Ever wonder why magicians never reveal their secrets? It’s because magic, like most things, is easy once you know the trick. When describing thermography in lay terms, it is easy to over emphasize simplicity and forget the source of the true magic behind thermography – the thermographer.
An infrared inspection system consists of infrared imaging equipment, a thermographer, and the knowledge that he/she possesses. Of these three things, the greatest limiting factor in an infrared inspection system is the thermographer.
In order to be an effective thermographer, one must be trained in the following:
Theory and construction of the object or system being inspected
Infrared theory and heat transfer principles
Use and operation of infrared imaging equipment
Non-contact temperature measurement error sources and how to avoid or correct for them
In addition to the above, qualified thermographers must also be experienced with inspecting the subject system. When all things are considered, effective thermographers need considerable training and field experience. Making thermography look simple is a true testament to the skills of a professional thermographer.
The next time you hear the dismissive claim that thermography is easy, remember, it is only easy after someone has invested considerable time and effort to learn the art and science of the trade. In a magic show, the magic comes from the magician, not the wand. In thermography, the magic comes from the thermographer.
IR/INFO 2016 Conference – A Magical Time in Orlando
Infraspection Institute’s IR/INFO conference was recently held in Orlando, FL. IR/INFO 2016 marks the 27th anniversary for the advanced training conference, technical symposium, and technology expo.
IR/INFO was attended by infrared thermographers, PdM technologists, and building inspection professionals from around the world who enjoyed four days of networking, learning, and fun in a relaxed and professional atmosphere.
We thank our exhibitors, our speakers, and all who attended and helped to make this year’s conference one of our best ever.
“Watch Your Step”. Sage advice that we’ve heard a million times; however, falls continue to be one of the most common workplace accidents. Following a few simple steps can help thermographers to prevent most falls.
Each year falls in the workplace account for over one million injuries and several hundred fatalities. Even a simple slip can cause serious injuries. Many falls can be prevented by following some basic rules:
Identify all potential tripping and fall hazards before work starts
Look for fall hazards such as unprotected floor openings/edges, shafts, skylights, stairwells, and roof openings/edges
Use appropriate fall protection equipment; inspect equipment for defects prior to each use
Never use boxes or chairs in place of an appropriate ladder or stepstool
Secure and stabilize ladders before climbing them; never stand on top rung or step of a ladder
Use handrails when going up/down stairs
Practice good housekeeping – keep floors dry and free of clutter such as cords, hoses, and cables
Keep walkways free of snow and ice
Lastly, be sure to use sturdy footwear appropriate to the task. Work boots and shoes should be laced and tied to prevent tripping and to afford proper support. When it comes to fall protection, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Qualitative thermography is an invaluable tool for detecting thermal patterns that often precede failures within operating electrical and mechanical systems. Once an exception has been thermographically detected, temperature measurement can be used to help evaluate the condition of the affected component. Temperature measurement can also be used to evaluate components that appear to be operating normally.
While most infrared instrumentation is relatively easy to operate, accurate temperature measurement depends upon proper selection and use of the instrument as well as instrument calibration. Part of Infraspection Institute’s distance learning program, SuccessIRies™ 104 is intended for anyone wishing to understand how to properly apply temperature limits to operating electrical and mechanical equipment.
Course is designed for beginners and experienced thermographers, electricians, mechanics, and facility managers. Course is 38 minutes long and may be accessed 24/7 from a standard web browser or a smart device.