Looking through the camera, most elevator technicians will be reassured that elevator components appear much as they do to our naked eye, but with altered coloring. As long as the equipment is running, the heat patterns will tend to highlight the familiar shape of various pieces of elevator equipment.Many equipment malfunctions exhibit a heat build up before final failure. In plant maintenance, thermal imaging is used to look at missioncritical components year-over-year or even day-to-day in order to spot temperature rises before they lead to equipment failure. This includes electrical components, bearings and belts.

A machine room with three geared elevators. The bright spot indicates the brake on one of three gear machines, A closer observation revealed the brake was dragging and had an elevated temperature of 150F.
After replacing a VVVF drive, the contractor noticed a high temperature inside the room. The survey revealed that the heat source was at the input/machine-input bearing. It was later determined that the machine had been disassembled for transportation and the factory alignment had been lost.
A quick thermal image revealed that the corroded connection had essentially become a resistor in the circuit