Stuart Collins, Senior Thermal Imaging Engineer

Stuart CollinsThermal Imaging Engineer, Stuart Collins, uses this high-tech equipment to monitor and assess buildings, machinery and installations - saving companies time and money and preventing heat-related disasters. His cuppa: English Breakfast, milk and one sugar.

When starting out as an apprentice fitter and turner in the paper industry, this Sittingbourne lad was introduced to vibration monitoring and thermal imaging. He continued to use this technology for the next 19 years working as an engineer for the private sector. Stuart eventually joined an engineering company as an Area Manager with a team of 10 carrying out thermal imaging surveys across a wide range of industries.

When thermal imaging equipment became available at a good price, Stuart’s entrepreneurial desires kicked into full force, making the dream of owning his own company a reality. Now armed with Fluke’s Ti20 Thermal Imager, Stuart’s Vibration Monitoring Services Ltd was launched in 2005. “It’s been a long haul and quite tough, I must admit,” said Stuart. “But I’m doing it myself.” Stuart is also sure to credit his wife, who looks after the office administration and accounts area of Vibration Monitoring Services. 

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Cutting down electrical service time, the thermal imager allows Stuart to detect problems and defects (such as loose or corroded connections and overloaded cables) before faults occur. Using infrared energy, a thermal image is taken and is displayed on a temperature scale. Stuart then flags the item of concern and electricians are called in to focus solely on the faults.

Stuart has a roster of companies that have him inspect their premises and installations monthly. “There are large cost savings from using thermal imagery and finding problems before the loss of production and downtime,” said Stuart. “People can then save their equipment and installations before it causes them grief.”

Stuart uses his thermal imaging engineering skills over a wide range of applications. Along with cable and wiring faults, he can look for heat loss in building structures and check underfloor heating for leaks. Stuart even used his equipment to sort out a rabbit infestation problem during an electrical thermal imaging survey at a water pumping station. “The neighbours were complaining because of an increase in rabbits,” said Stuart. “And when I switched on the thermal imager I saw a good 30 of them.”

And if running Vibration Monitoring Services wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Stuart is also a trained locksmith and runs another business, Collins’ Locksmiths.

When Stuart finds a chance to break free from business, he likes “tinkering” with cars. “I like taking things apart and putting them back together,” said Stuart. He has also just recently welcomed two new additions to the Collins household - Lillie and Daisy, adorable six-month-old King Charles Spaniels.

me available at a good price, Stuart