Lighting glass manufacturer Holophane has implemented AMETEK Land’s new Near Infrared Borescope (NIR-B) Glass thermal imager at its Les Andelys plant in France.

Holophane has produced and transformed glass for technical applications since 1921, specifically glass optical components for automotive lighting.

When it rebuilt the 33m², 85-ton, end-fired regenerative furnace in 2014 at its plant in Northern France, Holophane looked to replace its existing visual camera system with thermal imaging technology to provide continuous ‘on line’ temperature measurement.

Ametek Land recommended its Near Infrared Borescope (NIR-B) Glass with an auto retraction system, which can operate effectively at the extremely high ambient temperatures adjacent to the glass melt tank, while providing real-time, high-quality thermal images and temperature data from inside the tank.

Developed specifically to operate in the demanding environment of a glass melt furnace, the NIR-B Glass is designed to withstand the high ambient temperatures.

It features an integral cooling system plus a specially designed air purge that keeps the 90° lens clear of contaminants to provide 24/7 data to the plant.

Even at very high furnace temperatures, it delivers high-definition (656 x 494 pixel) thermal images to generate highly accurate traceable temperature measurements in the 1000 to 1800°C (1832 to 3272°F) range.

The solution is suitable for float, container, borosilicate, fibre glass and speciality glass furnaces that also made it ideal for Holophane’s plant requirements.

Emmanuel Declerck, Industrial Director at Holophane, said: “The borescope helps greatly to maintain the right quality flames with good turbulence and shape, therefore optimising the quality of our end products along with our energy usage. The images provided by the instrument are particularly important at the exit, near the throat, where temperature profiles are routinely monitored by operators.”

“We are confident that as a direct result of implementing Ametek Land’s solution, we are achieving significant savings in energy usage,” added Mr Declerck.