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December 11, 2017

Filmwerks International tests out the new thermal imaging sensor

Filmwerks International already employs Fluke 3540 FC Three-Phase Power Monitors to collect shore power data to share with its clients. The team got a first look at a thermal imaging sensor outside one of its custom-built trailers, deployed to provide uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for event broadcasts for major television networks.

Surrounded by the humming of broadcast trailers, the Filmwerks International team got hooked on thermal imaging. They immediately saw past the initial “cool factor” of exploring their world through an infrared lens and focused on how the new Fluke 3550 FC Thermal Imaging Sensor could improve their capacity to capture visual data and, in turn, deliver more comprehensive reports to their clients.

UPS technician Dwight Johnson repositions the viewing angle for the thermal imaging sensor.

On that day, they were monitoring UPS and prepping the broadcast stage at Lambeau Field for an intense showdown between the professional football teams from Green Bay and Chicago. When Dwight Johnson, a generator and UPS technician, interacted with the thermal imaging sensor, he saw immediate value in using the thermal imaging sensor to see if equipment heats up in real time.

“I want to put it on our house panels, so I know what each phase is doing,” Johnson said, highlighting the importance of temperature measurements and identifying hot spots. Remote monitoring from their smartphones is a selling point to their clients—in this case, a leading sports television broadcaster—as well as the ability to log data, set temperature alarms, and compare thermal images over time. All these benefits empower their technicians to react to issues right away.

Filmwerks President Michael Satrazemis and UPS technician Dwight Johnson use a Ti400 Infrared Camera to establish the best viewing angle for the thermal imaging sensor.

With the help of the Fluke team, they set up a thermal imaging sensor to monitor a power cable located in the Filmwerks trailer’s electrical panel to take one infrared image every 5 minutes. Normally, exposure to the sun can impact the thermal imaging sensor’s temperature measurement. However, the thermal imager was set up under a switchgear cover to monitor overnight, so the sensor would not be exposed to solar heat.

While this monitoring session did not catch any suspicious changes in surface temperature, the Filmwerks crew took comfort in knowing that they would be notified in the event of an issue.

The 3550 FC, jerry-rigged with a camera arm, is mounted to capture thermal images of key power cables overnight.

Stephen Satrazemis, who oversees the stage assembly crew for Filmwerks, explained how the Fluke Connect® Mobile App helps the business. “It’s very important for us to be able to leave, go to our hotel rooms, and sleep at night knowing that, if something does go wrong, we’re going to get an alert, and we’re going to know what happened.”

“If we don’t know, we are constantly thinking about it or have to leave someone behind,” Satrazemis said.