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Glass Tank Thermal Surveys Using Transportable NIR-B Thermal Imaging Solution

AMETEK Land offers furnace surveys and furnace optimisation using a transportable version of the highly respected fixed Near Infrared Borescope (NIR-B) Glass thermal imaging solution. In 2017, AMETEK Land and glass producer Encirc won the Innovative Solution category at the Glass Focus Awards for real-time, in-furnace thermal imaging using NIR-B Glass to optimise furnace operations.

We use the NIR-B transportable thermal imaging solution to meet the needs of customers who are wanting to monitor and record the condition of their high temperature processes periodically.

Since 2014 the NIR-B Glass has been commercially available and installed in glass furnaces with retraction mechanisms, in addition it has been used without retraction for demonstrations and surveys as a transportable version for temporary insertion through furnace peep sights.

Whilst glass furnaces can have operating refractory temperatures in excess of 1600°C the flames are at an even higher temperature.  By successfully developing a solution for high temperature processes the NIR-B can be applied to all furnaces and kilns from steel reheat, cement, aluminium reverb, non-ferrous rotary, fossil fired boilers including electrical generation, and refinery heaters – all with a temperature above 500°C. In its transportable case, the NIR-B can be used as part of a furnace heat-up or cool-down.     

Using a borescope lens, which is protected by a cooled housing, the NIR-B can be inserted into any peephole, spare burner block or other convenient aperture in a furnace or exhaust. The ultra-wide-angle lens gives an industry leading crystal-clear unique view into the glass melt tank or heat recovery. 

Using our image processing software, the transportable NIR-B Glass records 324,000 real time temperature measurements and the data is then converted to form a visual image which is used for analysis and reporting. 

The NIR-B Glass is a radiometric thermal camera offering calibrated, traceable temperature measurements which are directly comparable with the industry standard Cyclops C100L portable single point thermometer used by operators around the world to monitor and confirm furnace temperature.   

Our engineers are available to supervise installation and gather the required data to provide a “thermal survey” report. The report can identify “hot spots” to prevent damage to refractory due to overheating and “cold spots” to identify air ingress and potential for corrosive alkali formation.

In collaboration with our partners, we can also provide an additional, advanced service, using the thermal imager data from the NIR-B Glass transportable version, for furnace optimisation, trouble shooting and process development.  

The NIR-B Glass thermal imaging solution has been successfully used to assess and monitor many aspects of the glass melting process including: -   

Melt Tank / Furnace control
Shoot a full-length optical profile accurately locating the position of the thermal profile and hotspot.
Comparing right side to left side firing for imbalance.
Energy distribution and flame impingement.
Validation of CFD model for design and predictive control.
Regenerator, recuperator and/or heat exchanger condition and efficiency (flow distribution).
Electric boost location, operation and optimisation.
Foam line monitoring and optimisation of process.
Bubbler monitoring and optimisation.

Campaign Life Asset Protection and Extension
Crown, walls, port arch and regenerator temperature. 
High and low temperature.
Long term temperature trending (repeated surveys over furnace life).
Movement and degradation of refractories including expansion joints.
Metal line temperatures (over cooling – effect on batch distribution).
Exhaust and heat recovery devices

Glass Production Efficiency and Throughput

Batch line monitoring and batch carryover.
Batch transit time and temperature of the blanket.
Batch velocity vectors using time lapse.
Batch charger optimisation and troubleshooting.

Energy Efficiency & Emissions Reduction
Optimizing the flame pattern and burn angles and efficiency.
Enhanced temperature “visualisation” of cold spots in refractory wall indicating air leaks caused by structural issues.
Flame intensity monitoring to optimise energy input and reduce NOx.

In non-glass applications and in addition to the preceding, the solution can identify oxide formation and overheating of tubes in heat exchangers. 


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