Condition Based Strategies for Electrical Asset Reliability

Mel Terk, Business Development Manager, IRISS


Every year thousands electrical workers are injured or even killed while at work and Billions of dollars are lost in unplanned power outages and equipment failures. Electrical Maintenance Safety Devices (EMSD’s) allow essential energized maintenance tasks to be completed while the equipment remains in a closed and safe condition ensuring workers are never exposed to the dangers of Arc Flash or electrocution. EMSD’s allow for essential maintenance inspections to be completed routinely, safely and with minimal disruption of day-to-day operations. Critical Asset Surveillance Technologies (CAST) refers to condition based monitoring technology and equipment in use every day to inspect our electrical distribution assets. These surveillance and inspection means determine the condition of the individual asset or system being inspected and include but are not limited to:

  • Infrared Thermography
  • Airborne Ultrasound
  • Motor Current Analysis
  • Partial Discharge Testing
  • Vibration Analysis
  • Fluid Analysis
  • Corona Cameras
  • Visual Inspections

The challenge of CAST implementation is that the majority of inspection and surveillance equipment utilized yield their most valuable results when inspecting electrical distribution equipment that is operating under full load conditions. This is also when they are both most dangerous to maintenance personnel and of the greatest value to the process they are powering. EMSD technologies maintain the energized compartment’s closed and guarded condition ensuring that personnel are not endangered. They are designed to allow the test equipment needed for CAST to be used safely at any time, especially when equipment is under full load conditions which is when the inspection yields its greatest value. We must change the way we manage and use CAST test equipment in the maintenance of our electrical distribution assets.  Current methodologies and systems are dangerous, costly and ineffective EMSD solutions allow CAST to fit into a Safe, Effective and Profitable Maintenance Model protecting People, Profits and Equipment.


Mel is a Level 1 Infrared and Level 1 A/SU Certified professional. Mel is passionate about working with companies towards achieving safer and more reliability functionality with respect to their electrical assets. As a Business Development Manager for IRISS since 2012, he currently is responsible for covering large areas of the USA and Canada principally in the OEM, Power Generation, EPC/Consulting Engineering markets with secondary input to IRISS’ traditional distribution channel[s].

Prior to joining IRISS, he held various positions with increasing responsibility for Castro Furniture Corp and Capitol Hardware. Mel was responsible for Vacuum, Compressor, and Manifolded Gas systems specification writing, central source equipment & system sizing, sales, start-up testing & commissioning Power Generation, Chemical/Industrial, Medical, and Municipal WWTF / Potable Water Systems Applications.

Mel’s educational journey includes:
• East Coast Aero Technical School—Pre-Aeronautical Engineering segue training in Aviation Technology toward Federal A&P Technician Licensure —Trained in Reciprocating & Turbine aircraft powerplants, Fixed Wing & Rotary Wing Aircraft, Aluminum & Sheet Metal fuselage fitting and welding, and Fabric Covered fuselage.
• University of Massachusetts [attended]—Liberal Arts
• Mass College of Pharmacy [attended]—Pharmacy Science
• Northeastern University [attended]—Romance Languages Study