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Fluke’s innovative, new thermal imagers aimed at higher-end industrial predictive maintenance

06 June 2006

Fluke has extended its range of fully radiometric thermal imagers with the innovative, easy-to-use, IR FlexCam Series, intended for engineers, consultants and experts in Predictive Maintenance (PdM) needing the highest quality imagers to do their job. Models featuring the IR-Fusion™ option, an innovative technology that fuses infrared and visible light images with each other on the 127mm colour displays, enable easier identification of suspect components. Each thermal imager comes complete with powerful analysis and reporting software.

The new Fluke Ti40, Ti45, Ti50 and Ti55 IR FlexCam Thermal Imagers produce the industry’s largest and sharpest thermal images in real time, thanks to the low noise, high sensitivity VOx detectors. Thus more hidden problems are revealed, faster, enabling maintenance to be predicted and downtime prevented. With a choice of detector sizes of 320 x 240 pixels (Ti55and Ti50) or 160 x 120 pixels (Ti45 and Ti40), the IR FlexCam models reveal very subtle temperature differences down to 0.05ºC NETD (Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference) for the Ti55, on a high contrast 127mm colour display. The Ti40 and Ti50 measure up to 350ºC, the Ti45 and Ti55 up to 600ºC. There is an option for up to 1200 ºC on the Ti45.

TixxFT models feature IR-Fusion technology which simultaneously captures pixel-for-pixel infrared and visible images, making it easier to identify points of interest on the “real” target to enable first-time correct repair. Depending on the model, users can choose from up to five on-camera and software viewing modes. ‘Full IR’ detects the smallest temperature variations. ‘Picture-in-picture’ creates an IR ‘window’ surrounded by a visible light frame. ‘Alpha Blending’ combines visible and infrared images in any ratio. ‘IR/Visible Alarm’ displays only temperatures that fall above, below, or in between specified limits as an IR image. ‘Full Visible’ shows a bright reference image for documentation and reporting, and eliminates the need for a separate digital camera.

The IR FlexCam thermal imagers are designed for ease-of-use, with advanced features including AutoCapture, which records images with temperatures outside over- or under-temperature limits to find intermittent problems; SmartFocus, which obviates the need to turn a focusing ring; and an intuitive Windows® CE menu structure just like a PC. An articulated lens with 180º rotation ensures clear readings in areas with poor accessibility. The display remains visible while viewing over or under a machine, or around immoveable obstructions, for example. The imagers are all IP54 rated for industrial use.

A 512MB compact flash card enables over 1000 thermal images to be captured in the field. These images can then be downloaded to a PC running Fluke’s SmartView™ software supplied with the thermal imager. The software enables image viewing and editing by changing level and span settings; extensive annotation; sophisticated analysis using all the captured image modes; and the production of professional reports quickly and easily. Customised reports can accommodate specific company work processes, multiple image reporting and comparisons. All models also offer Video output via a video cable.

The imagers meet the needs of a wide range of applications. Power utilities can study substations and transmission lines. Industrial users can examine power distribution systems (three-phase, distribution panels, fuses, wiring and connections). The instruments are also perfect for viewing motors and pumps, bearings, pulleys and belts, tanks, pipes, valves, steam traps and vessels. And to improve energy efficiency in buildings, the imagers can study HVAC systems, and heat-loss in buildings. For predictive maintenance, the imagers help identify electrical or mechanical problems before they cause failure, and then check whether repairs have been performed successfully. In product design, they can examine prototypes to help refine thermal management. And in process monitoring, they can perform real-time observation to ensure efficient and safe operation.

The Ti40/45 and Ti50/55 are supplied as a complete kit in a rugged case with the SmartView software and user manual on CD and a choice of 3 interchangeable lenses. They join Fluke’s Ti20 fully radiometric Thermal Imager, which performs everyday maintenance and inspection.

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