In the previous five issues, we discussed insulation resistance (IR) testing. However, there is more than one kind of IR.

This abbreviation also stands for infrared radiation, which forms the basis for infrared thermography. The word “thermography” is similar to the word “photography,” except we substitute thermo (meaning heat) for photo (meaning light). Thermography is basically a matter of working with pictures of heat.

In the early 1990s, thermography was expensive and cumbersome. Although moving the carts of equipment required for a single scan didn't take a village, it did take a crew. Few facilities could afford thermography for maintenance.

Today, there are light, handheld thermographic cameras. Technological advances have reduced prices and lowered the training requirements for effective use. Nevertheless, just adding infrared scans to your PM schedule doesn't provide you with an effective thermography program.

The deeper your understanding of how to correctly take and interpret those "heat pictures," the more effective your thermography work becomes. Learn more in the next issue of MRO Insider.