At Automotive Testing Expo North America this year, Thermotron is presenting its latest thermal imaging add-on for its 8800 controller, which is designed to help users leverage the emerging technology.
As Dr Ben Shank, the company’s senior staff scientist, explained, thermal images with the information equivalent of thousands of thermocouples are now commonplace in increasing numbers of industries. However, he said that integrating the benefits of thermal imaging into an environmental test setting has proved to be a challenge, even for experienced testers.
The standard Thermal Imaging Add-On for Thermotron’s 8800 controller was developed to enable testers to apply thermal imaging effectively, “We had experts at national labs trying to cobble these sensors into very sophisticated test platforms and it wasn’t working,” commented Shank, who is at the show doing demos, educating attendees and answering questions.
“Our customers have come to expect more data, better control and better ways of looking at things. It was time to offer a well-thought-out solution that ties into the rest of the system.”
He explained that hardware based around the patented universal port design holds a FLIR camera pointed into the chamber through a specially engineered window. A continuous stream of dry air keeps the window clear across the full operating range of the chamber. With 320 x 256 pixels of resolution and field-of-view options ranging from the broad 69° lens down to a targeted 13°, thermal resolution previously unachievable with thermocouples becomes readily visible.
Images streamed to the controller can be viewed in real time, saved on demand and time lapsed. Up to 24 user-selected pixel regions may be saved, summarized on graphs alongside thermocouple data and used for product temperature control. As infrared reflections off metallic surfaces are a major concern in this type of testing, backdrops and fixturing to promote accurate imaging are available.
Shank added, “The expo is an opportunity to network with others in the industry, learn about best practices and new solutions, and discuss specific testing problems with a wide range of experts.”
Visit Thermotron Industries at Booth 12060 to see a demo.
Click here to register for your free expo pass.