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VPFR data sheet - .PDF file.

Combined Technical Solutions (CTS) is using thermal-imaging windows from IRISS to reduce inspection costs and make maintenance smarter, without health and safety risks.

CTS carries out all aspects of work related to built environments including both reactive and planned preventative maintenance.

‘Caution: keep this door closed’ is a sign most maintenance engineers will encounter on electrical switchgear cabinets. This warning alerts them to the serious prospect of arc flash that has the potential to cause serious and even fatal burns. As a result there are two options.

The first option is to shut down the electrical system so that a team of electricians can remove the panel and inspect the components. The drawback is that this solution only allows faulty components, such as terminals, to be identified. As the system is not under load there is no possibility of assessing, for example, the heat rise in a bus bar.

The second option is to leave the system under load; have the team of electricians suit up in full PPE and then remove the panel and inspect the components. While this option obviously allows the electricians to better assess what may be wrong, it also exposes them to extremely hazardous conditions that could cause an arc flash explosion resulting in severe or even fatal injuries.

It was for this type of regime that CTS had been engaged by a client in central London. Electrical inspection was undertaken during annual shut down and although the systems continued to work well as a result of its diligence, CTS recognised the potential pitfalls.

Preventative maintenance using thermal imaging and IRISS polymer infrared windows provides data collection points that keep the thermographer safe while allowing him or her to inspect the fully energised system, obtaining both quantitative and qualitative information. This is the plan that CTS proposed to its client.

The choice of IRISS’s polymer IR windows was based on suitability for the job, and cost.

Click on the link above to download the data sheet for VPFR windows from IRISS.

Key benefits of application

  • IRISS windows have an unconditional lifetime warranty against breakage. They are reinforced by an aluminium honeycomb grill and is resistant to moisture, humidity, vibration and high-frequency noise.
  • IRISS windows are cheaper than crystal alternatives.
  • IRISS can configure its polymer IR windows to any shape or size.
  • The business case that CTS presented to its client — for installing 12 IRISS VPFR windows on switchgear cabinets — was compelling. The client would achieve the best of both worlds: substantially reduced risk of system failure and lower maintenance costs. As a result, 12 windows were installed, a process that was completed by IRISS over a weekend.
  • CTS director Kim Harris said: ‘By installing IRISS windows we can now carry out inspection while the systems are live but in a safe and guarded condition. As the process is not intrusive, it presents minimal risk to business operations and the health and safety of employees.’
  • He added: ‘And as we can now inspect these electrical systems during normal working hours, instead of during an electrical maintenance shutdown, the cost to the client has also been reduced. The payback, in monetary sense, has been almost immediate. In addition, the new regime will allow us to inspect systems that were considered too risky as their incident energy calculations exceeded PPE ratings.’


IRISS is the manufacturer of the world’s first and only industrial-grade infrared windows. Their design is based on the 17 years of field experience that the company’s founder, Martin Robinson, gained as a Level III thermographer. And it is this end-user perspective that makes IRISS unique in the industry.

IRISS designs and manufacturers IR (Infrared) windows and safety solutions for electrical assets and provides training for electrical engineers.

IRISS provides its customers with unsurpassed quality at every touch point and focusses on continuously improving infrared (IR) window technology, building reliable products, exceeding customer expectations, whilst remaining a science-based R&D company and protecting their polymer IR windows through the IRISS Unconditional Lifetime Warranty.

IRISS industrial-grade IR windows facilitate safer, more efficient inspections of energized electrical equipment when compared to traditional crystal windows. IRISS award-winning, IR window designs feature a durable transparent polymer lens that allows visual, UV, and short/mid/longwave IR spectrum inspections. And…is available in custom shapes, sizes, and colours to fit the needs of any application.

As solution providers, the team at IRISS brings a multitude of experience from world-class maintenance programs together to meet the individual needs of commercial, industrial, marine, power generation and government maintenance programs.

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