Brenton WardSeptember 5, 2018 at 10:55 pm #567
Level 2 Certified Infrared Thermographer… what’s it all about?
Every level 1 Certified Infrared Thermographer should plan to undertake a Certified Level 2 Course as soon as practically possible. Level 1 was fun and opened your eyes to a whole new world you probably didn’t know existed. You couldn’t have imagined there was so much to learn about thermography; the massive range of applications; how infrared cameras work; equipment specifications and limitations; how infrared behaves; industry standards & reporting; the list goes on.
You probably left with a bit of brain overload thinking you learnt pretty much everything there was to know about thermography.
However if you’re serious about thermography and delivering accurate and credible information to your end users, you shouldn’t stop there… you only got half the story!
What more is there to know?
Lots actually. In level 1 we learnt about the influences of Emissivity, Reflectance & Transmittance. We looked at ways to avoid or minimise these error sources, and understood that without being able to calculate and compensate for them, accurate temperature measurement was not possible. As a result in level 1 we were mostly focused on the qualitative aspects (ie shape and intensity) of the thermal patterns and all temperature values were considered “apparent” or uncompensated.
While this is sufficient for most predictive maintenance applications it doesn’t answer all the questions your customer’s will have. Many lucrative applications require accurate temperature measurement. Process measurement applications and quality assurance inspections (of electrical and mechanical systems) commonly require an accurate measurement to determine the state of the system.
A common practice of the Level 2 thermographer is the ability to provide quantitative data. This involves utilising accurate temperature measurement and temperature criteria to grade or assess the severity of exceptions. One benefit of this type of inspection is that it allows the thermographer to take into account the load on the system at the time of the inspection, the equipment type and classification as well as changes in ambient operating conditions. It also allows thermographers to identify problems that aren’t presenting as exceptions.
Additionally, many level 1 thermographers in an attempt to help their end user answer the question “how hot is it?” simply report the apparent temperature which can be grossly misleading. Furthermore trying to tackle these more challenging applications with minimal training often exposes your incompetence to the customer, which can not only be embarrassing but potentially cost you future business.
So what do we actually learn?
Level 2 focuses on being able to accurately measure and compensate for emittance, reflectance and transmittance to obtain accurate non-contact temperature measurement. We spend greater time looking at the science behind infrared energy to thoroughly understand its behaviour and how it will affect our measurement scenario. We then measure it and accurately compensate for it.
The class consists of 4 hands on workshops totalling almost 8 hours of practical learning. Each day we introduce an additional error source to our workshop and use our thermal imagers to measure and compensate for the error. We utilise a wide array of both contact and non-contact measurement devices to determine the most reliable means for measurement and/or obtain reference temperatures.
With these newly learnt skills we then explore how to apply quantitative analysis and report writing in accordance with industry standards. Much of the courses focuses on this transition from simple qualitative reports to detailed quantitative analysis. All the while, meeting industry standards and presenting data in a reliable and credible manner. For electrical and mechanical thermographers this offers a giant leap forward in be able to predict the effect that load has on a temperature severity.
Give yourself the edge
In this current market place obtaining a competitive advantage can be near impossible. While many companies spend tens of thousands on marketing, fancy vehicles and tools, and altering their appearance to “look the part”, few recognise that spending just a couple of thousand on education can significantly boost your appeal to potential customers when it counts.
The point at which it counts… is when your potential customers are assessing service providers. Who do you think they would be more likely to choose or consider when appraising vendors? It is likely that they would pay more attention to a Level 2 over a level 1, and a level 3 even more so.
Why? Because more than anything customers want value. Customers who value quality information to make informed decisions about their most important assets will only trust experienced and qualified personnel. The cost of a thermal survey represents only a tiny fraction of what the potential loss or downside would be to an unplanned outage or catastrophic failure. Why risk it to inexperienced or underqualified personnel. A level 2 or level 3 is likely to deliver much greater value through superior knowledge, advice, experience and general proficiency on the job.
Book your Level 2 now!!
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