09-06-2020 | | By Nnamdi Anyadike
Infrared contactless measurement technology, with a response time measured ‘in milliseconds’, is a solution to the growing need for non-invasive temperature sensing. Contactless thermometers measure the infrared (heat) radiation given off by objects without touching them. According to a recent report, ‘Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2020-2025’, the global market is on the verge of witnessing significant growth. This will be in large part due to the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This pandemic has resulted in a spike in demand for several medical devices, which include nebulisers, blood pressure monitoring devices, medical ventilators along with the non-contact thermometer. In an attempt to contain the highly contagious virus, temperature monitoring has become an essential component across public places, including shopping malls, airports, offices, schools, thereby increasing the demand for non-contact thermometers,” says the report.
In May, B + B Thermo-Technik GmbH, the German based producer of precise measurement instruments for high quality industry solutions, announced the availability of contactless temperature measurement instruments, including the B & B ‘Thermo-Technik DM21 D IR thermometer display’. This comes in a number of varieties. The IR-Temperature mess system DM21 D, for example, is a compact, programmable Infrared-Mess system with very brief response time (T95) for multiple applications. “The spectral ranges range from plastic to a wide variety of metals. These include areas of application such as the temperature measurement of the granulate in injection moulding technology, the recording of the temperature in the production of flat films and sheet extrusion, as well as in induction hardening, deep drawing, metal casting or die forging. Our infrared products are also used in the glass industry,” says the company. The thermal imaging cameras provide exact temperature values in real time. All thermal imagers can be connected to a computer, via USB 2.0.
In June, Optris, the developer and manufacturer of infrared measurement devices for non-contact temperature measurement, announced the launch of a new system based on the current version of the PI 450i infrared camera. Together with the included PIX Connect Software, the surface temperature of a person’s face can be measured even when they are just passing by. The new system can record the temperature of people in a crowd. More reliable temperature measurements can be taken at the eyelid where the temperature has the strongest correlation to the body’s core temperature. The PI 450i infrared camera has a thermal sensitivity of 40 mK. To increase the absolute accuracy of temperature measurement, which is typically ą2°C for infrared cameras, the PI 450i can be used in combination with a reference radiator. The new system can be used wherever contactless checking of many people for an elevated body temperature is necessary to prevent a virus from spreading further. Possible places of application of the system include airports and railway stations as well as hospitals, schools, offices, shopping centres and more.
Researchers at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have invented a portable and stable contactless radiation thermometer capable of measuring temperatures to a precision of within a few thousandths of a degree Celsius. The NIST thermometer is about 60cm (24 inches) long. The prototype instrument can measure temperatures between -50˚C (-58˚F) to 150˚C (302˚F). The corresponding infrared wavelengths are from 8 to 14 micrometers (millionths of a meter). Gerald Fraser, chief of NIST Sensor Science Division said, “This innovation makes non-contact thermometry competitive with the best commercial contact thermometers in accuracy and stability in a temperature range that humans experience daily. This enables many new opportunities in product inspection and quality control and in defence and security where conventional contact methods are impractical or too expensive.” The Ambient-Radiation Thermometer (ART) is fitted with a suite of interior thermometers that constantly gauge temperatures at different points in the instrument. The ART has been calibrated against standards-grade contact thermometers, and can remain stable to within a few thousandths of a degree for months under continuous operation.
PCE Instruments, the registered trademark of PCE Holding GmbH, has launched a contactless infrared thermometer, the PCE-777N. The thermometer measures the temperature of surfaces, via an infrared beam non-destructively and from a distance. “This light contactless infrared thermometer is characterized by simple operation and the red sighting tool. So you can accurately measure the temperature of a particular area on a surface,” says the company. The small and compact contactless infrared thermometer with red laser pointer/contactless PCE-777N is designed for a number of sectors. It can be used in maintenance and servicing, such as in the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) sector, as well as in automotives. It is also useful in the control of electrical equipment and control systems. It has a measuring spot ratio of 8:1 and comes with automatic shutdown.
The global outlook sees the infrared ‘forehead’ non-contact thermometers market accounting for the largest share (61%) of the infrared non-contact thermometers market. “Contactless thermometers for use on the forehead are easy to use and provide faster results that are highly recommended to measure temperatures in babies and infants. This is increasing the share of the contactless thermometer market. They are considered as reliable, comfortable, and accurate option to measure body temperatures, especially for paediatrics,” says the report. Vendors are implementing new technology such as ‘intelligent light indicators’ to indicate fever levels. And they are likely to introduce smart technologies that allow the thermometer to be connected to an external mobile application, via Bluetooth. Key players include: Medtronic, Braun, Cardinal Health, Omron Healthcare, Paul Hartmann, Hill-Rom Holdings and Geratherm.