Process-control instrumentation and industrial electronics supplier Instrotech has launched a new fixed infrared camera, the PI 450 G7, aimed specifically at the glass industry.
Released in South Africa in January, the Optris PI 450 G7 features a special wavelength specifically for the glass manufacturing industries, enabling the user to measure the actual temperature of the glass surface, instead of the temperatures being reflected off the glass, owing to reflected radiation.
Instrotech sales director Scott Hunter tells Engineering News that, following the launch of the new camera range, the company is working on several opportunities that will require working with customers like glass-packing manufacturer Consol and manufacturer of float and patterned glass PFG Building Glass.
“In the past, end-users could only use basic sensors, such as pyrometers, which enabled them to measure only a specific temperature at one spot. However, with the PI 450 G7 infrared camera, you can actually look at the bigger picture and monitor an entire array of temperatures. As far as Instrotech is aware, this camera is a first for the industry, designed specifically for the glass manufacturing sector,” he adds.
Infrared devices register radiated heat and, by measuring only the actual radiated surface temperature of the glass, the user gets a much more accurate measurement of the actual surface temperature. The PI 450 G7 does not measure the surrounding waves that bounce off the glass, as they are filtered out using a 7.9 μm filter.
All Instrotech’s infrared products are manufactured and developed by Germany-based infrared-measuring device supplier Optris. These products, which are imported and distributed by Instrotech, offer engineering solutions in terms of applications, while Instrotech also provides customer services, maintenance repairs and overall technical support. Instrotech is the primary distributor for Optris in Africa and currently deals with companies throughout Africa.
Hunter tells Engineering News that product specification needs to precede the sale of any Instrotech-distributed infrared camera, which requires the company to meet with customers and consider their exact requirements to ensure that the camera is suitable for their specific application.
Further, the technical nature of installing infrared cameras requires the company to provide the setup and configuration of the software, as well as online support. Instrotech employees provide a demonstration of the product to assist a customer with product information and to ensure that the product will work when used with the relevant application.
The licence-free Optris PI Connect software, which is included in the delivery scope, has a line-scan camera function, also known as line-scan mode, which, for example, measures pane temperature during the transport of glass panes on conveyor belts.
“Infrared technology is becoming more popular in terms of temperature measurement because it is a noncontact technology,” highlights Hunter.
At an ambient temperature of up to 70 °C, the infrared camera is fully operational without having to use a cooling jacket. With a housing size of 46 × 56 × 90 mm3 and a weight of 320 g, including the lens, the PI 450 G7 is particularly suited to applications in confined spaces and for installation at industrial facilities.
Further, owing to an imaging frequency of 80 Hz, the camera allows for glass products to be continuously tested, even during fast processing procedures.
Hunter maintains that the PI 450 G7, which includes an extensive software package for thermographic analysis, is sold at a cost-effective price. Instrotech, therefore, considers itself to be a market leader in terms of price, as the high-quality camera is still cheaper than many similar, competing products.
Instrotech will launch a new infrared camera range – the PI 1ML (0.92–1.1μm wavelength) – for high-temperature applications, like furnaces and smelters, in May, as there is strong demand for this range, and there are also currently no similar cameras on the market for these applications, he concludes.