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FLIR Systems has announced that the FLIR GF320 and GF300 optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras have received sensitivity standard validation by UK-based National Physical Laboratory (NPL), making them compliant with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) OOOOa Methane rule for the oil and gas industry.

The EPA OOOOa methane rule references OGI as the best system of emission reduction (BSER) on specific sources at compressor stations and well sites across the US. However, the rule also states that any OGI equipment used for compliance purposes must be capable of imaging a gas that is half methane, half propane at a concentration of 10,000 parts per millions (ppm), at a flow rate of less than 60g per hour, from a quarter inch diameter orifice. Being independently certified to be compliant with this requirement, the FLIR GF300 and FLIR GF320 systems represent advanced technology for gas detection activities within the oil and gas industry.

The GF320 and GF300 cameras incorporate the ability to tag image/video data with GPS location information, enabling operators to meet another key EPA regulatory requirement for reporting.  Also, the FLIR GF320 camera is calibrated to measure temperature, allowing the user to ensure optimal thermal contrast between the gas compound and the background scene.

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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