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Finding the right borescope for your application
Call PCE Instruments' technical support hotline for assistance with finding the right industrial borescope inspection camera to meet your needs. Our technical support specialists will ask you specific questions about your application or your project, and then recommend a suitable borescope camera product for your inspection task. Below you also will find some tips that you should take into consideration when selecting or buying a borescope.
Criteria for selecting a unit
- Diameter and length of the cable
- Rigid or flexible cable
- Memory / storage for photos and videos
- Service and support
Diameter and length of the cable
One of the key points to consider when choosing an industrial borescope camera is the cable. Borescope cables are available in many different lengths and diameters. Think about the cable diameter and length requirements needed for your application. In most instances, the diameter is determined by the existing openings of machine components, pipes, vents, etc. With the cable length, it is important not to choose a cable that is too short. If your diameter and length needs vary depending on your application, you may want to purchase an engine borescope / an industrial borescope camera that accommodates multiple cable diameters and lengths. The advantages of such a borescope camera are the one-time purchase price and low follow-up costs for retrofitting, such as purchasing cables with smaller diameters or longer lengths.
Rigid or flexible cable
PCE Instruments offers rigid and flexible industrial borescope cables. Among flexible cables, you can find 2- and 4-way articulating systems. This articulation allows the borescope camera head to be moved in different directions and angles up to 360 °. In flexible borescope cables, images are transferred to the handheld device via a glass fiber bundle or, as it is in the newer digital borescopes, via the camera in the cable. Flexible borescope camera cables are available in many different diameters and lengths, allowing for a variety of practical usages. In addition, most digital borescopes with flexible cables have memories for storing photos and videos.
A rigid engine borescope typically offers very small diameters to allow the inspection of very components and spaces. Industrial borescopes are usually analog, meaning they don't afford users the opportunity to record and process images and videos without the use of a special adapter (sold separately).
Memory / storage for photos and videos
In many cases, it is necessary to record and store images or video sequences of a visual inspection. Before buying an industrial borescope camera, consider whether or not you require this functionality. Nowadays, many digital industrial borescopes feature a removable SD card memory. A removable SD card makes it easy to download photos and videos to a PC or laptop. With some of the industrial borescope camera models, additional analytical software can be purchased. This software provides measurement capabilities for documenting the progress of cracks or fractures. The documentation can be saved or sent via email.
Service and support
PCE Instruments differs from other manufacturers by providing real customer service and support. We try to find the best engine borescope, industrial borescope camera for our customers and maintain mutually beneficial and long-lasting business relationships. Give us a call at +44 (0) 2380 987 035 for PCE Instruments UK or +1 (561) 320-9162 for PCE Americas Inc. to experience our customer service and technical support firsthand.
With the help of an industrial borescope camera, the surfaces of components and cavities are visually inspected. But how to understand, whether there is a defective change on the inspected surfaces or not? There are three possible ways to do this:
1. The user of the industrial borescope camera is also an expert for the surfaces to be inspected. Plant manufacturers, who know their machines very well, often also offer the service of a visual inspection of their machinery and equipment. When purchasing a machine, the customer can also sign a maintenance contract, which includes the temporary inspection by means of an industrial borescope camera.
2. The user of the industrial borescope camera is not an expert for the surfaces to be inspected. In this case, during the commissioning of the equipment, it is important to try to take as many images of critical (possibly critical in future) surfaces and components as possible, in order to compare these images with the further ones, taken during the subsequent operation of the machine. This procedure is, of course, appropriate only when a new machine is installed. Since this is often not the case, the images or videos made with the industrial borescope camera must be stored and sent to an expert for analysis.
3. Modern technology also helps a lot to give the best answer to the above-mentioned question. The picture and video data, provided by the industrial borescope camera, can be transmitted by means of Wi-Fi, GPS, or via connection of the borescope camera to the operational data systems or to a PLS present in many plants, in real time. The pictures and videos can then be analyzed by the experts very quickly and the operator of the industrial borescope camera can directly get some valuable advice concerning the further procedure. This is a so-called "remote" version. This approach allows the company to use the less qualified personnel for the actual work on site on the respective machine, since the analysis is done by an expert team locally.
Of course, an industrial borescope camera can also be permanently installed so that even a critical, hidden location could be continuously monitored. For this, just one more remote connection is required and then the personnel on site is no longer necessary.
In general, the analysis of the images and videos, taken by means of a borescope camera, is at the end of the process. The most important point to consider is the creation of clear and meaningful images. This is why, it is recommended to observe the following points, when selecting a borescope camera:
- Resolution of the industrial borescope camera
- Video function
- Size of the memory
Depending on the task to be performed by the user, there may be lower or higher borescope requirements.
An industrial borescope is an optical device consisting of a tube (rigid or flexible) with an eyepiece on one end and the lens on the other end, connected by the optical system. A borescope camera has a very high image quality and is affordable at a good price. It consists of the visual and lighting systems. The visual system is usually a gradient, rod or lens optics, which is enclosed in the inner metal tube. The lighting system consists of an optical fiber for illuminating the inside of the area. The optical fiber is located between outer and inner metal tubes. The image of the illuminated object is transmitted through the optical system so the viewer’s eye could see it.
A borescope can be equipped with a video camera to transmit the images on a display or computer. They are characterized by four main parameters: the diameter of the operating part, the length of the operating part, the angle of the observation direction and the angle of view. You should take into consideration that increasing of the field of view leads to reducing detalization. It means that you can see a lot but in small sizes or a little but in big sizes and in detail. The main advantage of an engine borescope or industrial borescope camera is a high resolution of up to 25 lines per millimeter.
The borescope is designed to control the work where the inspection area is not easy to reach. They are usually used for visual inspection of aircraft engines, industrial gas turbines, steam turbines, internal combustion engines and the engines of cars and trucks during maintenance and performance evaluation. A borescope camera is common in forensic examinations in law enforcement, in the building inspection to check the ceilings and walls of the buildings, in the weapon industry for the inspection of the fire weapon barrel and so on.
Borescopes can be flexible, rigid or video borescopes. A flexible industrial borescope is used to inspect bended tubes and cavities. They transmit images of areas inaccessible to the naked eye. The main features of these devices are convenience, focus, the eyepiece, a bright illumination, which allows you to clearly view dark places. Video borescope differs from the previous type of borescopes by having a miniature camera at the end of the flexible tube. They also have an illumination for capturing images or videos in dark places. Camera and flexible tube in many models can be immersed in the water. Their main features are high quality, clear digital images and videos.
With the help of this instrument you can get and save images and videos for further transmission in a computer. A rigid engine borescope is used to inspect areas or cavities in a straight line. That is why their usage is limited. There are certain objects and places where it is better to use rigid borescopes, for example, cylinders, fuel injectors and so on. They are affordable at a lower cost and provide high quality images. The status check with the help of an industrial borescope can significantly save maintenance costs. In many cases it allows to understand whether it is necessary to disassemble the turbine for further diagnostics.
For PCE Instruments, customer support, after a purchase of an industrial borescope, is a part of the order. In average, within 10 working days, PCE brings a borescope into a working condition again. The warranty for this repair is 1 year. Wear parts, such as hoses, manual controls, are not covered by the warranty. On request, in case of damage, we can also lend you an industrial borescope from our demonstration pool for a small fee, so that you can overcome the repair time and carry on your inspection work without interruption.
What should you do as a customer, if your device has a defect?
- Send the device with a short error description (download form here) to the respective domestic office of PCE Instruments. Our workshop will register the repair case immediately upon arrival (in case of warranty, the endoscope will be repaired free of charge and sent back to you / if the repair happens beyond the warranty period or technically is not covered by the warranty, we will send you a free and not binding costs estimate within 2 working days)
- Then, only let us know whether you accept the costs estimate and want to have a repair carried out or not.