Sensing the Forest Through the Trees

tree_4As I blogged before the Fourth of July took us home to friends and family, LumaSense Technologies’ collaborative 6th Sense approach consists of six steps that effectively put companies on the path to rooting out waste and inefficiency.

Some may consider an efficiency improvement of 1-4% to be modest and not worth the effort required. But when you’re competing with companies on an international scale, every improvement affects the bottom line. If you could make transformational and enduring improvements to achieve world-class efficiency and reduce unwarranted waste, then why not?

Take the case of a typical process-intensive industrial materials plant operator in the steel industry. He or she is typically deploying a single-point pyrometer to measure the temperature of costly equipment such as the ladles or torpedo cars that transport molten metals. For them, a pyrometer is nothing more than a laser pointer – the cheapest possible device for non-contact temperature measurement. On the other end of the temperature-measurement spectrum, they could use a fully radiometric thermal imaging camera. This camera is like having thousands of embedded accurate pyrometers in a single box – which also is on the top end of the cost range.

What it comes down to is simply seeing the forest through the trees. Pyrometers can tell you if the proverbial single measured tree is burning. Multi-point, fully radiometric infrared (IR) cameras can tell how many trees in the forest are on fire – even when it’s raining.

What if there was an in-between solution?

That’s why we recently introduced our breakthrough Rel-Rad™ IR imaging technology – to fill the gap for operators looking to accurately measure a single temperature AND assess temperature uniformity across an entire container or enclosure against that reference temperature.

relradThe ability to measure uniformity is vital to extending the longevity of many types of industrial equipment used in temperature-intensive environments. Sensing even minute temperature variations can save thousand of dollars – preventing, for example, an expensive torpedo car or steel ladle from breaking, spilling its load and jeopardizing operations and people. It can also help to save money…especially energy savings in preheating applications.

Rel-Rad introduces a uniform thermal picture that’s worth a thousand pyrometers with “relatively radiometric” imaging that bridges the gap between single-point pyrometry and fully radiometric thermal imaging to deliver precise thermal images at half the cost of fully radiometric systems.

Rel-Rad combines low-cost spot pyrometry with infrared thermal imaging technology to produce thermal images that are not fully radiometric but are “relatively radiometric” by driving the thermal image palette through a radiometric pyrometer capable of precise temperature readings.

Rel-Rad is ideal for industries where it’s critical to know the temperature of an object as well as ensuring uniformity across an object at that temperature. Many processes in metals and glass making that use a single pyrometer to measure temperature can be improved with Rel-Rad technology, e.g. steel making processes like ladle preheat, torpedo car monitoring and annealing furnace operations. With the more precise temperature measurements that a Rel-Rad solution provides, the life of a pouring ladle or torpedo car can be extended by 20% and energy usage for preheat operations reduced by 10%.

How do you see Rel-Rad helping you sense your industry’s forest through the trees?

Contact LumaSense Application Engineering at rel-rad@lumasenseinc.com to design and configure your process-specific Rel-Rad solution.

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