by calling (888) 747-6526.

Video borescopes are used in a multitude of industries including oil and gas, aviation, power generation and manufacturing. One unique use for video borescopes, specifically the VJ-Advance articulating video borescope by RF System Lab, is inspecting mummies; better known as “paleoimaging” or “anthropological endoscopy.” Dr. Ron Beckett, along with colleague Jerry Conologue, coined the phrase and technique and has been pioneering it using flexible borescopes for over twenty years. RF System Lab is proud to announce that their VJ-Advance video borescope is being used by Dr. Beckett on current and upcoming paleoimaging research and wanted to provide a more detailed look into the subject.

“We’ve been using it since the 1990s. Work was done when flexible fiber scopes came out in the ‘70s, but it was a medical model. The ‘90s brought about the archeological uses – we actually have a few books on the subject, one specifically titled ‘Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts.’ There are several chapters on just the application of endoscopy on cultural anthropology and archaeology – artifacts and human remains,” stated Dr. Beckett.

Paleoimaging book cover

The cover of Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts

‘Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts’ is an excellent resource for anyone interested in gaining an in-depth look into how videoscopes are revolutionizing mummy-related field work. The following is a short excerpt from the book that provides an overview of the uses of endoscopy in mummy research: “Endoscopy can complement the radiograph, providing an image with shape, contour, color, and location of what was only a shadow on the x-ray. Additionally, the endoscope can be used to guide instruments for retrieval of tissues or artifacts from within a closed environment, such as a body cavity, coffin, or tomb. The instrumentation is portable and well suited for field imaging studies.” (Beckett, Ron in Paleoimaging: Field Applications for Cultural Remains and Artifacts)

One of the main reasons that Dr. Beckett currently utilizes the VJ-Advance video borescope is because of its battery-operated, lightweight portability, which is crucial when performing field work in a limited work space such as a tomb or crypt. He also values features such as the ability to document findings with hi-resolution photographs and video, which aids in image collection of archaeological and paleopathological data. When asked about the video borescope, Dr. Beckett remarked: “The instrument just never stops working – I’ve been using it over a long period of time and it doesn’t stop. It’s a real workhorse.”

In regards to the field of anthropological endoscopy, Dr. Beckett is noticing an influx of researchers utilizing video borescopes in their field work. Dr. Beckett is continually spreading awareness about his methods in hope that the trend continues. When asked how awareness is spreading, Dr. Beckett replied: “One way is workshops at major conferences – for instance, a global conference on mummy studies. Also, we have really, really appreciated more and more endoscopy coming through the literature. The more we can get out there, the more people will adopt it into their scientific work. It’s important to have a very versatile tool to conduct field work, which is a standard we’ve tried to establish. In their reporting, they say what kind of scope they use, what lens they use, and all the features that would allow me to replicate our research exactly. We are seeing more and more of that and are really happy about it.”

RF System Lab is thankful that Dr. Beckett has chosen to utilize the VJ-Advance video borescope for his current and future anthropological endoscopy efforts and is looking forward to what the future holds for video borescope usage in mummy studies. Whether you are completing field work for mummy studies or inspecting a turbine engine, you can learn more about RF System Lab and their no-cost, no-obligation demo program by calling a video borescope expert at (888) 747-6526 or by visiting the RF System Lab website.