The condition of glass furnace refractories is vitally important to safety and process efficiency , especially towards the end of the life of the tank . Deterioration of the refractories can increase fuel costs , and may cause glass break-outs or refractory failure .
Monitoring the exterior of the melt tank with a thermal imager can provide an indication of any hot areas which may indicate refractory damage . It also gives an early warning of potential glass break-outs .
Continuous thermal imaging can also be used for accurate interior monitoring , establishing temperature trends throughout the furnace . It also detects cooler spots which may indicate refractory damage .
Detection of damage to the tank allows early maintenance and extends the tank ’ s lifespan . Around 70 % of container glass production costs come from energy , so preventing cracks and lost heat produces significant savings . Early detection of glass break-outs enhances plant safety .