Micro Infrared Thermal Drone Cameras for High Resolution Thermographic Imaging

iRay Explains How Thermal Cameras are Used in Automation

Feature Article by iRay
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In this article, iRay explains the role that thermal cameras play in automation applications, including automated inspection, process control, condition monitoring, fire prevention and monitoring, and continuous optical gas imaging.


Ⅰ. About thermal cameras

An infrared thermal camera is an instrument that transforms the invisible infrared energy emitted by an object into a visible thermal image. It uses an infrared detector and an optical imaging objective lens to receive the infrared radiation energy distribution pattern of the measured target, and then reflects it on the photosensitive component of the infrared detector to obtain a thermal image, which corresponds to the heat distribution field on the surface of the object. Different colors on the thermal image represent different temperatures of the measured object.

iray-how-are-thermal-cameras-used-in-automationCurrently, thermal cameras play an irreplaceable role in automation applications in these aspects: automated inspection, process control, condition monitoring, fire prevention and monitoring, and continuous optical gas imaging.

Ⅱ. Thermal cameras applied in automation

1. Automated inspection: Thermal data are critical for many applications, such as the production of parts in the automotive or electronics industries. While machine vision software can discover production problems, it cannot detect thermal anomalies. Thermal images can provide additional information to production professionals and decision makers. Thermal cameras have no rivals for non-contact accurate temperature measurement. It adds a new dimension to machine vision. It is a perfect solution for applications such as non-contact accurate temperature measurement and non-destructive testing.

2. Process control: Process control is closely related to the temperature measurement or appearance inspection of specific products on the production line. The parameters obtained are used to control and improve the processes so that the product temperature or appearance meets the technical requirements. For instance, they are used to ensure quality control and 100% inspection of products. Thermal cameras have more to offer. Production engineers can harness the useful data obtained from the production process to improve efficiency.

3. Condition monitoring: Condition monitoring means identifying potential problems before they occur in order to prevent unexpected and costly production stoppages. Typical equipment that can be monitored includes high and low-voltage devices, turbines, compressors and other electromechanical equipment. Sometimes it is also necessary to monitor the entire production process because any abnormality can incur a risk.

4. Fire prevention/detection: Fire can burn down the entire premises and storage area swiftly, which would cause great damage both to goods and lives. Although warehouses and storage areas are often equipped with fire alarm and firefighting systems, they only come into play after a fire has already started. Thermal cameras can detect hot spots before a fire occurs so that the personnel concerned can take proactive measures.

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact