Thermal imagers


Precision sensor manufacturer Micro-Epsilon has introduced two thermal imagers for industrial environments that are both compact and robust, offering advanced thermal imaging functions at a price level normally associated with single-point pyrometers.

The entry-level thermoIMAGER TIM 8 features an 80 × 80 pixel resolution, 50 Hz frame rate and autonomous operation that offers automatic detection of hot or cold spots. As an imager, the TIM 8 provides more freedom to check and look for faults. It is not reliant on the target being in the same place and can detect hot (or cold) spots anywhere within its field of view. Once set-up and configuration are complete using the included software, the TIM 8 is then capable of standalone operation without a PC connected, combining the advantages of a robust pyrometer with those of an infrared thermal imaging camera.

Automatic detection of hot or cold spots in automation, machine building and plant monitoring increases process reliability. The TIM 8 is specially designed for these types of application. The measured temperature can be output directly as an analogue signal or as a digital alarm output. Another feature of the camera is its integrated lens and motorised focus. The focus adjustment is software controlled, enabling the operator to set the target in focus without having to touch the camera, which is ideal if it is mounted in a hard-to-reach area.

With three selectable temperature measurement ranges from −20°C to +900°C, the TIM 8 can be used, for example, to monitor the temperature in control cabinets, for process control in production lines or to detect overheated baked goods. When the predefined alarm threshold is reached, an alert signal is output via the integrated process interface.

Set-up is intuitive via the well-established TIM Connect configuration software, which is available as a free download from the Micro-Epsilon website. Communication with the camera is made by USB or Ethernet connection. A range of accessories are also available, including air purge collars, protective windows and cooling housings, which enable the TIM 8 device to be installed in a wide range of industrial environments. This is ideal for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers looking to integrate more than just a pyrometer.

For users requiring an even greater optical resolution and higher frame rates for temperature monitoring of high-speed thermal processes, Micro-Epsilon has also introduced the thermoIMAGER TIM 40 to its range. This robust industrial camera offers excellent optical resolution of 382 × 288 pixels, a frame rate of 80 Hz and an effective distance-to-spot-size ratio of 390:1. The selectable temperature ranges are from −20°C to +100°C, 0°C to 250°C or 150°C to 900°C.

The TIM 40 also incorporates a motorised focus for easy adjustments on targets via remote control. Power supply and operation are via USB connection. With multiple measurement outputs available via the optional industrial process interface, this also makes the camera ideal for high-volume OEM applications.