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The growing demand for infrared windows for safe thermal inspection of energised electrical systems has led FLIR Systems to extend its FLIR IRW-Series.  As well as its windows with an anodised aluminium frame, these products are now available in stainless steel for use in harsh environments and outdoors. This option also eliminates the possibility of galvanic corrosion from contact between the stainless steel cabinet and window frame.

 Although primarily designed for use with FLIR thermal imaging cameras to provide the very best combined performance, FLIR IR stainless steel windows can be used with any brand of camera.  And in common with the entire IRW-Series, they are compliant with NFPA 70E requirements and all relevant UL, CSA, IEC and IEEE standards and ratings.

The gold standard for electrical fault detection is to conduct thermal inspection when the system is live as it allows much more meaningful information to be gathered and shortens problem diagnosis. This practice, however, exposes the camera user to the risk of arc flash and requires him or her to wear cumbersome PPE as protection against the danger. 

The loss of productive time and the costs involved in putting kit on and taking it off again are huge and the reason why FLIR Systems introduced its own range of thermal imaging windows that now provides even more choice than ever before.

As with the established FLIR IRW-Series, the new stainless steel models bring important benefits to the market, the most important being robust design and easy installation; just drill a single hole and attach the single PIRma-Lock™ ring nut to hold the window in place. No screw holes are required that may subsequently strip out.

A permanently-hinged cover flips over and stays put, so there is no risk of losing, dropping or mixing-up covers.  An ID label is on the reverse of the cover for foolproof identification.

The broadband crystal lens – for short, medium and long wave IR – is encased in the stainless steel frame.  It offers good transmissivity across the spectral range and enables cameras to capture visible light pictures as well as thermal images.  They also allow the LED and laser illumination features that are standard on many FLIR cameras to pass through for clearer visual assessment. 

Another pertinent, standard feature on the FLIR high-end cameras is automatic IR window compensation that factors in associated energy loss so that the highest possible temperature accuracy is achieved,

As with the anodised aluminium IRW-Series windows, the stainless steel products are rated for operating temperatures up to 260°C and are available in three sizes – 50mm, 75mm and 95mm.

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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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