1.How long has the company been in business? How many infrared inspections have they performed?
- Look for companies that are stable and have experience using infrared in a variety of applications. This demonstrates that the technicians can work at an efficient pace and can differentiate between real problems and normal operating conditions.
2. How many certified technicians are on staff? How many cameras does the company own?
- Look for a company that has sufficient staff and equipment to work on your schedule. You don’t want to have your plans disrupted should there be a camera problem. A full staff is particularly important when considering weather-related scheduling. You will want your infrared inspection company to be able to “jump” as soon as the correct weather condition appears. Also, you will find it very helpful if your infrared inspection company has a fully staffed office where your scheduling and billing questions will always be answered promptly.
3. What cameras are being used to perform the inspection?
- Look for high resolution. The latest models have 640 x 480 focal plane arrays. The importance of resolution is that it ensures enough detail to be able to pinpoint the exact location of the hottest component, which in most instances indicates the origin of the problem.
- Look for a fully radiometric imager, with a temperature measurement accuracy of +/-2% of range, or 2 degrees C. This will ensure precise temperature measurement. Be sure your service provider has their equipment recalibrated annually and certified by the manufacturer.
- Look for full digital storage capability for the infrared images. This allows the images to be archived should the need arise to get future temperature measurements out of an object in the image.
- Look for your inspectors to utilize small and lightweight systems. The advantage to you is that the technician will be able to move quickly and freely throughout your facility, with no limit to where he can inspect your equipment.
4. What information are you receiving after the inspection is complete?
- Look for an inventory of all your equipment. This way you know what equipment was or was not tested during this inspection, as opposed to just receiving documentation on equipment where problems were found.
- Look for follow-up documentation of past problems. Were they all repaired and re-inspected? What remains outstanding? Perhaps a repair was made but the equipment was not under load at the time of the inspection and therefore could not be tested and closed out. Is this information clear in the reports you receive?
- Look for graphic representation of the equipment’s history. Does the report contain useful visuals to help you see the trends over time?
- Look for high resolution, color, glossy thermograms, and photos, with corresponding pre-printed work order forms
- Look for logical organization of the problems found. Are they listed in such a way that your engineer can make an efficient repair plan?
5.What media are used to deliver the information? Can you receive your report over the Internet? Can you make additional copies or share the report electronically?