Fixed Thermal Imaging Industrial Cameras are Best for Process Controls

Modern industrial processes are all about precision, scaling and efficiency. From the dustless, static-free environments found at modern electronics manufacturers to the furnace-like conditions of the typical coking plant, facility managers are expected to squeeze every last cent of profit out of the materials on hand. With this single-minded approach to cost reduction and efficiency, modern manufacturers are more productive than at any time in history.

Fixed thermal imaging industrial cameras have done their part to usher in this exciting new reality. In particular, key technological advancements have made it practical and cost-effective to use "non-contact" fixed thermal imaging devices to make visual representations of temperatures across a wide spatial area. These devices aren't thermometers in the traditional sense: Rather than record temperatures at specific points in space and produce digital readouts of their findings, they create a two-dimensional "map" of solid-state temperatures across a defined region.

Fixed-mounted thermal imaging industrial cameras are capable of operating in dangerous or hard-to-reach environments at a fraction of the cost of portable cameras. As the Automated Imaging Association notes, fixed-mounted cameras "enable plant operators to adjust process parameters for greater productivity and throughput, find defects on materials non-destructively, and improve their quality control procedures." In other words, these devices streamline the manufacturing process without introducing new dangers or costs into the equation.

Fixed thermal imaging industrial cameras connect to PC-based image acquisition software using adaptable interfaces like GigE Vision and GenICam™. Standard CAT5 and CAT6 Ethernet cables provide reliable, lightning-fast connections to PC-based acquisition programs. Even better, compact final dimensions make it easy to produce real-time temperature-field feeds in hard-to-reach places. The FLIR A15F9MM model measures just 40 mm x 43 mm x 106 mm and costs far less than its portable peers. Since the GigE interface supports multiple-camera networks at bandwidths of over 125 MB/second, it's simple and cost-effective to use devices like the FLIR A15F9MM to produce comprehensive images of long production lines.

Cameras like the FLIR A15F9MM can be used to boost productivity and promote safety in a staggering range of industrial applications. They're particularly useful for process controls. In the steel industry, thermal imaging industrial cameras can detect "unquenched" cool spots that require additional heat applications or identify hot spots that need to be brought under control. Some even use automated alarms to alert process control managers to irregularities. By applying heat only to the areas that require it, these systems reduce power consumption and boost efficiency. By monitoring temperatures in flammable storage bins or waste piles, they also serve as a valuable safety tool.

Although they're not the only family of devices that can be used for process control applications, fixed-mounted thermal imaging industrial cameras are a superior choice for a wide range of industrial operations. As industrial end-users continue to sharpen their efficiency protocols and focus relentlessly on productivity, cost control and safety, these cameras will be there to back them up.