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Gubba Cold Storage offers its customers cold storage facilities for a wide range of products, from plant seeds to pharmaceuticals. Every product has its own prescribed storage requirements so it is essential that Gubba’s eleven cold storage units maintain an accurate, consistent temperature, 24/7.  Not only is this important from a customer service standpoint but also to optimise the cost of operation.

For this reason, Gubba has invested in FLIR thermal imaging to prevent any insulation failures or electrical faults compromising temperature regulation and uniformity or increasing energy consumption.

Historically the company did not conduct any preventive maintenance for insulation leaks, they were simply repaired when they became evident.  Although the company was swift to act there was always the danger that moisture ingress would disturb the required relative humidity.  Also, the moisture would condense and freeze which would ultimately weaken the structure of the unit’s wall and diminish its insulation properties.

A chance meeting with FLIR at an exhibition proved the turning point. “I soon discovered that it’s possible to scan large areas to look for insulation problems, find moisture beneath the insulation surface and much more,” explained Gubba Prashant. “So, we decided to buy one of FLIR’s handheld thermal imaging cameras and we haven’t looked back since.”

The company chose a FLIR entry-level troubleshooting camera and it is now in regular use to spot both insulation defects and electrical problems in their infancy.  Engineers can now scan electrical cabinets, components and connections to get an instant picture of potential trouble.

“We use our FLIR camera extensively for safety checks in electrical panels and chiller rooms across various cold storage buildings,” Gubba Prashant added.  “When it shows us an electrical cable that is much hotter than its environment, we instantly intervene to prevent the problem becoming serious.”  He confirms: “A significant reduction in energy costs have also resulted from the repairs we have been able to do based on the information from our FLIR camera.”

Thermal imaging has given Gubba Cold Storage the confidence that it is providing the very best service for its customers but because it is a visual technology, those customers can also see proof.  After performing a thermal audit with the FLIR camera, the company is now able to give its customers a report that certifies the accuracy of the unit’s temperature and relative humidity.

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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