Hot stuff

Published:  16 October, 2007

Flir Systems, no stranger to being at the forefront of infrared advances recently launched its latest offering with its T/B-Series. But what makes this new camera stand out from the crowd? And can the company's claim that its new series presents 'a new generation of mobile infrared camera" be truly justified? Aaron Blutstein takes a look at what the new range can offer end users.

 

Usability is key to the development of Flir Systems’ new mid-range ThermaCAM T/B-Series infrared cameras, explained Karsten Eggert, Flir systems’ vice president, sales and marketing EMEA.

At the new camera’s European distributor launch in Barcelona recently, PWE experienced first hand how the range of features could potentially benefit end users. Eggert emphasised the main benefits of the new camera for end users are "ease-of-use, the touchable screen, the one hand use - every measurement button can be easily operated using one hand - and the adaptable lenses”.

He commented: “The new ThermaCAM T/B-Series is our response to a market increasingly looking for versatile all-in-one infrared cameras.”

Based on the latest digital technology, the cameras provide a high 320 x 240 pixel resolution from an in-house developed detector.  They have visualization tools, text and voice annotation, manual and auto focus. Easy data analysis and report generation are also added benefits.

Eggert explained: “The hi-tech materials used in the manufacture; the touch screen, the annotation, the visual camera, and the communication from the software, were all added because these were requirements that consumers wanted.”

Flir has tried to understand what consumers want from an infrared camera and added these features to the new series in as much as possible. As part of this process the company has looked to non-IR markets. “We looked to PDAs, mobile phones, to digital cameras, and have collected what is standard or needed in these markets already”, explains Eggert.

 

Touch screen technology

Images are displayed on a large 3.5 inch touch screen, which opens up the possibility of additional functionality such as sketching directly on the screen and even easier access to the camera’s software menu. A stylus provides comfortable fingertip control and on many models the infrared lens can be tilted through 120°. 

The ThermaCAM T/B series comes in a T-version for industrial applications and a B-version for building and construction applications - all are easily portable. The new ThermaCAM T400 for example is less than half the weight of its nearest competitor.

They are shock-resistant and housed in a dust- and water splash proof enclosure making them suitable for tough on-site use.  This flexibility is complemented by a long battery life that allows up to four hours of uninterrupted use.

The integration of thermal and visual imaging in these models is a very useful addition. The cameras also introduce Thermal Fusion for the seamless transition of images from thermal to visual and vice versa, on the screen, while retaining all measurement functions in both viewing modes.

Eggert explained: “We have invested a lot into engineering, the result is advanced fusion called thermal fusion. What you have is a much more dedicated and precise temperature measurement.”

He predicted: “There will be even further developments. We will heavily grow fusion to a new level so you will be able to see more things quicker for both measurement and visual/ thermal images.” This feature is a major benefit for inspection tasks requiring detailed follow-up of temperature developments.

All models are compatible with the latest ThermaCAM Reporter 8.2 software, a wizard-based reporting suite with advanced image processing and temperature calculation functions. The complete ThermaCAM T and B-Series package comprises the camera with battery, carrying case, cabling, battery charger and LCD screen sun shield. It also includes ThermaCAM Quickreport software for speedy report creation in PDF format, SD card and user manual.

UK sales and marketing manager, Paul Sacker commented: “Infrared is such a highly flexible tool and Flir Systems is committed to exploiting this quality to the full so that the user gets the very best return on investment.

“The ThermaCAM T- and B-Series are exceptionally versatile all-in-one cameras that provide the optimum combination of visual and thermal imaging.  They make infrared an even more powerful universal technology.”

 

For further information please visit: www.flirthermography.com

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