22 May 2013 Methods to attack or defend the professional integrity and competency of infrared thermographers and their work; what every attorney and infrared thermographer needs to know before going into a lawsuit
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Abstract
There has been a significant increase in the number of in‐house Infrared Thermographic Predictive Maintenance programs for Electrical/Mechanical inspections as compared to out‐sourced programs using hired consultants. In addition, the number of infrared consulting services companies offering out‐sourced programs has also has grown exponentially. These market segments include: Building Envelope (commercial and residential), Refractory, Boiler Evaluations, etc... These surges are driven by two main factors: 1. The low cost of investment in the equipment (the cost of cameras and peripherals continues to decline). 2. Novel marketing campaigns by the camera manufacturers who are looking to sell more cameras into an otherwise saturated market. The key characteristics of these campaigns are to over simplify the applications and understate the significances of technical training, specific skills and experience that’s needed to obtain the risk‐lowering information that a facility manager needs. These camera selling campaigns focuses on the simplicity of taking a thermogram, but ignores the critical factors of what it takes to actually perform and manage a creditable, valid IR program, which in‐turn expose everyone to tremendous liability. As the In‐house vs. Out‐sourced consulting services compete for market share head to head with each other in a constricted market space, the price for out‐sourced/consulting services drops to try to compete on price for more market share. The consequences of this approach are, something must be compromised to be able to stay competitive from a price point, and that compromise is the knowledge, technical skills and experience of the thermographer. This also ends up being reflected back into the skill sets of the in‐house thermographer as well. This over simplification of the skill and experience is producing the “Perfect Storm” for Infrared Thermography, for both in‐house and out‐sourced programs.
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Fred Colbert, "Methods to attack or defend the professional integrity and competency of infrared thermographers and their work; what every attorney and infrared thermographer needs to know before going into a lawsuit", Proc. SPIE 8705, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXV, 870505 (22 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2018908; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2018908
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