Nothing better describes QHi Group’s value proposition as this popular saying, often reiterated in the business world. In every step of their three-decade-long journey, QHi has risen up to each curveball thrown by a client to deliver nothing but the best in thermal condition monitoring. Initially, a distributor of handheld, infrared thermal equipment for electrical inspection, the leadership at QHi took note when a client remarked, “If only the infrared (IR) sensor could be fitted inside mission-critical electrical equipment to directly m onitor the connections.”
At that point, the inclusion of IR sensors inside an electrical enclosure was a non-starter as it required power to the IR sensor at a level that could swamp the electrical signal. This required sensors to be recalibrated every few years, and was non-economical as it meant that the electrical equipment had to be de-energized to enable this. But given QHi’s blue-sky thinking, the company worked with Exergen Corp (one of the world’s top manufacturers of infrared sensors), to develop the Exertherm infrared sensor, the first-of-its-kind, patented continuous thermal monitoring system. Exertherm utilized non-powered IR sensors which were not in contact with conductors, and could be installed into an electrical enclosure on a permanent basis to detect hotspot issues and avoid major failures. “Having taken that step our objective was for OEMs and blue-chip organizations world over to take notice of what we had to offer,” states Ross Kennedy, founder and CEO of QHi Group.
"Exertherm comes with certified lifetime warranty and zero maintenance or replacement needs"
Proactive Thermal Condition Monitoring
They say that ingenuity cannot hide and the same was observed in QHi’s case. As a result of their unique technology and client-centric approach, today Exertherm is stirring a global demand in the market, where all the major OEMs such as Schneider, ABB, Siemens, and Eaton, have deployed the solution in their product portfolio. Further impressive is the fact that Chevron, the energy giant is using Exertherm to monitor their $43 billion project in Kazakhstan, currently the largest oil and gas project in the world. The trust and confidence that renowned OEMs invest in QHi is a direct indicator of the fully proven high-quality solutions that the company offers.
To give a closer view, Exertherm is a next-gen system, comprising low cost, non-contact IR sensors that are installed within electrical equipment to monitor the thermal condition of critical electrical joints, 24x7.
At the core, we never stop listening to our customers
What’s more is that the data gathered by the sensors in Exertherm is the viable answer to every organization’s growing information needs. In the wake of IIoT and the unmatched benefits of big data, it is believed that a 10 percent increase in data accessibility will result in $65 million additional net income for organizations. “We are a key component in this new found global revolution as our sensors automate the data collection process, improving the chances of authentic insights,” explains Kennedy. As such, organizations across all major industries that don’t specify the need for inbuilt condition monitoring sensors are building in obsolescence and making a strategic investment mistake. “It’s important to understand that a relatively small amount of extra investment in the capital budget, can significantly reduce a company’s Opex spend in the long run.” Recent research indicated that condition monitoring can add 30 percent to bottom line contribution.
But choosing the right sensor technology is a critical decision and currently, no other thermal monitoring solution compares to the reliability that QHi brings. Exertherm comes with certified lifetime warranty and zero maintenance or replacement needs, throughout the lifecycle of electrical equipment anywhere between 25-40 years. “We are also adding to the safety quotient as our solution reduces the need for humans to enter an electrical enclosure or risk the possibility of leaving tools inside,” says Kennedy
Excellence in Client Service
A client’s end goal always becomes QHi’s reality. Relative to that when the facilities manager from a prominent global financial services company came to QHi in search of a solution that could detect compromised joints for circuits operating at low loads the company set about developing a solution for what they recognized was a global problem. The outcome was LoadMap, a patented software that identifies issues during periods of low loads. For maximum protection, LoadMap also dynamically adjusts the alarm threshold to suit the load on the circuit to enable faster detection of compromised joints.
In another instance, a common complaint from most customers was the inability to predict critical Motor Control Centers (MCC) failures. In response, Kennedy and his team devised the Exertherm MCC in-drawer thermal monitoring that is suitable for new build or retrofit. The solution is vendor neutral, takes few minutes to install, and fits within the drawer/bucket in an MCC that is globally recognized as a major source of power outages.
QHi also exceeded expectation when the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company implemented 1500 Exertherm infrared sensors and monitoring systems at their gas plant ‘Habshan,’ which has around 600 medium voltage, circuit breakers. The system proved to be extremely effective and successfully detected high-temperature zones in numerous connections. This allowed the oil company to take advanced corrective measures while increasing safety. The solution also eliminated the need for routine examination and reduced the cost of maintenance significantly.
Placing the needs of customers over everything, QHi also offers both onsite and online training for a smooth transition after installation. “Very often clients want a pilot project and we are happy to offer that as well. We have a maxim within the business which is treat to others as you would like to be treated and at the core is our ability to always listen to our customers,” reaffirms Kennedy.
The Next Face of Thermal Monitoring
Never falling short when it comes to innovation and client centricity, QHi is all geared to introduce a transformer monitoring solution. The company is ready to fulfill and lead the market when it comes to meeting the rising demand for condition monitoring sensors in a world dominated by IIoT. Apart from electrical equipment, the company is also looking at implementing sensors in mechanical equipment ranging from pumps, motors, compressors to gearboxes. Moreover, with a footprint in the Americas, Asia, the Far & Middle East, QHi has further global expansion plans in the pipeline.
There is no contending that the future holds immeasurable possibilities for this distinctive thermal monitoring solutions provider and Kennedy finishes on a compelling note when he says, “People have asked me, how can a relatively small, privately-held family-owned company have achieved the number one market position. To me, it’s pretty simple. We have an exceptional product but more than that, we have absolutely exceptional people. That’s the secret.”