IR quarterly round-up

Published:  12 April, 2017

Joss Dixon looks at key developments in the world of thermal imaging over the past few months.

January saw Fluke announce that it believes it has “closed the gap” in the process of including infrared measurements in experiments and reports. Its new software makes it easy to integrate high-resolution thermal data from the TiX line of cameras with National Instruments’ and Math Works’ platforms.

With a continuous download capability that allows for transfer of high-resolution data, it allows for close monitoring of thermal imaging video to quickly identify small changes that could be indicative of serious problems.

Spearheading the use of this software will be the TiX580 Infrared Camera, the latest in Fluke’s line of imaging equipment that they say “allows R&D professionals to easily perform non-destructive testing over, under, and around objects to preview and capture images with ease”.

Fluke kept up its progress in February with the release of their 1732 and 1734 Three-Phase Energy Loggers – “intuitive, easy-to-use tools with professional-level energy data gathering capabilities”.

Aimed at simplifying and economising the process of energy use auditing by putting the power into the hands of facility-based technicians, these tools “conduct key measurements of voltage, current, power, and power factor to identify areas of energy waste”. Perhaps with the increasingly digital nature of the modern factory in mind, the 1732 and 1734 also have many synchronisation capabilities: both feature two USB ports for “fast data downloads” and can import data into the new Fluke Energy Analyze Plus software, while the 1734 can link up to the Fluke Connect wireless test tools system. For those requiring even greater detail in power quality analysis there is also the option of the 1736 and 1738 models.

Latest generation IR cameras

While in February FLIR, rolled out its “latest generation advanced thermal imaging cameras” – the “Exx-Series”.

Featuring “Wi-Fi…intelligent interchangeable lenses, laser-assisted autofocus modes, and area measurement functionality”, the company is calling the products in this line the “FLIR E75, E85, and E95”.

On top of other improvements to its patented MSX technology, displays, and a more hardwearing build, these cameras are also the first to offer “UltraMax, FLIR’s embedded, super-resolution process that improves effective resolution by four times…and thermal sensitivity by up to 50%”.

ITC International Infrared Users Conference

March saw the confirmation of this year’s ITC International Infrared Users Conference, which will be held in Coventry from 27th-28th September 2017. Now in its 12th year, this is “the opportunity for technicians, engineers, scientists, and users of all types of infrared measurement equipment to exchange ideas and explore the huge potential of the technology”.

What started as a highly specialised event for FLIR (focusing solely on thermal imaging in the context of R&D) has now expanded over the years to include anyone using thermal imaging in a professional capacity.

Other IR event news for March included the Aluminium 2000 Congress 2017, which added another speaker to its roster in the shape of Dr Fiona Turner, physics section manager for AMETEK Land. She will be delivering a talk on the topic of “Practical Infrared Thermometry for Aluminium Hot Rolling”, examining the difficulties related to gaining accurate infrared measurements when working with a metal with challenging properties.

Dr Turner commented, saying that she was “looking forward to speaking at…one of the major international conferences within the aluminium industry”. Her presentation will use data from “extensive site trials of AMETEK Land’s SPOT AL EQS (Extrusion, Quench, and Strip) infrared pyrometers” at a reversing mill owned by Bridgnorth Aluminium Limited.

The outcome of the research, she says, was being able to “link the variation that we see in the infrared radiance to the nature of the oxide surface”, which allows those dealing with the issue to “predict future behaviour” and “configure instrument algorithms”.

The Aluminium 2000 Congress 2017 will be held from June 20-24 in Verona, Italy.

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