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Flir Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS) has been selected by the DCMR Environmental Protection Agency to supply its GF320 optical gas imaging camera for inspection and law-enforcement tasks.

The DCMR Environmental Protection Agency is the regional environmental agency of the local and regional authorities operating in Rijnmond, the larger ‘Port of Rotterdam’ area in the Netherlands.

The tasks of the DCMR include regulation of the industries, monitoring and assisting authorities on developing environmental policy.

The DCMR issues permits to virtually all of the 22,000 enterprises in the area and carries out more than 9,000 inspections to monitor compliance with the permit conditions.

In recent years, the DCMR has performed field studies to measure and quantify the total emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from industrial sources in the Rotterdam port area.

The measurements indicate that the fugitive VOC emissions were about three to four times higher than the emissions that are annually reported to the DCMR.

As VOC emissions attribute to photochemical smog and can have a serious effect on the environment and human health, the Air Quality Department of the DCMR purchased the Flir GF320 optical gas imaging camera, a real-time infrared camera designed for use in harsh industrial environments.

It takes advantage of focal-plane array detector and optical systems that are tuned to very narrow spectral infrared ranges.

This enables the camera to image infrared energy absorbed by certain environmentally polluting gases.

Images are processed and enhanced by the Flir High Sensitivity Mode feature to clearly show the presence of gases against stationary backgrounds.

Gases that are detectable by the Flir GF320 camera appear on screen as smoke plumes.

The initial focus for using the camera will be on inspecting storage tanks, vapour recovery units and the VOC handling activities of refineries and storage and handling facilities.

The Flir GF320 camera will be used to develop a standard and solid working method that can be used as a law-enforcement tool.

For this reason, effort will also be put into making an NTA (Dutch Technical Agreement) together with other stakeholders to make the Flir GF320 camera an even more accepted method.

The final goal of the DCMR will be to reduce many kilotons of VOC emissions with aid of the Flir GF320 optical gas imaging camera.

FLIR Systems specialises in technologies that enhance perception and awareness.  The company brings innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging and visible light imaging technology and systems for measurement, diagnosis, location and advanced threat detection.  Its products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance productivity, increase energy efficiency and make the workplace safer.

FLIR Systems has six operating segments – surveillance, instruments, OEM and emerging markets, maritime, security and finally, detection. Of these six, ‘instruments’ is of greatest interest to trade and industry and the second largest segment in the company’s portfolio. This division provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial and scientific applications.

These products are manufactured across five production sites, three in the USA and two in Europe; Sweden and Estonia.

A model to suit every application and budget
The options that FLIR Systems provides for measuring temperature and studying thermal performance have never been greater.  Not only does the company offer a huge range of models to suit all thermal application needs but the technology is also affordable and very easy to use.  Thermal cameras now come in various shapes, sizes and degrees of sophistication and FLIR continues to invest heavily in the development of new and complementary technologies to differentiate itself from competitors.

An important milestone in the development of thermal imaging has been the introduction of the FLIR Lepton® core, a micro longwave detector, the size of a mobile SIM.  This has allowed thermal imaging to be repackaged to meet the needs of an even wider audience and, in combination with another new technology called Infrared Guided Measurement – IGM™ – has led to the development of a range of test and measurement meters with imaging capability.

Another important growth area for FLIR thermal imaging is in continuous monitoring to assure quality and safety.  Through its introduction of discrete fixed mounted thermal cameras which are fully compliant industry standard plug-and-play protocols, FLIR Systems has provided industry with infrared machine vision which is instantly ready for quick and easy network installation.

Protecting assets and people from fire is an area for which thermal imaging is least known but, thanks to FLIR Systems’ development, it is now one of the most cost-effective methods available.  Its application flexibility and rapid return on investment present an attractive proposition for any site or safety manager.

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