What kind of ROI can you expect from a thermal imager?

The return on investment (ROI) you can expect from adding an infrared camera (also known as a thermal imager) to your inspection tool bag depends on many variables. First and foremost it depends on whether you are an industrial plant manager or a contractor/consultant. Here are some of the major ways that an infrared imager can contribute to ROI in each case.

Industrial Plant Manager

Industrial plants can potentially see a substantial ROI from using an infrared camera for inspection and troubleshooting, based on:

  • Saved downtime. Inspections can be done while the equipment is running so you don’t lose production time.
  • Increased productivity. The non-contact nature of infrared inspection allows technicians to scan a large area relatively quickly, from a safer distance away. That means technicians can inspect more equipment faster.
  • Improved production efficiency. Processes are optimized because subtle problems are found and addressed before they have a major impact on production.
  • Reduced capital expenses. Finding and repairing problems at an early stage can extend the average life expectancy of equipment, thus extending replacement intervals.


For home inspectors, energy auditors, restoration contractors, building and roof inspectors, HVAC contractors and other consultants, ROI is based on how much more money can be earned with a thermal imager. Here are some of the factors that can improve the bottom line:

  • Increased productivity. Quickly scan an area to find air leaks, insulation gaps, moisture, and overheated electrical components to efficiently complete more work in less time.
  • Easier sales. Show potential customers exactly what the problem is right on the camera, eliminating guesswork and making it easier for them to see what repairs or refurbishing needs to be done.
  • More word of mouth referrals. When a problem is resolved, you can send customers a scan of the same inspection area so they can compare the before and after results. This helps produce more satisfied customers and more word of mouth referrals.

Many factors contribute to the ROI for individual applications. To get a quick estimate on your particular situation, use the Fluke Thermal Imaging ROI calculator.

To read about how some real life companies and contractors realized an impressive ROI with Fluke infrared cameras check out some customer testimonials.

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