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What Is The Cost Of A Borescope?

Asking what a borescope costs is like asking that proverbial question – how long is a piece of string?

The fact is that there is no single (or right) response to the question about the price of a borescope because the answer depends on many different factors.  These devices range from as little as $100 to upwards of $60 000 and come in an extensive range of sizes and capabilities to meet differing needs.

So instead of working backwards from the cost of the device, a much better decision-making process would be to start by answering questions about why the borescope is needed and where it will operate.  What functionality is required?  How often would it be used?  Is it the most appropriate, practical and cost-effective inspection solution?  Once the parameters have been established, only then is it possible to narrow down the options and determine a price range.

Why there’s no single answer to the ‘what a borescope costs?’

The term ‘borescope’ encompasses many different tools, all used for non-destructive inspection of areas that are not otherwise visible or which cannot be accessed easily or without damaging the area under test.

All forms of borescopes have an eyepiece or monitor on the one end for viewing the images (usually magnified), a light source and an optical system on the other end which may comprise of a lens system, fibre optic system or video camera.  They are manufactured in many different forms including standard rigid borescopes, semi-rigid scopes and fibrescopes through to highly advanced video borescopes and are used across a wide spectrum of industries.

One organisation may only require a borescope for straight-line inspections (such as inspecting a borehole) whilst another may need greater functionality such as high-definition real-time video for inspecting airplane turbines for example – which highlights the reality that a borescope isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution and buying decisions have to be made carefully.

Why are there cost variances?

When choosing a borescope, the following factors need to be considered:

  • Articulation
  • Portability
  • Image capture requirements (still images or video)
  • Magnification
  • Diameter
  • Length
  • Direction and field-of-view
  • Illumination
  • Power source

Although major strides have been made towards increasing the capabilities of the devices without increasing the costs (for example, complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) have enabled more affordable video borescope systems, but their image resolution is not yet in line with that of a borescope with a CCD camera), the fact remains that the cost of borescopes increase as additional features are included.

Tempting as it may be to buy a lower-priced product unless the device is able to meet inspection requirements, it will be a decision that will end up costing more over the long-term.

It’s not about the cost of a borescope, but rather about the savings

Those in the know say that the question is not so much about what a borescope costs, but rather how much it can save an organisation.

Without borescopes for critical internal inspections of machinery and components etc, organisations would have to physically disassemble parts of the plant.  This would lead to significant costs in terms of labour, downtime and lost productivity.

A borescope enables organisations to undertake regular preventative maintenance on equipment to lessen the likelihood of failure, to prevent unexpected breakdowns and unplanned downtime.  Maintenance professionals can use the device to collect detailed and accurate information about the internal condition of the equipment, order any replacement parts if problems are detected and then schedule equipment shutdown at a time that suits the organisation.

The savings that a comprehensive preventative maintenance programme delivers far outweigh the cost of the inspection equipment and a quality borescope will deliver value and ROI beyond expectation.

GE Mentor iQ Borescope for Remote Visual Inspection

The Mentor Visual iQ is one of the most advanced video borescopes on the market. Thanks to its state-of-the-art 3D Phase Measurement and analysis, the Mentor Visual IQ VideoProbe detects visual indications such as corrosion, blockages and cracking quickly and precisely.

Borescopes also facilitate regulatory compliance

The high-resolution photographic evidence produced by a borescope can also be a key factor in ensuring that equipment complies with quality or regulatory standards.  This physical proof can help avoid unnecessary costs associated with non-compliance.

With no clear answer to the question of ’how much a borescope costs’ and clear reasons why it could be costly NOT to invest in a borescope, where do you go from here?

Nexxis can work out a practical and cost-effective solution to meet your inspection needs.  With many years of experience working in different areas of industry across Australia, we understand the financial and operational advantages of having a flexible, customised plan when it comes to technical equipment and we have a wide range of high-quality borescopes in their inventory.  Contact us today.

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