Mechatronics Canada

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June 30, 2021

When decision makers seek to integrate new hardware into their automation process, they are often looking at a few key areas – the ease of use, price point, features, and the ability to utilize the hardware at multiple points throughout their system. The new A50 and A70 thermal cameras come in three options – Smart, Streaming, and Research & Development to fit the needs of professionals across a variety of industries – from manufacturing to utilities to science.  The new cameras offer improved accuracy of ±2 °C or ±2% temperature measurement, compared to the previous accuracy of ±5 °C, or ±5% temperature measurement. The cameras all include an IP66 rating, along with a small, compact size with higher resolution options compared to previous versions.

Featuring a thermal resolution of 464 x 348 (A50) or 640 x 480 (A70), professionals can deploy the A50 or A70 cameras in a variety of capacities. These include condition monitoring programs to maximize uptime and minimize cost through planned maintenance, or when used in early fire detection applications to safeguard the lives of workers and secure the profitability of the business by protecting materials and assets. With improved temperature measurement accuracy of ±2 °C, professionals can rely on consistent readings over a period of time, or through varying environmental factors, eliminating any guesswork from data analysis.

The IP66 rating for both the A50 and A70 provides protection from dust, oil, and water, making the cameras ideal for tough, industrial environments. This ruggedness is especially helpful when the camera is being moved from one application to the next. Whether the camera is fix-mounted inspecting a production line or when required for bench testing, professionals benefit from its versatility.

A50/70 Smart

Designed for condition monitoring programs to reduce inspection times, improve production efficiency, and increase product reliability, the A50 and A70 Smart cameras introduce “on camera / on edge” smart functionality. This means temperature measurement and analysis can be done on the camera, easily and effectively without the need for a PC. These cameras allow automation system solution providers to hit the ground running with a camera that is easy to add, configure, and operate in HMI/SCADA systems (with REST API, MQTT and Modbus master functionality).

A50/70 Image Streaming

Built for process and quality control, the A50/A70 Image Streaming cameras improve through-put time and the quality of what is being produced, all while reducing operating costs. With its GigE Vision and GenICam compatibility, professionals can simply plug the camera into their PC and choose their preferred software. In most cases, the addition of A50 or A70 Image Streaming cameras complement machine vision systems that look at defects such as size, with the A50 or A70 providing temperature variance in these products.

A50/70 Research & Development Kit

Primarily used as a research and development solution, the A50 and A70 Research & Development Kit provides an easy entry point into thermal imaging analysis for applications within academia, material studies, and electronic and semi-conductor research. The Research & Development Kit include the Advanced Image Streaming versions of the A50 and A70 cameras and FLIR Research Studio software for camera control, live image display, recording, and post‐processing for decision support.

The A50 and A70 thermal cameras, with Smart, Streaming, or Research and Development options, offer professionals, in a variety of industries with a turnkey solution, to efficiently and effectively inspect and analyze data, ultimately saving time and money.

Expert Viewpoints:

“In addition to its small, compact packaging, which makes it easier to mount these cameras inside of machinery with tight spaces, we are excited about the A50/A70’s IP66 rating, a feature that eliminates the need to add an enclosure around the camera when it is deployed it in tough environments. Another added benefit is having the ability to inspect and analyze data through the camera’s Wi-Fi capability, eliminating the need for users to run wires through a manufacturing facility from a computer to the piece of equipment that is being inspected.”

- Roy Ray, vice president, Emitted Energy

“The launch of the new A50/A70 camera is really exciting for FLIR customers. Its new software capabilities now allow for dual functionality with two different spectrums - thermal temperature monitoring and visual inspection - within the same camera. This adds an extra level of functionality to new and existing integrated FLIR systems. Users can combine thermal functionality, to check packaging seals for example, with visual inspection of the packaging itself. This can now be completed by one camera without the need for any additional hardware - just a simple software change.”

-  John Dunlop, founder and chief technical officer, Bytronic Vision Automation

“We are excited about the launch of the new FLIR A50/A70 thermal imaging camera and the value it will add for our customers. With its expanded communication capabilities, ViperVision can do more with the camera information we’ve always had. The more data and more ways to access that data the customers have, the better. We are now able to take the same critical data that has always been provided by FLIR cameras and make it more available and thus more useful to our customers. Whether this means integration with VMS and security systems or more plant control networks (DCS, PLC, SCADA), we are now able to accomplish multiple tasks simultaneously and more efficiently.”

-  Andy Beck, co-founder and co-owner, Viper Imaging

The FLIR A50 and A70 are available globally today through FLIR authorized distributors and will ship in Q2 2021. For more information on the new A-Series cameras, visit the links below.

https://www.flir.com/products/a50_a70-smart-sensor/

https://www.flir.com/products/a50_a70-image-streaming/

https://www.flir.com/products/a50_a70-research-amp-development-kits/

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When it’s time to consider a new motion control solution for your application, rule #1 is “Solve the problem, then worry about the design.”

This is easier said than done, but not if you apply a disciplined, time-tested framework. First, you must clearly understand the problem and the local environment. Failure to do so often results in a suboptimal motion control solution or complete failure.

Secondly, the designer should evaluate the application in light of proven existing motion control solutions. The engineer must also take stock of their skills and the expertise of the team in order to effectively choose the right options and to accurately anticipate development time and resources.

Before choosing any motion control products, the design engineer needs a set of principles to guide his or her selection. Long term experience and common sense has taught us seven important, but often overlooked, principles. 

These key learning have been encapsulated in a simple notion known as the SHAIRED paradigm:

  • •Simplicity of design to reduce problem-causing complexity and cost
  • Homework; calculate the required torque, inertia, duty cycle, etc.
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  • Integration of the system into existing factory automation
  • Redundancy built in to a system to exceed performance expectations and deal with unexpected changed in load and operating parameters
  • Economical solution for the short and long term.
  • Development time must be accurately estimated

Using the above guidelines during motion control system design, evaluation of alternatives, and final product selection will help increase the odds of application success.

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