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Thread: IR Pyrometer

  1. #1
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
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    IR Pyrometer

    Hi All,
    Can anyone offer any direction on an IR device capable of measuring up to 2,300F that can be tied into a laptop to verify temperature of a work piece?

    We currently have a two color IR pyrometer with a controller that is aimed at a piece of tube that gets heated for a heavy forging operation. The unit is calibrated and works fine but we need something in place to verify this. Belt and suspenders so to speak.

    Our customer is justifiably concerned that we could get a false reading and escape the proper heat parameters for this particular part. The thought is that at some point the unit could go out of calibration or possibly move and be off target of the heated zone. It's a very rugged environment with a lot of heavy vibration and pretty smoky. Our IR unit "eyeball" is on the other side of the machine so it's out of the way and it doesn't provide a picture of te part to the operator. It's just a temp reading of "wherever" it happens to be pointed.

    I'd like to have a device tied to a laptop in front of the operator station so he could glance down when the induction unit makes temp and see what the camera says. I'd like this peak-picking camera to view the entire heated area and be visible to the operator in that screen so we can be certain it too is aimed right.

    I'm sure the customer would appreciate it if the device could also record the days run temperatures of each part. Who make the best unit for the money? Or does anyone have any ideas of a cheap way to verify accurate temperature reading? We're a small shop and I'm not crazy about the idea of putting a $30,000 camera out by that machine.

    We were going to use a touch probe but the problem is the response time is so much longer with the touch probe that the numbers never match our units reading. Couple other issues with that method too....

    Any thoughts appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Bob

  2. #2
    Lead Engineer Cake of Doom's Avatar
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    Cheap and accurate could be the biggest hurdle.

  3. #3
    Lead Engineer RWOLFEJR's Avatar
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    Was watching a dirt bike race and the riders had the go-pro camera things on their helmets and the videos were very clear.

    This got me thinking... we could mount a small camera onto the threaded sight eye piece of our unit. The peep hole you line up on your target is externally threaded. When you look through the thing there's a small circle reticle that is your alignment point. I grabbed my camera this weekend and put a small holed thing over the lens to obstruct the view for all but a tiny hole through the center and it was still clear view through that hole.

    So thinking.... mount a video camera to the peep hole of the main one wired to a monitor so the operator can see where the thing is aimed. Just need to find something small that I can whip up an adapter for it to mount and maybe something able to utilize AC so we're not fussing with batteries all the time. Wouldn't even need to be able to record... just transmit what it's seeing to a monitor.

    Snag up a second relatively inexpensive two color system to verify the first and add the sight line idea to the main unit.

    Sound plausible? What sort of camera eyeball should I be looking for that's compact that could easily adapt and be wired to a monitor or laptop? Maybe just pluck the camera out of a laptop and extend it's wire? Then again maybe the thing to do is just blow the dust off the checkbook and buy another unit for the primary and just use our current for verifying the first. Just irks me to spend that kind of money on something far more sophisticated than we really need.

  4. #4
    Lead Engineer Cake of Doom's Avatar
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    I have WiFi enabled IR units on the market that seemed quite reasonably priced. If acting as a checker it only needs to be in the ball park as your main unit (tolerance to be acceptable of course.) Depends how close the station is as to whether you even need the wireless stuff.

    I personally would go with a separate camera for maintaining a visual; I'm not a big fan of laptop integrated cameras though. Most of them remind me of 1980's CCTV footage. If you have an old digital camera knocking about, I'd use that. I take it these won't be hitting high enough to to be a problem for a domestic camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by RWOLFEJR
    Just irks me to spend that kind of money on something far more sophisticated than we really need.
    I know what you mean. Keep it simple and it'll never let you down.*

    * LOL until it does.

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