Presenting a clear report of your thermal inspection and easily sharing data are just as important as getting high quality images. Sometimes it may seem that you spend more time on your report than on scanning with your infrared camera, but they work hand in hand. You want the report to be thorough and accurate and you want it to communicate results clearly to people who may not be familiar with the intricacies of infrared images. You also want to be able to quickly share your findings with clients, managers and other thermographers.
Here are a few reminders that can help:
Software is your friend
You know the challenge. After you scan every piece of equipment in the facility, you have to present those results in a professional-looking, quick to assess report. You can use thermal imaging analysis and reporting software templates on either your mobile device or your PC to create those reports rapidly. And you can include annotations of what the problem is, where it is, and how bad it is so the repair crew can use the report as a roadmap for resolving issues. Also, some thermal imagers include wireless connectivity so you can upload images to the cloud or share findings in real time. Storing images by test point and individual piece of equipment in one place allows you to compare temperature signatures over time to detect changes. You can even tap the knowledge and experience of outside experts or colleagues when data is available in the cloud.
Reminders on the display
- Adjust your level and span. Veteran thermographers typically adjust the minimum and maximum temperatures of the images in their reports to highlight areas that breach normal temperatures, but also to ensure that an image doesn’t look like a problem when it’s not.
- Pick your color palette carefully. The human eye can be overwhelmed by too many colors. If you’re highlighting subtle differences in an image, a monochromatic palette is often a good choice. If the problem is more obvious, a high contrast color palette can make it easier to see.
- Mark the spot. You can blend visible light and thermal images so that everything outside the normal temperature range shows up clearly in infrared against a visible image of the rest of the scene.