Local 34 Hosts Thermography Class
Insulators International Staff — Fri, Oct 6, 2023 @ 10:10 AM
In late May, HFIAW Local 34 Minneapolis hosted a class to train members on the advanced aspects of thermography technology.
The Thermography Awareness Class taught participants how to use thermo-technology and why it is essential to their industry.
Through use of thermography, Insulators are able to show contactors and project owners heat loss around mechanical systems, and demonstrate, visually, the advantages of properly installed mechanical insulation. In turn, use of the technology can lead to jobs and additional work hours for members.
What is Thermography?
Thermography measures surface temperatures by using infrared video and still cameras. These tools are used to measure and visually display heat loss on both video or still images.
The devices record the temperature variations of the building’s skin, ranging from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas. The images are used to locate any thermal abnormalities or heat patterns in the mechanical insulation that are not visible. This technology can identify faults, defects or inefficiencies within a system or inadequate machine assets.
Thermography technology can also detect malfunctions in electrical systems, mechanical equipment, fluid systems, building applications and low-slope roofs. The technology adapts to each system and provides relative and helpful feedback to the user.
The thermography device is designed to point at a building wall, pipe or other system to detect the heat frequencies and calculate the data. Once pointed at the area, the calculations will help the auditor determine whether insulation is needed or will serve as a quality control tool to predict if future insulation installation is needed.
Thermography Awareness Class
The Thermography Awareness Class was designed solely for Mechanical Insulators to advance their knowledge and use of this new technology to their benefit.
During the three-day course, participants learned how to use thermography devices through hands-on training.
They also received instruction on how to analyze the data provided by the thermography equipment and how to use the data to their advantage.
Insulators properly trained in thermography technology can educate contractors and customers on the value of mechanical insulation and give them actual proof of its value.
Josh Sherrard, new International Director of energy Efficiency and Quality Assurance, attended the thermography class and shared how the technology has helped his home Local (Local 131 St. John). He also wanted to observe and thank the members for their dedication and appreciation of the trade.
"Local 34 was the first time I’ve ever seen contractors and union-level members all in the same class,” Sherrard said. “All the members in attendance had a wide range of experience levels. They progressed through a lot of material in a concise amount of time.”
Daniel Haguewood, Local 135 Las Vegas Business Manager, and Local 135 Instructor Kyle Ramerez created the Thermography Awareness Class as a way to effectively teach thermo-technology.
When requested, the duo travel to individual Locals to teach the course.
Haguewood has taught a Thermography One Certification course for 9 years. His passion for the class stems from an understanding of its importance and cost-effective value for customers and Union contractors.
"Thermo-technology was introduced to Las Vegas in 2008 to install safe mechanical insulation and capture more work in the trades,” he said. “We have contractors attend the class for them to see the potential increased revenue Insulators learning thermography could provide to their company.”
The heat imaging systems are relatively simple to use, but interpreting the images taken with the equipment can be far more complex and challenging.
"There are many facets to the class. You can’t be afraid to use a camera or get behind the computer. Thermography gives Insulators the opportunity to experience technology that keeps them on their toes, for those who might be looking for a change from being out on the field,” he added.
The class held at Local 34 was the first to concentrate specifically on how thermography relates to mechanical insulation through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training.
Local 34 Business Agent William Meyer participated in the class and was excited to get his hands on such a progressive trade innovation.
"The class provided proof as to why insulating is so important,” Meyer said. “We truly are the best trade for saving money and capturing greenhouse gases. Now we have the technology to quantify the rate of return and give data on the amount of greenhouse gases within an atmosphere.”
Insulators Local 39 Omaha Business Manager John Hanson took the class, and as a result, the Local has begun to make technological upgrades to help capture more work.
"The members of Local 39 were shown a presentation of a sample energy audit report at the Local Union meeting,” Hanson said. “Since taking the class, we have purchased two HIKMICRO G40 Expert Thermal Imaging Cameras at a value of $10,000. Our members wanted to be fully invested in this venture.”