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Process thermal imaging systems historically have had limited use in process applications. To be practical, they have required custom-built or, at best, user-configured, software systems to acquire the usable process information that can then be rendered to a DCS, PLC or SCADA system. LumaSense Technologies has overcome these limitations with the release of its Mikron MCL-320MF fixed-installation process camera for industrial and monitoring applications. This thermal imaging system can be mounted in any industrial process environment and can communicate directly with the process control system. The use of onboard digital outputs and streaming video provide alarming within the customer’s process control system, providing a visual reference of thermal abnormalities within the process.
Unlike single-point pyrometer systems, the Mikron MCL-320MF camera from LumaSense Technologies produces images at 320 x 240 pixels (76, 800 total), providing a much more detailed picture of the process and any temperature anomalies.
The Mikron MCL-320MF can be mounted near the process and connected directly to the control system, which receives alarms from it. “Now it becomes more of a true process instrument,” explains Andy Beck, sales manager, process imaging for Mikron Infrared, a LumaSense Technologies company. “It continually analyzes the process for thermal anomalies while displaying the thermal images on a remote operator screen. The unit also has an automated alarming circuit that allows for operation without operator intervention and constant screening.”
The MCL-320MF can be fitted in a variety of Mikron industrial enclosures, including NEMA-4 and Class 1, Div 2 explosion-proof enclosures.
The MCL-320MF to Mikron’s MikroSpec RT control software with an optional OPC server to supply large amounts of very detailed information to the control system and provide a thorough and precise data image of what is occurring within a particular process. MikroSpec RT software offers such tools as temperature trending, histogram output and isotherm alarming, all of which are user-configurable and can be modified through a simple user interface. The MikroSpec RT software also can control multiple analog and digital output streams to communicate directly with the customer’s control system.
The MCL-320MF is small (65 mm x 65 mm x 209 mm) in overall size and weighs only 2.2 lbs, excluding any protective enclosure. It has a temperature range of -40 °C to 500 °C. With a measurement accuracy of 2 degrees or 2%, this unit offers a consistent and repeatable feedback to the process control system.
The MCL-320MF offers remote control operation through an Ethernet interface or via RS232 and a simple operator control joystick. It has both grayscale and multiple color image options, including four isothermal band displays. Its image processing functions include variable level/sense; multi-point temperature display, multi-point emissivity display, max/min temperature display, alarm, and image filtering.
With online thermal image processing software, the MCL-320MF gives users real-time image acquisition rates up to 30 frames per second; views of multiple regions of interest (ROI) to allow for processing and computing of minimum, maximum and average temperatures for up to 32 ROIs; alarm set points that can be configured to generate software and digital output alarms; and isotherm overlays to prove a visual representation of the temperature breakdown on the image.
The MCL-320MF is available now and priced below $15,000. This is extremely cost-effective, says Beck, when compared to installing multiple single-point systems because the MCL-320MF gives better coverage and gives a more comprehensive picture of what is occurring in the process. Mikron is a “turn-key” solutions provider, furnishing the customer with a complete package consisting of the imager, enclosure, necessary software and on-site installation and start-up services.
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