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The GF-320 thermal-imaging camera from Flir Advanced Thermal Solutions (ATS) is being used in various areas of the oil and gas industry as a preventative maintenance tool that helps to identify leaks in tanks, pipelines and facilities.

The camera produces a full picture of the scanned area and leaks appear as a plume of vapour on the camera’s viewfinder or LCD screen, enabling the user to see fugitive gas emissions.

The image is viewed in real time and can be recorded in the camera for archiving.

Once a leak is found, from a safe distance, the operator can use his or her TVA to quantify the concentration.

A variety of application stories describing the benefits that a number of international oil and gas companies are realising as a result of using Flir gas imaging cameras at key production sites are available to download here or by clicking on the individual icons above this story.

Key benefits

  • The GF-320 gas imaging tool is designed to improve safety and profitability while minimising emissions.
  • Optical imaging using the camera is said to be more effective than using a ‘sniffer’ because it can scan a broader area more quickly.
  • The camera is also designed to access difficult-to-reach areas.

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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