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A recent online article by NBC Los Angeles reports how a FLIR Systems GF320 optical gas imaging  camera has made visible the Aliso Canyon leak from Southern California Gas (Sempra) natural gas storage field that threatens the Porter Ranch community in Los Angeles County.

Hundreds of local residents who said that they’ve been sickened by the fumes from a massive and ongoing leak have seen a disturbing infrared video of what appears to be a plume of gas billowing over a nearby hillside. The Infrared (IR) camera video was shot by environmental non-profit organisation Earthworks.

The FLIR GF320 OGI camera is a preventative maintenance solution designed to spot  hydrocarbon leaks in piping, flanges and connections in oil and gas operations. The camera can rapidly scan large areas and pinpoint leaks invisible to the naked eye in real time. It is suitable for monitoring plants that are difficult to reach with contact measurement tools. Literally thousands of components can be scanned per shift without the need to interrupt the process. The FLIR GF320 reduces repair downtime and provides verification of the process. Above all, it is exceptionally safe, allowing potentially dangerous leaks to be monitored from several meters away. The FLIR GF320 is proven to significantly improve work safety, environmental and regulatory compliance as well as helping to improve the bottom line by finding leaks that essentially decrease profits.

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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