Compact inline thermal imager

Published:  12 July, 2010

Micro-Epsilon has now enhanced its inline infrared thermal imaging camera with a host of new features, accessories and mounting options, including a protective enclosure that allows the device to operate in ambient temperatures up to 200oC - making the unit ideal for monitoring the temperature of steel, ceramics and glass.

Powered and operated via a USB 2.0 interface, the thermoIMAGER TIM160 is an inline radiometric thermal imaging camera that provides temperature images and profiles of a target area. This plug-and-play unit comes with a full software package (included in the unit price), that enables the user to configure all the parameters of the device, as well as enabling the real time capture (at 100Hz full frame rate) and storage of images or video of an event for slow motion play back or snapshots at a later date – an important feature in many R&D and failure diagnostics work.

Micro-Epsilon is now offering the thermoIMAGER TIM160 with a variety of new features and accessories. Rather than supplying the device with a single factory calibrated optical lens, the user now has the option of up to three interchangeable lenses (9, 31 and 64 degree FOV). For R&D test engineers who may be unsure of which applications they will use the device for, the three interchangeable lenses cater for every possible field of view for temperature monitoring tasks.

Other features and accessories now provided with the thermoIMAGER TIM160 include a traceable certificate of calibration (one for each individual lens), a tripod mount (adjustable from 200mm up to 1000mm), a rugged carrying case, USB cables (from 1m up to 100m) and process control and analysis software.

Unlike a handheld thermal imaging camera, the thermoIMAGER TIM160 is fixed into position in a production line or R&D lab in order to monitor the temperature profile of target materials or objects. The camera is well suited to process control, quality and R&D applications, across a wide range of industries, including plastics, packaging, machine building, FMCG, thermoforming, automotive, paper, printing, textiles, food, chemicals & pharmaceuticals, medical engineering, universities and other educational establishments.

Chris Jones, managing director at Micro-Epsilon (UK) Ltd commented: "The range of options now available for the thermoIMAGER TIM, as well as the new features that we have added, enable users to mount the device in almost any process environment or R&D application. We have a wide variety of mounting brackets that cater for almost every type of installation, as well as a variety of protective enclosures that allow the device to be installed in washdown or high temperature environments. Our water cooling jacket option, for example, enables the device to be used in temperatures up to 200oC.

“Patrol monitoring a process plant using relatively expensive handheld thermal imaging cameras to monitor critical plant and machinery is not a viable option for many companies. However, the thermoIMAGER TIM160 can be installed in a fixed position next to a critical component or part of a production line, to constantly monitor a target. Available for £4995, including full software functionality, our low cost solution is already proving to be a very attractive option for many predictive maintenance applications.”

He added: “We are also offering a new rental option, whereby customers can choose to hire the device on a weekly basis before committing to a full purchase, for just £430. This allows users to evaluate the device fully in their own application and environment, which will in turn help to justify the capital expenditure.”

The thermoIMAGER TIM160 is compact and lightweight and made from anodised aluminium. The camera housing measures 45mm x 45mm x 62mm and weighs just 250g (including lens and a 1m USB cable), enabling easy mounting in restricted spaces. The rugged device is protected to IP65 (NEMA-4) and is powered (5V DC) via the USB 2.0 interface, with a maximum current draw of 500mA.

The system is compatible with Windows XP/Vista, enabling easy integration of thermal imaging information with mini-PCs, rail mounted PCs and industrial embedded PCs and PLCs. A DLL is provided so that the user can export thermal imaging data from the process imager into customer-specific software.

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