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Hanson Cement is using thermal-imaging technology from Flir Systems in the regular inspection and trend analysis of vital pieces of equipment such as the cement kiln, ensuring problem-free cement production.

The even flow of heat in a rotating kiln is essential to its efficiency and quality of end product and so it is crucial that any weak points in the kiln walls are identified and rectified.

Flir’s T335 thermal-imaging camera is being used by Hanson Cement to regularly monitor the condition of the kiln for changes in thermal profile that would indicate brick movement.

Benefits of product application

  • The Flir T335 camera revealed a problem on the first inspection round, locating a fault that, undetected, would have damaged the kiln shell, resulting in at least two weeks of downtime
  • The camera is also being used in other preventative and reactive maintenance situations, allowing reliability technician Matthew Griffiths to safely locate electrical connection problems, saving many hours in repair time
  • The camera is easy to use, lightweight and can be employed throughout the plant
  • Its tiltable lens allows a clear reading to be taken in difficult-to-access areas
  • Scalable picture-in-picture images also assist in highlighting thermal problems
  • The isotherm feature on the Flir T335 is proving useful for spotting changes in a relatively narrow temperature range
  • It will also soon be used to check the integrity of cement transport lines as an alternative to the time-consuming process of ultrasonic testing

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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