IR thermography offers efficient methods for optimizing thermally sprayed layer composites. The quality of these layer composites depends crucially on the temperature control during the coating process. With the help of thermography, the effect on the temperature distribution when changing any of these process parameters can be precisely observed. In this paper, these methods for the optimization of plasma sprayed planar layer composites of light metal substrates and ceramics, steel substrates, and ceramics, as well as glass substrates and ceramics are applied and discussed. First, the temperature distribution on the component is recorded over the entire coating process. In a further step, a correlation is established between temperature control during the coating process and the resulting internal stress distribution in the layer composite. It is observed that the burner kinematics alone has a significant influence on the resulting residual stress distributions of the layer composite. Paper includes a German-language abstract.