Infrared technology used to find missing Tiger

Infrared Inspection Systems (IRIS), a division of Alexander Forbes, assisted to track down Panjo through the use of innovative thermal imaging scanners

July 29, 2010

Infrared Inspection Systems (IRIS), a division of Alexander Forbes, assisted to track down Panjo through the use of innovative thermal imaging scanners.

“Upon realising that there was a tiger treading through the bushes of Mpumalanga and possibly putting the communities’ lives in danger we volunteered to use our infrared technology to find Panjo,” says Werner Lezar, Business Development Manager, Infrared Inspection Services at Alexander Forbes.

It took the Infrared Inspection team only 15 minutes to spot the tiger after being put on the trail by a dog who picked up the scent. “The technology we used is equipped with the latest military and security applications which enabled us to quickly spot the movements of the tiger.”

Panjo the tiger disappeared on Tuesday, 11 July and he belongs to Justin ‘Goosey’ Fernandes who was desperate to find him.

“We are thrilled to have successfully used this technology to help Goosey and the Mpumalanga community,” says Werner, who could not contain his joy. “There is no better way of giving back”.

The use of infrared thermal technology is becoming very important when it comes to lowering the cost of insurance, since this technology is able to identify a breakdown in complex or invisible systems before they happen.

It allows thermal images to be taken of almost any operational, mechanical, scientific or organic system – showing areas of stress in colours corresponding to specific temperature ranges.

“Knowing what the optimal temperature ranges should be for different parts of various systems enables us to identify areas experiencing abnormal levels of stress before they break, burn, blow up or die, disrupting production lines, leaking, going off or killing animals or humans – costing millions of rands in the process,” says Lezar.

Historically “we only knew when there was a problem when furnaces started melting their casings, aircraft engines caught fire. By then it was too late as everything needed to be replaced at considerable cost,” says Lezar.

Infrared thermography can detect breast cancer three years before a mammogram can.

“The technology can also identify foot and mouth disease in animals and other conditions in humans such as bird and swine flu,” Lezar continues.

Infrared thermography can prevent millions in damage by enabling accurate predictive maintenance on:

•    Power stations and substations
•    Electricity suppliers
•    Mines
•    Mechanical plants
•    Factories and workshops
•    Scientific and laboratory equipment
•    Ships
•    Aeroplanes
•    Railway tracks
•    Dams, canals and pipes

“There are so many unique possibilities with this technology – we’re very pleased to have been of assistance in bringing Panjo home safely to his owners,” concludes Lezar.