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K series brochure - .PDF file.

The Beveren fire service, which is responsible for fire safety at the Belgian port of Waasland, near Antwerp, and its surrounding municipalities, has invested in the K50 thermal-imaging camera from Flir Systems — Thermography.

A number of companies that manufacture or use flammable chemicals and toxic materials are based in the port of Waasland, and these commercial activities present an increased fire risk. As such, the Beveren fire service has always invested in advanced technology to support its team in this hazardous environment.

One of the detection technologies that the service has used for many years is thermal imaging, and a truck-mounted system — which provides both visual and thermal imaging — is considered to be a key piece of equipment.

Last year, the service decided to extend the scope of this technology to include handheld thermal imaging, and weight was a critical factor in its choice of a suitable model. The fire suit, air tank and high-pressure equipment that the fire fighters carry are already weighty, so it was important that the thermal-imaging camera should not significantly increase this burden. The service chose the Flir K50 model.

Click on the link above to download the K series brochure.

Key benefits of product application

  • According to corporal Stefaan Terryn of the Beveren team, the Flir K50 is suitable for chimney fires and for detecting hotspots in a dropped ceiling. Alternatively, the service can use the camera to see temperature changes that result from chemical reactions in containers.
  • One of the main roles of the Flir K50 handheld camera is to establish if the fire has been extinguished effectively or whether there is danger of re-ignition. Periodically taken temperature measurements provide this valuable information.
  • The K50 is also extensively used in targeted searches for missing persons. The search-and-rescue (SAR) mode provides a dedicated colour palette to assist in this process.
  • The camera also includes four other imaging options. They are ‘basic thermal imaging’ for initially sizing up the fire scene and a ‘greyscale mode’ that removes the distraction of colour. ‘Fire mode’ improves sensitivity in high scene temperatures and the ‘heat detection mode’ highlights the hotspots in colour.
  • Terryn said: ‘The camera also helps us see potentially dangerous situations without the need to enter a specific area. We recently had to attack a fire in an engine room of a ship that was berthed in Waasland port. And this is a good example of where thermal imaging proved indispensable. Entering a confined space that is on fire is dangerous, but with thermal imaging our fire fighter could see what was going on from a safe distance.’

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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