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Aberdeen-based Inspectahire Instrument Company has used GF320 optical gas imaging cameras from Flir Systems to provide hydrocarbon leak detection services to the offshore oil and gas industry.

Inspectahire is an international supplier of specialist remote visual inspection technology and solutions to companies in many industries around the world. The company offers a range of equipment rental, contracting and project engineering services.

The GF320 infrared cameras are suitable for use in harsh industrial environments. They feature focal-plane-array detectors and optical systems tuned to very narrow spectral infrared ranges. This enables the real-time cameras to image infrared energy absorbed by hydrocarbon gas leaks.

Images are processed and enhanced by the Flir High Sensitivity Mode feature to clearly show the presence of gases against stationary backgrounds. Gases detectable by the GF320 appear on screen as smoke plumes.

Key benefits of product application

  • According to Cailean Forrester, managing director of Inspectahire, optical gas imaging using the Flir GF320 offers tangible benefits compared with traditional hydrocarbon leak ’sniffers’ because it can scan a broader area much more rapidly and monitor areas that are difficult to reach with contact measurement tools.
  • Forrester explained that the portable camera technology greatly improves operator safety by detecting emissions at a safe distance.
  • The GF320 helps the oil and gas industry improve the control of hydrocarbon emissions, thereby preserving the environment, improving operational safety and minimising revenue loss.

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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