Infrared Training Center

Monday, December 12, 2011

Industry Outlook: Re-Envisioning The MRO Model

Andy Teich Written by Andy Teich, President, Commercial Systems Division, FLIR

Despite high unemployment numbers, our industrial base is dealing with a substantial shortage of skilled technicians. In particular, the skills gap has made it difficult to fill an increasing number of MRO roles, including non-destructive testing.

Many factors are at play, not the least of which is a rolling exodus of well-trained baby boomers heading for retirement. Expect skilled technician shortages in the millions, just in the U.S. Several strategies can address this dilemma.

First: training, training, training. It needs to be a key strategy for companies—one that’s protected and defended, even in adverse times. Training improves productivity, quality and job satisfaction. Continuing education keeps skill levels matched to advancing technology and cuts turnover and downtime. Job training and apprenticeship tax credits for companies offering training will go a long way in sustaining this priority.

Fresh thinking about MRO training will drive real progress on this front. Companies can increase access to training by de-emphasizing four-year degree requirements and increasing the role of tiered training certifications and two-year programs...

Read the entire article

Friday, December 9, 2011

Stainless steel reflecting sky temp

This is extracted from a recent message board post:

"I'm curious as to how to adjust for stainless steel reflecting sky temp. The apparent reflected temp of the ground and surroundings is approx 50F. The bottom half of the drum is reflecting this (SP4). The top half is reflecting the sky (SP5). 

In my software, if I set the emissivity to 1, the sky temp in the picture shows -34F.
SP4 and SP5 *should* be the same temp, within a few degrees, based on the operation of the equipment. If I enter 50F as RAT for SP4, I have to enter -95F as RAT for SP5 to get the two temperatures to match.

Why is it -95F and not -34F for SP5? I want to make sure I'm understanding and looking at the image correctly. "

855088676_IR_0341-RevClick image to enlarge


Monday, November 7, 2011

Using Cavities to Solve Emissivity Problems, Here's the Drill

by Bernie Lyon

itc logo (2)Here are two illustrations that I have created to demonstrate how the cavity effect works.

Referring to Figure 1, the “ideal” block has an emissivity of 0.2 and a reflectivity of 0.8  We are assuming that these values are constant and do not change with angle. This is not the case. If thermal radiation strikes a single surface, 20% of the radiation is absorbed and 80% is reflected. (Keep in mind 20% of the radiation – Not the temperature!) If it strikes another surface before exiting, 20% of what remains is absorbed and 80% of that is reflected, and so on.

Therefore, with multiple reflections caused  by cavities, the effective emissivity, or emittance, increases, while the effective reflectivity decreases. This is the reason why holes and cavities appear dark.  They reflect less visible light.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Call for Papers - 7th International Infrared Conference InfraR&D

itc logo (2) Thermography in R&D, Industry and Automation

April 25th and 26th, 2012, at the Hannover Fair.

image After the great success of the Infrared Conference InfraR&D the last few years, ITC is pleased to announce its popular international event for thermographers working in Research & Development, Industry and Automation in April 2012.

With presenters from six countries, the recent 2011 conference was attended by delegates from more than 12 countries.

InfraR&D is a true user conference built upon the commitment of the presenters and the interest of the delegates. The conference is a professional meeting place for scientists, engineers and users of advanced infrared measurement equipment. InfraR&D covers IR physics and applications in a wide variety of fields, from veterinary surveys, optical gas imaging to advanced NDT solutions and all in between.

You are welcome to submit a contribution of a:

  • long paper – duration of the presentation about 40 minutes
  • short paper - duration of the presentation about 20 minutes
  • poster
  • demonstration or
  • reflection and background paper – highlight trends and technologies with future importance for the field of thermography and IR measurements.

The conference language is English. Please submit title and abstract to one of the E-mail addresses below before November 1st 2011.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Online Thermography Training Courses

ITC has made the following courses available to IR camera users.
WEB-TH10 Thermography Basics This course is a primer or first course in thermography and serves as an excellent, and recommended, addition to the infrared camera basics operation courses. Thermography involves more than just learning how to use an infrared camera. IR science, heat transfer, thermal tuning, and application knowledge are all essential subjects. 2 ITC Certification Renewal, 2 RCI Continuing Educational Hours (CEHs). This course is FREE.
WEB-TH20 Introduction to Indoor Electrical Surveys using IR Thermography This introductory course is designed to give you a straight forward explanation of how Infrared technology fits in the indoor electrical inspection industry. This course is a replay of a webinar session hosted by an Infrared Training Center instructor and webinar director. This course earns 1 ITC Certification Renewal Credit.
WEB-TH25 Introduction to Outdoor Electrical Surveys using IR Thermography
This introductory course is designed to give you a straight forward explanation of how Infrared technology fits in the outdoor electrical inspection industry. This course is a replay of a webinar session hosted by an Infrared Training Center instructor and webinar director. This course earns 1 ITC Certification Renewal Credit.
WEB-TH30 Introduction to Residential Energy Audits using IR Thermography This introductory course is designed to give you a straight forward explanation of how Infrared technology fits into the residential energy auditing industry. This course earns 1 ITC Certification Renewal Credit. UPDATED February 18, 2011.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lens Choice for Looking Through IR Windows

by Gary Orlove

More and more organizations are installing IR windows or sight glasses in their electrical equipment so inspections can be made with an infrared camera.

The advantages are obvious: worker safety is improved as thermographers and electricians don't have to open live electrical cabinets, and inspection times can be reduced.

However, what lens choice is the best to use with your infrared camera to provide adequate resolution, and yet see as much of the electrical equipment as possible?

Here are three images that were taken at a power plant looking at an ISO phase buss. The buss is only about a foot away and is taken looking through an infrared window (crystal type).

25 Deg ISO 45 Deg ISO 90 Deg ISO
Images courtesy - John Fricot, FLIR Systems

As you can plainly see, the 90° lens is clearly the way to go.  It provides enough detail for analysis, yet extends your field of view by a huge amount.

Outstanding STS-134 Ascent Imagery Highlights video link

This video makes me proud I was able to contribute to the shuttle thermal imaging program; and makes me sad that it is ending.

It has an outstanding collection of visible and infrared imagery; superbly edited with a great score - just about the best combination of the Science of Imagery Analysis and the Art of “Film” Editing.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WEB-IR40 E Series Basics Course

Description eseries%202[1] This course covers basic operation for all new (2011) FLIR E Series cameras. This includes the E30, E40, E50, E60, and E30 bx, E40 bx, E50 bx, and E60 bx models. There is NO CHARGE for this FREE course.
We will discuss the controls of the camera as well as the user interface, and show you how to operate your camera.
Who should take this course: This course is intended for users of FLIR E Series infrared cameras.
Prerequisites: No prior knowledge of thermography is required.
Availability: This course is an on-demand self paced web based training course available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can begin as soon as you enroll.
Click here to go the course registration page.
This course teaches you how to use the features of the E Series cameras, but doesn't teach you thermography; when to use the features, how to make measurements, and how to interpret the thermal patterns on the screen.
We highly recommend you take a thermography course after finishing this basics course. We offer the On-Demand Thermography Basics class here, or Level I, or Residential Energy Auditing available at .

Monday, April 4, 2011

It is Not Always about Loose Contacts

by Ahmed Osman Mohamed Hamoudy
Electrical PM & PdM Engineer
Cemex, Egypt

In modern industries, there are many predictive maintenance techniques that can be utilized to avoid an unexpected failure. At CEMEX,  we count on those techniques and deploy them in such a way as to get the most use from it, and avoid any undesirable consequences. IR thermography's use has become widespread in cement plants; application areas typically include rotating kilns, insulation, mechanical, and electrical systems.

This article will explore the uses of IR thermography, specifically as part of the Motor Control Center systems predictive maintenance routine, including typical electrical panel failure points (contactor, terminations, feeding breaker, fuses, cables, etc...).

Figure 1. Rotary Kiln

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

FLIR i3/i5/i7 Thermal Tuning

By Bernie Lyon
Some infrared cameras do not have the ability to manually adjust the Level and Span, which is the equivalent of brightness and contrast. This can often be accomplished with image processing software after the image has been captured and saved. However, anomalies can go undetected in the field if the level and span are not adjusted well. If no problem is detected in the field, the image will probably not be saved for further analysis.

The FLIR i3, i5, and i7 cameras can be set to “Auto” or “Lock.” In the Auto mode the camera will continuously adjust the level and span. The adjustments depend upon the apparent temperatures in the scene. If there is something very cold in the image, such as the clear sky, the camera will increase the span by decreasing the low end of the temperature span. If there is something very hot, the camera will increase the span by increasing the high end of the temperature span. Whenever the span is increased the contrast is decreased. The span adjustment should be based on your target of interest, or a specific part of your target of interest, not necessarily the entire scene.

Many thermographers using the i series cameras are trying to detect relatively small temperature differences due to lack of insulation, air infiltration, or moisture. If there is a hot or cold object in the scene, the auto mode often sets the span too high and the contrast is too low for easy detection of the anomalies they are seeking. There is a way to use the features on these cameras to get the best possible results.
Consider this image, captured with a FLIR i7:
This is an exterior wall taken inside a building when the outside temperature was about 19°F. A hot cup of water was placed in the scene to simulate a hot transformer or baseboard heating system. Notice that the “Auto” adjust set the temperature span from 52°F to 132°F. This is a span of 92°F. If the “Lock” mode was selected at this time, it would simply lock the temperature scale at this setting. Since we are interested in thermal patterns on the wall, we certainly do not need the high end of the scale at 132°F.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New book on IR imaging: the ultimate resource for all users

clip_image002The new up to date book “Infrared thermal imaging – fundamentals, research and applications” by Michael Vollmer and Klaus-Peter Möllmann from the University of Applied Sciences in Brandenburg / Germany gives a straightforward introduction to thermography.

The hard cover book is in full color with about 600 pages and more than 600 images. It may either serve as textbook for beginners or as handbook for expert practitioners such that it may become an ultimate resource for every user of thermography.

Due to the modular structure, readers can start studying whatever they like, be it the theoretical background of cameras, detectors, thermal radiation and heat transfer or be it for example applications for building science, detection of gases and the study of micro systems. A multitude of other applications is also included such as electrical and miscellaneous industrial applications (metal, car, aircraft), medical and veterinary studies, the use in sports and arts as well as surveillance and fascinating investigations in nature.

published in the US : October 2010, available from Wiley for 170.- US $ (or 204.- CD $)


or to be ordered from any bookstore like Amazon etc

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Windshield Glass Reflections - How to Remove Them

by Bernie Lyon, Gary Orlove, and Jason Gagnon
"I do a lot of windshield defrost testing at different temps. And I wonder is there any way that can keep from having the camera and myself reflected back into the images."
Glass is about 15% reflective in the 8-12 micrometer waveband. If you are directly facing the windshield, you will inevitably get a reflection of yourself and the camera. I'm sure you have seen this.
One option is to change the angle at which you are observing the windshield, see the image below. If you are at point A, you and the camera will be reflected. If you are at point B, the camera will reflect whatever is above the vehicle, represented by C.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cost Avoidance/Energy Savings for IR Thermography

"Has anyone documented Cost Avoidance Or Potential energy savings using Thermography. Ex. Downtime, Labor, Materials. I would be interested in understanding how you determined final cost or energy savings."
This is the $64,000 question, how to justify the cost and benefits of an IR program. The methods used vary depending on your situation, what downtime costs in your facility, overtime and rush ordering to get new parts, lost production cost, your energy cost, etc.
I have selected several white papers that illustrate how different organizations have calculated their costs. Use them as examples of what can be done, and how they are presented.   Right click each image to download the white papers in pdf format.