Maintenance teams play a crucial role in ensuring the seamless operation of manufacturing facilities.

The unsung heroes keep the lights on and the machinery running. Despite their pivotal role, maintenance teams often grapple with various challenges, including skill development, high maintenance costs, electrical safety concerns, unexpected downtime, and outdated training programs. This article is designed for maintenance operations, such as maintenance technicians, supervisors, facility managers, and those responsible for training and skill development. In the following discussion, we will delve into the transformative potential of electrical infrared inspections and how trained maintenance teams can conquer these obstacles, transitioning from training to triumph.

The Backbone of Manufacturing

To set the stage, let's establish the significance of electrical systems in manufacturing facilities. These systems are essential and hazardous if not maintained. In the past, the adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" may have held, but in today's industrial landscape, reliability, safety, and compliance demand a different approach.

Predictive maintenance is scheduled maintenance that uses various inspection tactics, tools, and procedures to track asset status in real time. Predictive maintenance aims to predict asset failure based on the current state of equipment, estimating when maintenance should be performed. There are five common types of Predictive maintenance inspection techniques:

  • Infrared Thermography
  • Ultrasound
  • Motor Circuit Analysis
  • Vibration Analysis
  • Fluid Analysis
  • Stacking Skills

The significance of incorporating infrared inspections into the skill development of maintenance teams cannot be overstated. Maintenance teams become more capable and efficient by stacking maintenance, electrical, and infrared skills. The benefits of such skill-stacking include faster troubleshooting, a better understanding of asset failure, the ability to uncover hidden problems, and creating a confident and capable team.

Cost-Effective Maintenance

Infrared inspections contribute to cost avoidance and more efficient cost management in maintenance operations. Reactive maintenance, where components fail before being replaced, incurs significant costs, including replacement costs, emergency labor and parts, downtime, product waste, and safety expenses. , predictive maintenance, especially infrared inspections, offers a cost-effective alternative.

Infrared inspections are a valuable tool for cost management as they have a low barrier to entry. A single inspection tool can detect problems across thousands of electrical assets, from high-voltage to 24-volt systems. Infrared thermography is easy to learn and, with practical training, easy to apply. It allows maintenance teams to identify and rectify minor problems early, leading to significant cost savings.

Prioritizing Electrical Safety in Maintenance

Infrared inspections are crucial in mitigating electrical safety risks in manufacturing facilities. Electrical safety is paramount and is ensured when electrical equipment operates under a "normal operating condition." This condition requires proper installation, maintenance, usage, secured doors and covers, and the absence of evidence of impending failure. Infrared inspection programs excel at identifying issues that other maintenance types may miss, helping to ensure that equipment operates under normal conditions reducing safety risks.

Sustaining Operational Uptime

Practical strategies and best practices are essential for driving operational efficiency and achieving excellence through infrared inspections in maintenance practices. The "firefighting" approach must be replaced with preventive measures to move from reactive to proactive maintenance. By eliminating the "tinder" or factors that lead to electrical issues, such as loose wire connections or overloaded circuit breakers, maintenance teams can prevent problems before they escalate.

Incorporating Infrared imagers into day-to-day maintenance calls provides maintenance teams with a new perspective and helps identify issues that may not be apparent through visual inspection alone. Additionally, maintaining a list of critical assets for regular inspection and breaking the total asset list into manageable chunks allows for systematic monitoring and efficient maintenance.

Timely repairs following Infrared inspections are critical for maintaining uptime. Neglecting repairs can lead to costly failures. Infrared inspections provide a snapshot in time, and predicting when an electrical component will fail is challenging. Following best practices, maintenance teams can harness infrared inspections to maintain uptime.

Empowering Your Maintenance Team

When training the next generation of maintenance teams, providing an educational and engaging experience is critical. Traditional, theory-heavy training methods may not resonate with the modern workforce.

CRE Philippines offers a comprehensive "Infrared Inspection Training" program comprising Level I and II courses. This training is designed to equip maintenance professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to become proficient thermographers.
IRT I is designed to provide participants with a comprehensive foundation in infrared thermography. This course focuses on mastering the essential skills to operate an infrared system and conduct thermography inspections. Throughout the program, participants will delve into the fundamentals of infrared thermography, gaining expertise in Basic Thermal Physics, Basic Heat Transfer Theory, Electromagnetic Radiation, Infrared, Infrared Image, and Qualitative Thermography.

IRT II is tailored for Level I Infrared Thermography Practitioners seeking to enhance their thermography skills to handle more complex scenarios. This advanced program equips participants to interpret infrared inspection data, enabling them to make informed decisions based on their findings. The course delves into Intermediate Thermal/Infrared Physics, Infrared Spectrum, Resolution Tests, and Calculations, offering a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of infrared thermography.

The Infrared Inspections Solution

Maintenance teams encounter many challenges in today's manufacturing facilities, but integrating infrared inspections can be a powerful solution, enabling them to surmount these obstacles and transition from training to triumph. By fortifying their skills in maintenance, electrical systems, and infrared inspections, curbing operational costs, ensuring electrical safety, and sustaining uninterrupted production, maintenance teams can elevate their performance and augment the efficiency of manufacturing operations. Implementing these strategies results in a safer, more efficient, and cost-effective maintenance program and fosters long-term success.

Moreover, by enrolling your maintenance team in our Infrared Inspection Training program, you're taking a proactive step towards nurturing their professional growth and securing the sustained success of your maintenance operations. This practical, hands-on training approach is a compelling alternative to conventional methods, offering your team the tools and knowledge required to transition from training to triumph. Should you have any inquiries about our training programs, encompassing details on schedules and registration, please don't hesitate to reach out. Your maintenance team's path to success is one inquiry away, and we are committed to helping you unlock your full potential in infrared inspections.


Jackson, C. (2023, September). From Training to Triumph: Empowering Maintenance Teams Through Infrared Inspections. Machinery Lubrication.

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