Infrared camera monitors temperature for less

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

An infrared camera can monitor food processing lines in four
temperature bands and at a fraction of the cost of commonly used
cryogenic cameras, its manufacturer claims.

Infrared cameras are used in the industry to maintain tight control of temperatures, including during the transportation of products to the factory, through to preparation, processing and storage.

Infrared thermography can also be used to reveal the condition of electrical and mechanical systems in the factory, warehouse and refrigerator trailers.

Such cameras are also used for monitoring equipment, including cooking vessels, ovens, heat exchangers, compressors and freezers.

They are used because often little or no disassembly of the equipment is needed.

Mikron's M7500 infrared camera provides temperature measurement accuracy within 2°C for food processing lines. Unlike cryogenic cameras, the M7500 does not need to be cooled to low temperatures topick up the temperature readings.

The company claims savings of $50,000 and more are possible when compared to cryogenically cooled midwave cameras. Other savings can be made through reduced maintenance costs.

The M7500 features two standard temperature ranges. One range is from -40°C to 120°C. The other picks up temperatures from 0°C to 500°C. Both types are unaffected by sunlight or factorylighting.

Mikron said its spectral tuning technology enables the M7500 to capture images in the midwave bands of 3.9 microns, and from 4.8 to 5.2 microns, useful for gauging the temperature of furnaces,boilers, flames and glass.

The M7500 uses a VOX microbolometer detector that provides 320 x 240 digital resolution, the most pixels for the money, the company claims. The detector has 76,800 temperature-measuring pixels,four times that of standard 160x120 detector.

The technology provides images free of pixelating, along with a temperature measurement resolution as fine as one-tenth of a square inch at six feet.

The M7500 features maintenance-free electronics, industrial protective packaging and a wide array of accessories. The 100Base T Ethernet allows operators to transfer data on plant networks. Thisavoids the cable-length restrictions when using the normal Firewire connection, giving complete flexibility in mounting the camera.

The M7500 can be used with Mikron's MikroSpec R/T software for real-time thermal data acquisition and analysis. The software can capture and display single images or 30 Hz video sequences with upto 32 user-defined regions of interest on them, each with min/max alarm setpoints.

The software can be configured to generate software and digital output alarms. The software provides analysis functions, including histograms of thermal data, 3D displays to show temperature in theZ axis, time vs. temperature graphs, isotherm overlays for a visual representation of temperature breakdown and multiple colour palettes.

The standard M7500 comes with a housing rated for ambient temperatures of between -15°C to 50°C. An optional high-temperature protective housing raises the exposure rating to 100°C.

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