New low cost thermal imager turns up the heat at MAINTEC

2 min read

Visitors to this year’s MAINTEC 2009 exhibition (17-19 March 2009), will be able to see a range of new temperature sensing products from Micro-Epsilon (UK) Ltd (stand 58). These new products include a low cost thermal imaging camera for industrial applications, as well as a range of non-contact, inline process temperature sensors.

The thermoMETER PI (Process Imager) is a rugged, inline, infrared thermal imaging camera, which is not only comparable in terms of technical specification and performance to the latest inline thermal imagers on the market, but is around 60 per cent of the cost.

The device is an inline radiometric thermal imager that provides temperature images and profiles of a target area. The plug-and-play device is extremely compact (45mm x 45mm x 62mm) and lightweight (250g including lens and 1m USB cable), enabling easy mounting in restricted spaces. The camera is protected to IP65 (NEMA-4) and is powered (5V DC) via the USB 2.0 interface, with a maximum current draw of 500mA.

Included as standard is free software that enables users to both configure all the adjustable parameters of the PI and capture (up to 100Hz full frame rate) and store images or an event for play back at a later date – an important feature for R&D purposes. Rather than a handheld thermal imaging camera, the Micro-Epsilon PI is fixed into position in a production process or R&D lab to monitor the temperature profile of target materials or objects.

Also on show for the first time at MAINTEC will be the thermoMETER CSm hs, a new infrared temperature sensor from Micro-Epsilon that breaks new ground in terms of extreme high resolution and low ambient drift.

The device is suitable for measuring very small temperature differences down to 0.025°C. Alternative sensors currently on the market measure temperature differences down to 0.1°C at best. The extreme sensitivity of the device was achieved by utilising a new type of infrared detector material, developed by Micro-Epsilon. This unique thermal and electronic design – which has no moving parts such as chopper wheels – ensures a very low ambient drift and results in a sensor that has a noise level of five to seven times less than alternative thermometers. Manufacturers of solar panels, flat screen LCD displays and semiconductors are already utilising the new sensor.

Visitors can also see a demonstration of Micro-Epsilon’s new thermoMETER CT laser 3M. This infrared temperature sensor measures at a short wavelength of 2.3µm for all temperature measurements between 50°C and 600°C. However, probably the most significant breakthrough with this product is that it has the lowest unit price of any 2-3µm-wavelength sensor in the marketplace – typically 50% of the cost of currently available sensors.

With a start temperature of 50°C the new sensor fulfills the demands being made by many end users who need to measure the temperature of metals or composites while processing at room temperature. The short wavelength also enables measurements to be taken through glass or transparent plastic windows, a common task in the latest laser welding or lighting systems.

The sensor’s precision double laser sighting, coupled with its excellent optical resolution (100:1), minimum spot size of 0.7mm, and favourable price/performance ratio, mean the device is ideal for measuring in the metal processing and metal components industry at temperatures up to 600°C.

The double laser sighting system has two laser beams, which precisely follow the infrared optical path, marking at any distance the real spot size. Most common pyrometers use a central laser beam, through-lens sighting system or video sighting, which simply mark the centre and estimate the spot size.

For more information on Micro-Epsilon’s thermoMETER range of non-contact temperature measurement solutions, or for a product demonstration, please call in on stand 58 at MAINTEC 2009 or call the sales department on 0151 260 9800 or email:

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