Infrared Training Center

Monday, October 17, 2016

InfraMation 2016 – a World Class Training Event

Nearly 450 attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and staff congregated at the Rio Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada for InfraMation 2016 in late September.

Attendees listen to a speaker in the General Session Auditorium
The event included 54 presenters, 23 clinic short courses, and 31 paper presentations on a wide variety of thermal imaging applications ranging from bats (the flying kind) to bridges to buildings.There was a lot of buzz and interest in the new field of unmanned aerial vehicles. Jan Gasparic from DJI gave one of the keynote presentations and it was very well received. Bill Schwann, an ITC instructor, managed a clinic on IR UAV applications that was standing room only and very popular. In addition, there were several exhibitors demonstrating this technology.

Corbett Lundsford gave Keynote and clinic presentations on Build Performance Testing and how Proof of Performance is Possible; while Casey Anderson, our wildlife expert, was also back and gave another amazing Keynote presentation on mountain lion behavior at night.

Corbett Lundsford answers questions during his Keynote presentation
The conference had a good mix of first time attendees and returning delegates from previous conferences, providing a dynamic mix of experienced and new thermographers exchanging ideas, information, and experiences.

With over 87% of attendees rating the conference Very Good or Excellent, I think this quote from one of the ITC staff sums up the conference experience:

"The last day in Las Vegas, a gentleman came up to me almost in tears. He said he had never been so impressed with a conference in all his life. He said the speeches, classes and workshops were great. He gained lots of knowledge and had all of his questions answered with lots of “Ah Ha” moments. He especially liked the lineup of speakers."
Joe DeMonte captivates the audience at the Mechanical Applications Clinic

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

PUT YOUR MASK ON BEFORE HELPING OTHERS…

By Ronald D. Lucier, ASNT NDT Level III/TIR
Infrared Training Center
Nashua, NH  03063

Yes, another “Ron travel story!”

Those of us who travel react differently to the Flight Attendant Safety Instructions.  Some ignore them, some sleep through, the rare person actually pays attention and the multi-million miler has heard it thousands of times.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t listen still and take it seriously.  Many years ago I actually had a flight abort a takeoff and ended up going down the emergency chute!

On 8/30/2016 I was flying Delta 1480 from Hartford, CT to Detroit, MI.  The flight had 80 empty seats, strange.  When I arrived at the gate and saw this I wondered what did other people know that I didn’t…

I had been upgraded to First Class five days earlier and chose seat 2D to get a snooze as the flight was to depart at 540 am.  The graph to the right (www.flightware.com) shows we took off about 545 am, right on time.  The pilot brought us to 36,000 feet about 15 minutes later.  I was dozing off when my ears started popping, seriously popping.  This was sometime around 615 am.  I had to keep swallowing.  The plane was level so that meant one thing – depressurization!  Sure enough the Oxygen masks dropped down!

Well, even after 3 Million miles I must admit my heart raced a bit but I remembered the instructions on how to put my mask on.  My seat mate did too.  The other 10 First Class passengers did not!  Maybe they think hypoxia is a joke.  Maybe they can’t spell hypoxia?  If we were going to be a lawn dart I sure wanted to see it end!

Anyway, the pilot headed to lower altitudes (24,000 feet) pretty quickly while we were told it was a problem with the A/C Unit (maybe a valve?).  You can see the descent rate and final altitude below.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Why Covers are Removed for IR Surveys

By Lawrence H. Ulmer, IV
FXB Engineering


The attached images are from survey at a typical multi-tenant office building.  No visible signs of a problem on this panel with cover on and door open.  This is why we remove covers during IR surveys.


(3) identical 70A breakers feeding RTU’s
Breaker at top looked normal for no load. Slight heat differential between the two phases but nothing significant.

Breaker in middle was showing heat rise on conductors typical of load, but no measurable load on meter.  This is a result from heat building up in the breaker.

Breaker on bottom had even load on conductors, but (1) conductor significantly hotter than the other.  Either a termination issue or the breaker is failing internally (or both).

E.C. touched conductor while getting load, arcing started to appear behind middle breaker.
You can see where the arcing was occurring on the other images where the breaker bolted to bus.   Looks like a bright copper weld spot surrounding by carbon deposits.

We left the room, called the property manager to get approval to de-energize the circuit and remove the breakers.   They lost the operation of (1) HVAC unit and can now schedule repair.

This was old federal pacific equipment that has been poorly maintained.   If left unaddressed they would have lost at a minimum the entire panel if the breaker feeding it operated properly.  Most likely increased physical damage to other breakers in the panel and a fault condition that could have tripped a breaker upstream somewhere dropping more load.     This panel also just so happened to be sitting directly above the desk of the facility maintenance personnel, less than 3’ from where his head would be while sitting at the desk.  Code violation but common occurrence in old buildings.




This incident being detected early just saved the management company thousands of dollars (possibly >$10k)  and potentially prevented personal injury (+$50k easy in insurance deductible).

Editor: Lawrence earns 6 ITC certification renewal credits for his story.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Traveling? Bring Extra Towels (and an Infrared Camera Too)

Ron Lucier, ASNT NDT Level III – TIR
Sr. Instructor – ITC

Time to call Housekeeping and ask for more towels.
For much of the year ITC instructors are on the road running certification classes at a variety of locations, including a number of onsite courses that are less expensive and more convenient for customers.  We look forward to these trips as there are many fun and interesting places to go and teach.  The hotels where we stay for these types of classes, however, can sometimes deliver unexpected surprises as happened to me recently at an onsite course in central Pennsylvania.

When I made my reservation it was with a major chain and within a mile of the customer site – perfect!  No traffic jams to deal with and a shopping center with restaurants a mile away.  It was expensive, but this is summer and with a major amusement park 20 miles away, and in the middle of Penn Dutch country, well, best to grin and bear it!

I drove from Central Massachusetts arriving just before a huge thunderstorm.  I wasn’t in my first floor room for more than 5 minutes when the rain suddenly hit, hard!  It was during this torrential downpour that I began to hear something rather odd – water dripping.  Looking around the room the source of the noise was the window and it wasn’t simply dripping – it was pouring in right near the air conditioner!  I shut the unit off because I know electricity and water probably shouldn’t mix.  I immediately called the Front Desk and was told Maintenance would be around soon.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Online FLIR MR160 and MR176 Operation Course Released



This course will acquaint users with the FLIR MR160 and MR176 Infrared Guided Moisture Meters with basic operation and use.

  • Learn how to operate the  FLIR MR160 and MR175
  • Identify areas of possible moisture intrusion
  • Use the moisture meter to quantify the extent of intrusion
  • Gain basic understanding of how environment measurements aid actions
Course Home Page

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Buildings Lab Coming to ITC's Boston-Regional Training Center

Matt Schwoegler, ITC

About a month ago I received a call from our Marketing department asking if we’d be interested in taking on a table-top trade show display that they were no longer using and were willing to donate.  I immediately said yes (free stuff = good…potentially valuable free stuff = better).  Sure, absolutely, please send it over!

Although I didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do with it at the time, there’s some real estate available to work with in the classroom.  My initial thought was we could create some type of educational display/exhibit.  I figured worst case we simply dispose of it and call it a day.  Low risk, right?  And how big could it possibly be?  I’ve worked with many “table top” displays over the years at trade shows.  They pack nicely, are relatively small, and fairly easy to ship.

Not this one.

What arrived was practically the size of a small car, made of solid wood, weighed several hundred pounds and was essentially indestructible.  I’d later find out, with great difficulty during some demolition, that it was held together with hundreds of professional-grade construction staples and what seemed like a vat of industrial strength glue.  Bottom line, if a tornado was ever going to hit the building, this is where you’d want to go.

Long story short, we decided to keep the display contained within, but what to do with our new makeshift fallout shelter that was suddenly gracing the classroom with its warehouse aesthetics?  That’s where my colleague, and fellow ITC instructor, Ron Lucier comes in to the story.  He had just wrapped up a class when this shipping container came rolling down the hallway from Receiving.

His suggestion: “How about a buildings lab?”

Yes! It was the perfect size and we had plenty of space.  All that we needed was some customizing.  So off I went to Lowe’s for supplies and the rest came together over about a day and half at my home workshop.  A nice change from teaching and a chance to create something that thermographers visiting our Boston-regional training center will enjoy for some time.

So for now phase one is complete.  Up next, adding insulation and a heat source.  At the very least looks like we might get to test it next week during a Level I certification course that’s in town.   I’ll let you know how it goes and will be sure to send an update.  And if we find anything wrong, hey at least I personally know the builder.

Check out more images below...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

InfraMation 2016 Keynote Presentation: Corbett Lunsford

The Infrared Training Center is pleased to announce that Corbett Lunsford will be leading a keynote presentation on Wednesday, September 28 at InfraMation 2016 in Las Vegas.

Corbett is the co-host of the 2016 TV show ‘Home Diagnosis’ and Proof Is Possible US Tour and the author of the book ‘Home Performance Diagnostics’. He founded the Building Performance Workshop in 2008 to help homeowners prove they got what they paid for, and to help building pros prove they do better work than the competition. 

He can be heard interviewing the cream of the construction industry on the Building Performance Podcast at http://BuildingPerformancePodcast.com and seen demonstrating that Proof Is Possible with home performance testing in over a hundred YouTube videos on his channel http://youtube.com/c/homeperformance

InfraMation 2016, the leading IR training experience, will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Rio All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino September 27-29, 2016, with a pre-conference training day on September 26. Join other thermal imaging experts from around the world to learn the latest infrared imaging techniques and applications while making valuable connections.  Learn more and register online at www.inframation.org

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Why Would I Need a Mid-Wave Infrared Camera?


We are often asked this question in our infrared certification classes.  There are a number of important reasons...to detect certain gasses including methane, to better measure the temperature of glass (it has a high emissivity, >.90 in MWIR) and to minimize reflections when inspecting certain low-slope roof membranes.

It also allows us to successfully inspect inside a furnace because mid-wave cameras can see clearly through flame at specific mid-IR wavelengths, something that a long-wave imaging system does not provide due to the radiation transmission properties of fire.  This capability improves the accuracy of temperature readings and allows for better analysis of thermal patterns when evaluating the efficiency of burners, capturing the temperatures of tubes or detecting the build-up of coking.

Check out this short video clip from last year's InfraMation conference which nicely demonstrates the transmission differences between long-wave and mid-wave cameras when inspecting furnace tubes:


The presenter, Andy Whitcher, is actually returning to this year's conference in Las Vegas to speak about Optical Gas Imaging this time around.  More on that in another post.  For now, enjoy this video and then make plans to join us at the Rio Las Vegas in September for InfraMation2016; the industry’s largest thermal imaging applications and networking conference.  I hope to see you there! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

InfraMation Abstract Submission Date extended to March 1, 2016

Interested parties still have the opportunity to be considered for a presentation at the premier learning event for infrared thermographers. See the Call for Papers web page for all the details and significant discounts on the conference. http://www.inframation.org/papers/

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Inspecting Solar Panels with UAVs


New video to show you featuring a FLIR thermal imager mounted on a UAV inspecting solar panels for damage.

This application of infrared thermography has come a long way and now, with a new aerial perspective, is an extremely efficient tool for maintenance and quality assurance inspections of solar systems. In contrast to time consuming traditional methods, large solar installations can now be inspected quickly from the right distance and view point.

Even with these advancements in the technology, however, a thermal imager still does not have the ability to detect problems on its own – you still need a qualified operator with the right knowledge and skills to use it properly.

That’s where ITC can help with training and certification! Check out our website for a complete list of course locations and dates now available through September 2016.