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.
Borescope Cameras for Engine and Machine Inspection
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.
Borescope in Aircraft Inspection
Visual inspection is one of the main ways to quickly detect and determine obvious faults, problematic spots, leakages and etc. The main thing that makes profound inspections so challenging is that modern equipment, vehicles and constructions are often so complex and consist of so many parts that not all of them are within easy reach and it is impossible to examine them in a non-destructive way.
Safety of the aircrafts is the top-priority issue and the inspection of the aircrafts does not stand approximate conclusions and assumptions. Borescopes are those devices with the help of which the detailed and very accurate check may be carried out without the need to disassemble certain parts of the aircraft. Due to the optical system of the borescope the professional can see the spot under control in detail without being next to it. This is not the only advantage of the application of borescopes in the aircraft inspection; it also helps to significantly save the time and also carry out inspections on a regular basis before any problems occur, which is a good preventive measure. For the aircraft inspection the rigid endoscopes or borescopes are often applied, these technical devices are robust, and can be operated in a wide temperature range. Quality maintenance inspection is not possible without checking all the parts of the mechanism and it always follows the task of detecting those spots that may cause trouble, even when there is still no obvious sign for that and the operating process runs well. With the help of the borescope it is possible to detect the elements that are very close to their wear-out, to the end of their service life. Due to the variety of borescopes and also probes that may be attached to the device, there are no unreachable or difficult-to-see places in the aircraft and for the engineer it is an easy-to-perform task that takes a short time. Reduction of the standstill time for the aircrafts is also very advantageous, since it helps to make better planning and more efficient organization of the working time.
Service companies which include borescopes in the range of their equipment are able to offer the customers the best quality service possible when it goes bout airplanes inspections or repair. Precise detection of the problematic places and correspondingly quick replacement of them is one the most desirable services the customer want to get. This provides compliance with the quality and safety standards, which is a pledge of sustainable good reputation.
Borescope in Military and Police
Modern borescopes have reached such a high level of technical development that they turned into auxiliary tools in many life spheres, including military and police. Sometimes borescope is a part of a real video system that allows performing complicated tasks connected with observation, inspection, search for numerous objects and scrutinizing. Due to the flexibility of the device, and very small size of the camera, which in spite of the size, is capable of creating clear images with high resolution, the borescopes are applied even for hidden inspections which are absolutely unnoticeable for the human eye. The authorized representatives of the law enforcement agencies are able to carry out scrupulous examinations of the hidden parts in the rooms, vehicles, constructions. Borescopes can be applied for investigations and perform the function of the hidden camera, since they may be inserted into the tiniest holes in the ceiling, floor, wall, door. Sometimes they may be perform even strategic purpose, since with their help the representatives of the police or military departments can obtain valuable information and pictures/videos, which may significantly help the investigators. As a result, many criminal plans and activities can be prevented, timely stopped, the law enforcement agents can infiltrate the criminal groups etc. Application of the borescopes is an obvious help, since it is a considerable help to the detectives and brings the process of searching and analysis of the environment to a much higher level. It is not even as much facilitation as the improvement of the working process. With the help of the borescope, it is even possible to find the hidden equipment from the opponents’ side; thus, they are performing a protective function as well. Modern borescopes can be applied for the profound control of the military equipment and machines, since the defects unseen to the human eye, can be seen on the screen, to which the data from the borescope can be easily transferred for a detailed processing and analysis.
Quite a valuable piece of equipment it turns to be at the customs. For particular checks and control of the luggage, loads and vehicles, borescopes are applied by the customs officers.
Borescopes applied by the police and military organizations significantly improve the performance, since they provide more information, more details and simply attract attention to the things that could remain unnoticed. They help to find what is hidden, to detect the slightest deviations from the norm, inspect, and of course, to provide more safety for the people engaged in these complicated and often dangerous spheres.
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.