Flir Systems Inc, a leading manufacturer of innovative imaging systems has lately launched infrared cameras and machine vision systems for myriad industry segments. Thermal imaging, also called as infrared thermography, is the process of producing ‘heat’ pictures through which temperature measurement can be done accurately, without any physical contact to the object/instrument in operation. Under wavelength spectrum, infrared radiation comes next to visible light. Infrared radiation is not detectable by human eye, but an IR camera can convert it into a visual image that depicts thermal variations across an object or scene. Infrared radiations are emitted by all objects at temperatures above absolution zero, and the amount of radiation increases with temperature. IR camera can justifiably be referred to as a smart sensor as this has built-in logic and analytic that allows the comparison of measured temperatures with user supplied temperature data. It also has a digital input-output interface so that a differential temperature can be used for alarm and control functions. New IR cameras have capabilities like fast, high resolution, analogue to digital converters that sample incoming data, pass it through a calibration function and provide temperature read outs. They also have other communication interfaces that provide an output stream of analogue or digital data. This allows thermographic images and temperature data to be transmitted to remote locations for process monitoring and control. Typical applications of IR cameras in automation industry for process temperature monitoring and control include: continuous casting, extrusion and roll forming; discrete parts manufacturing; production where contact temperature measurement pose problems; inspection and quality control; packaging production and operations; environmental, machine, and safety monitoring and temperature monitoring as a proxy for other variables.
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