Fluke Thermal Infrared Cameras Make Troubleshooting Cool

One of the main goals of New Product Discoveries (on top of introducing you to new technologies) is to provide you with the knowledge of how devices operate and the possible applications in which they can be utilized. As an interesting change of pace, in what has been dubbed a “New Product Discoveries Extra”, we have put together an interview with Tony Shocky from Fluke Electronics. Tony is a 3rd Level Thermographer with Fluke. Fluke Electronics has been around for 70 years. Traditionally known for their DMMs (Digital Multimeters), Fluke has many different devices that assist engineers and maintenance professionals in identifying and correcting problems in their designs or machinery.

Over the last 15 of those years Fluke has brought thermal solution products to the forefront. Thermal imaging, historically, has been used on the MRO (Maintenance Repair Operations) side of the business. Repair for motors, pumps, electrical, and industrial electronics (PLC systems) were very common applications for thermal imaging devices. As time has progressed, the benefits of thermal imaging devices have started to migrate to the board-level electrical engineering arena. By using thermal imaging devices (Handheld Thermal Imager or an Infrared camera (IR) Camera), designers have found success in easing the pain of troubleshooting.

Much more than simply plugging in a thermocouple to a meter, a thermal imaging device can identify and pinpoint hot spots without making physical contact, avoiding common errors present with a contact solution. By using a thermal imager you are visualizing the radiant heat energy coming off of a component or area of the PCB. Excessive heat is a sure indication of something not operating correctly. Whether it’s in a new board-level design or a piece of industrial equipment, identifying the “hot spots” tends to be the best place to start troubleshooting.

Tony has had experience working with customers who have used nothing more than their finger to identify hot spots on their board or device. For obvious reasons this is not an adequate way of troubleshooting. By using Fluke’s thermal imaging products not only do you get a precise measurement, you get a literal picture of the problem area and data to go along with it.

Check out the full interview and stick around to the end to hear Tony address the “secret sauce” of the T6 FieldSense Electrical Tester. How does it measure voltage AND current without making contact?

About this author

Image of Jeff Zbacnik, Jr., Digi-Key Electronics

Jeff Zbacnik, Jr. is a seasoned electronics technician at Digi-Key Electronics. Having been with Digi-Key since 2003, he specializes in product reviews, critiques and mischievous tinkering (he makes LEDs blink). He earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electronics Technology from Northland Community & Technical College in the inaugural year of the Digi-Key Scholarship program. When not playing his Playstation, he is thinking about playing his Playstation.

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