Mr. TP Singh, Country Manager, India-Instruments, FLIR Systems India Pvt. Ltd.
I will try to answer second question first. FLIR has been doing well in terms of delivering products meeting high demand mainly due to EST application. Infrared thermography coupled with special screening software, can detect elevated skin temperatures (EST), which may indicate the presence of a fever. When followed by a screening with a medical device designed specifically for measuring body temperature, such as a thermometer, the use of an infrared camera as an adjunctive diagnostic tool may help contain or limit the spread of viral diseases such as bird flu, swine flu, or COVID-19.
While there are several brands of thermal imagers on the market with many models at a range of price points, not all are designed to meet the demands of accurate elevated skin temperature measurement. Key camera specifications and features necessary for a successful screening program include sensitivity, accuracy, stability, and resolution.
This has increased the demand and FLIR is fully geared up to meet the expectations of the our customers.
As an answer to your first question, above solution has been useful for many manufacturing/machine tools companies who are very busy during this pandemic making essential goods. Now the situation is coming back to normal, these products will have more utility and will add lot of value in day to day operations for all type of Industry including machine tools.
Yes, we developed and launched many. A few key products launched in last 3 months are mentioned below:
This list can be very long but here are few key basic questions to get answer before you install this solution:
Where will you conduct the screening-
Carefully consider the location for screening stations, as environmental factors can influence thermal measurement accuracy
Will your program be permanent or temporary?
This helps to decide the complete BOQ needed as Thermal cameras come in different shapes & with variety of specs.
Will your screening system be part of a larger ecosystem?
This is important as some thermal cameras have on-board screening capabilities with ONVIF compliance making them compatible with most video management systems (VMS). These cameras can be easily integrated into existing or new security systems for on-edge screening. Some thermal cameras also offer integrated digital I/O for easy installation into access control systems.
What screening methodology is best?
Crowd scanning, black body references, outdoor versus indoor, secondary screening, relative versus absolute temperature measurement, thermal camera stability: these are just a few considerations that can lead to decision paralysis when developing a screening program. Sorting through all the program recommendations can end up delaying implementation and compromising confidence that you’re screening in the right way. There are several non-biased sources for screening standards and tips on best practices, such as the U.S. FDA’s thermal imaging system guidelines. However, partnering with technology providers, consultants, and integrators who understand the standards and know the best practices will ensure your program meets the application requirements and aligns with expert recommendations.
What support options are available?
Local after sales support, repair facility, etc. are important aspects to be considered.
There may be 4 key aspects:-
I will try to explain first two here.
Sensitivity: Most infrared camera companies have settled on a specification called Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) to grade the sensitivity of an infrared camera. In practical terms, the NETD value specifies the minimum resolvable temperature difference, or the smallest temperature difference the camera can clearly distinguish out of the noise.
The NETD for an infrared camera is measured in millikelvins (mK). The scale of sensitivity goes up as the numbers go down, meaning that 38 mK is nearly 3 times as sensitive as a 100 mK. Therefore, the lower the NETD, the more detailed images it can produce. Highly sensitive thermal imaging cameras will show more color and temperature differences; this high sensitivity also has a direct correlation with measurement accuracy.
Accuracy: The accuracy of an infrared camera system tells you the absolute measurement error of a known temperature target like a black body source, which is a programmable emitting device of electromagnetic radiation. For most infrared cameras, accuracy can be expressed in degrees, as a percentage temperature range, or both. For example, an industrial camera’s specifications may list the accuracy as ±2°C (±3.6°F) or ±2% Usually manufacturers note that the accuracy is based upon the greater of the two values, like this: ±2°C (±3.6°F) or ±2% of reading, whichever is greater. What this particular accuracy specification means in application is described as follows:
An electrical fuse at 50°C (122°F) could have a ±2% error measurement of ± 1.0°C (±2.4°F). Because the percent error (±1.0°C/2.4°F) is less than the stated degree error of ±2°C (±3.6°F), the relevant accuracy value for the fuse is the greater specification of ±2°C (±3.6°F).
FLIR thermal cameras that are engineered for elevated skin temperature screening can achieve accuracies of ±0.3°C (0.5°F) over a temperature measurement range of 15°C to 45°C (59°F to 113°F). This aligns with the U.S. FDA Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff as well as with ISO/ TR 13154 specification. High accuracy is ensured by using the camera in a stable ambient environment, by limiting targets to humans, and by frequently updating temperature reference samples according to the population being screened.
I have 27 years of experience. My educational qualifications include Degree in Electronics and Communication, Management course from IIM, Calcutta, Digital Marketing Course from DMI, Ireland. I am taking care of Instruments Sales in Emerging Markets for FLIR.
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