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Combined thermal imager and clamp meter spots faults

03 March, 2016

The thermal imaging specialist Flir has announced what it claims is the world’s first combined thermal imager and clampmeter. The Flir CM174’s thermal camera guides the user to hotspots and pinpoints temperature anomalies, which they can then investigate using the 600A AC/DC clampmeter.  

Flir says that, for a long time, electricians have investigated complex problems by looking for the cause one measurement at a time. Often they don’t find the true source of the problem, leading to repeated attempts to troubleshoot and fix the same issue. As well as wasting time, this approach also poses safety risks.

The new instrument is designed to end such uncertainty. It uses Flir’s Infrared Guided Measurement (IGM) technology to guide users to temperature differences. A built-in laser beam and crosshair help to pinpoint the location of the problem.

Flir suggests that the instrument may identify issues that users didn’t expect to see. For instance, they might think that a faulty motor controller has caused an equipment failure but, using the instrument, they discover that an overheating motor or a loose connection was actually to blame.

The thermal imager allows users to identify anomalies safely without needing to reach into a panel or to negotiate cluttered cabling. The instrument provides accurate current and voltage measurements, as well as centre-point temperature readings.

A narrow jaw helps to clamp the meter around cables in tight spaces, while a built-in worklight can illuminate dark areas. The instrument’s measuring range can be extended to 3kA AC using accessories.

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