Borescope Helps Improve Furnace Operations for Glass Producer Holophane - Case study


Courtesy of AMETEK Land

Holophane, a leader in Lighting solutions since 1921, has implemented AMETEK Land's new Near Infrared Borescope (NIR-B) Glass, an enhanced thermal imager, at its plant in France and now is reaping major benefits by accurately measuring temperature within its glass melt tank.

For nearly a century, Holophane has produced and transformed glass for technical applications, specifically glass optical components for automotive lighting. It has set itself apart by its excellent understanding of both pressed glass and optics and its ability to combine these two skills is unique.

When it rebuilt the 33m2,85-ton, end-fired regenerative furnace in 2014 at its Les Andelys plant in Northern France, Holophane looked to replace its existing visual camera system with innovative 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.

This advanced technical solution is suitable for float, container, borosilicate, fibre glass and speciality glass furnaces that also made it an ideal solution for Holophane's Les Andelys plant requirements.

At the Les Andelys plant, the NIR-B Glass was installed above the throat of the tank in a location with a very high ambient temperature of over 60 °C For this installation, AMETEK Land recommended a heat shield below the borescope to reduce the heat coming directly from the throat.

The solution also incorporated an auto-retract mechanism that provides the instrument with additional protection with instantaneous automatic retraction from the furnace wall in the event of failure of air purge, water cooling, and mains power or if there is an over-temperature condition detected at the borescope tip.

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