World's First * Thermography With Removable Camera Unit



Product release / release commemoration seminar is held.
・September 13 (Wed), Tokyo Big Sight 102 Conference Room Details/Application
・October 5 (Thu), Electric building co-foundation conference Details/Application
・October 18 (Wed), Nagoya International Center Details/Application
・November 15 (Wed), Mielparque Shin-Osaka Details/Application
Product release / release commemoration seminar is held.
September 13 (Wed) - September 15 (Fri) TEST 2017 Exhibit at the fourteenth Japan Testing Technology Show Details/Application
New-Style of Thermal Imaging Camera "Themo FLEX F50 Series" Debut!

New-Style of Thermal Imaging Camera with removable camera-head

"Turn Around", "Attach on", "Put In"... Shoot Freely in any angles!

70°/35°type of camera-head is equipped.

For details, please watch the videoFor details,
please watch
the video

Easy & Intuitive Touch Operation even Beginners

-Auto Point function
Setting the upper/lower limits of temperature scale optimally.

-Sky Off function
Setting the auto-scale's upper/lower values by ignoring the temperature, such as sky and cloud.

-Customized Button and Easy-to-Use Hardware Key
Frequently used functions can be assigned to the hardware key. Quick operation such as "Recording" and "Scale Setting" is possible even wearing glove.

-Trend Graph function
・Create a trend graph for recording the temperature changes with lapse of time at 7.5Hz with controller.
・The created graph can be recorded as a CSV file without a PC.

For details, please watch the videoFor details,
please watch
the video

Increase the Efficiency of On-site Measurement Overwhelmingly

Turning around the backside and the gaps of the facilities throughout.

Carefully inspect all around the back and any gaps in the equipment.

Comfortable shooting without facing upward to the high angle.

The neck strap allows both hands to be free, which allows the operator to take notes or do other tasks.

Dustproof and smudge-proof structure of IP54 and impact resistance for drops up to one meter.

Various functions such as "Image Rotation", "Composite Visible Image", "LED Light", "Color Alarm" and "Burst Shooting" for supporting your shooting.

For details, please watch the videoFor details,
please watch
the video


Factory/Power plant

PC-Less and Thermocouple-Less
Increase the Efficiency of Environmental Temperature Test Drastically

Up to 70℃ heat-resistant camera-head

Put the camera-head into a thermostatic chamber while measuring by the controller from outside. Save your time and work on attaching thermocouples.

The camera-head and the controller respectively can be mounted on a tripod or fixed on a wall.

Various useful measurement functions such as "Arbitrary Point", "MAX/MIX Temperature Auto-Tracking", "Area Analysis" and "Line Profile".

Create a trend graph for recording the temperature changes with lapse of time at 7.5Hz with controller.
The created graph can be recorded as a CSV file without a PC.

Real-time Analysis is possible by connecting to a PC (by using optional software "NS9500PRO")

For details, please watch the videoFor details,
please watch
the video


Research and Development

Creating a concept, not a Technology
"Free-Style" Thermal Imaging Camera Leads to the new Manufacturing

Thermo FLEX F50— a new product released by Nippon Avionics Co., Ltd.
How was the completely new style thermal imaging camera with removable camera-head and controller born? Here is a brief introduction of development stories by the engineers

Assistant Manager
Marketing Group
Thermal Imaging Division
Eijiro Tanji

Engineering Department
Thermal Imaging Division
Yasushi Uda

Engineering Department
Thermal Imaging Division
Kenji Fue

Senior Manager
Sales & Marketing Department
Thermal Imaging Division
Shoichi Kimura

Innovation triggered by the integrated Sales and Engineering Department

---- Tell us the background of the development and the challenges encountered on the path of "Thermo FLEX F50"

Kimura : In January 2016, a new department named "New Business Planning Group" as a cross-organizational team organized by sales and engineers is the beginning of development. Its members were these 4 guys. Actually, there was no department specialized in planning of product until then.

Uda : In such a situation, we had a sense of crisis that we must develop a competitive new product by breaking down the boundary between sales and engineers. You know, even an engineer must not only develop but also planning of product.

Kimura : Yes. It means that the way of traditional engineer-oriented thinking is an old fashioned. Recently, we are facing that some major overseas corporation have been expanding the thermography business with increased momentum in Japan. For this very reason, we had to create a product with new added value while meeting the needs of the customer. This is presumably the same situation for many Japanese manufacturers struggling in the business, but we do think that "Concept" and "Planning ability" are the source of revenue, and are the way to survive as a manufacturer. We do not differentiate our product in the competition of "de facto standard"; we do differentiate our product by "Concept". That is our business goal.

---- That is to say, the new organization "New Business Planning Group" was the trigger of the development of this product, wasn't it?

Kimura : Right. But it started with the planning of a completely different product. From that time on the organization was established in January, we repetitively visited the end-users to survey how our product was used on site. Then, we reflected the user's opinions and needs into plans. But, our group was a cross-organizational team, each guys was in charge of 2 duties. We desperately continued to prepare the planning the product while juggling 2 jobs. And finally, we drawn up a plan in summer, but we weren't able to persuade upper management at all. Our plan was disapproved seriously and going back to square one in summer.

Fue : It was just before summer vacation, wasn't it? We had a bitter drinking party together on that day. (Laughs)

Kimura : Yes, we spent our summer vacation in agony. I had almost turned to the "Dark Side," ha, ha.
But just after summer vacation, we came up with a plan of a camera that is compact and low in price. Then, we gave this new plan the development code name "JEDI" to awake our mind. This was indeed the beginning of "Thermo FLEX F50"!!

Tanji : The plan was very quickly come together after that, wasn't it? We had already started to make a business plan in September, and the plan itself was finalized in about a month.

Fue : The survey at the first planning was definitely not a waste of time. Though the first planning was not realized, we make the use of that experience for the second planning. We engineers scarcely had an opportunity to listen to the user's voice directly until now. So, that was a great-big gain that we had actively listened to our user's voice. The development based on it was completely different from the past at all.

Uda : You know, this is a sort of the proverb "A picture is worth a thousand words"!

Shoichi Kimura
Uda Yasushi

Only One Year from Planning to Product Release

---- So, you have released the product from the first planning in just one year, haven't you?

Tanji : Right. Astonishingly early (laughs). We could go straight to the development thanks to the solid concept. We had the anchorage to go back home whenever we hesitated, so to speak.

Fue : We always have some troubles on the specification when the development starts.

Uda : Yes. Sales bring the customer's requests, and the engineers say something back at them, "Not realistic this spec" or "Do the customer really need this spec?" This is such a waste of time.

Fue : But this time, we didn't get in trouble. Hearing customer's voice before making the plan was so helpful for this planning. Of course, there were a variety of opinions for each idea, but the concept was the same in principle, and we have already shared the essential needs beforehand. For example, if the sales person order a tough request, an internal "wish" is hidden in the back. If the wish is appeared, engineers could say, "Then, this solution will be available." We could constructively go ahead with this planning thanks to the sharing the essential demands with us. Maybe that's the greatest point.

Eijiro Tanji

The Start was a 100-Yen Flashlight and a Spoon Casing

---- How was the design of the removable type determined?

Kimura : First, the adoption of a narrower pitch of sensors is a technical trend, then we thought about making a camera more small and compact by using it in the beginning. But no matter how small and compact, we cannot create a "conceptual" product. In addition, we have identified the problem such as "Difficult to shoot at a high place" or "Difficult to shoot at the backside of the object" as we were listening the customer's voices and watching around the customer's sites. Furthermore, we have realized much about the importance of empty hands for moving around the site, we focused on that, too. These are our point-of-view of this planning.
As we thought about such a thing, we came up with an idea; a combination of a camera-head as small as compact flashlight and a screen the size of a smartphone would be an easy-to-use form. Then we bought a flashlight and children's cutlery case bought in a 100-yen store and created the concept of the camera's shape by putting those together using a magnet. That's the first prototype. We, of course, did use prototype for the presentation of a plan toward the upper management. The prototype used to be laughed at because it was too cute and too cheap thing. We had many difficulties explaining to them (laugh).

Tanji : Based on that concept, we pursued the form while consulting with a designer. The feeling of holding it, the balance of the weight, the thickness for a comfortable grip—such availabilities were considered while proceeding with the design.

Shoichi Kimura
Prototype front Prototype back
For the second-generation prototype, a flashlight was attached to the smartphone casing with a pasted thermography screen image print. On its backside, a trace (a casing for fork and spoon) of the first generation prototype remains.

Pursuit of Functionality as a Measuring Instrument and Maintaining Distance from Smartphones

---- Where do you think the technical points existed that made you realize this product?

Fue : This product was completely created from hardware to software from scratch. When I first heard the product idea from Kimura-san, I felt this was a combination of smartphone and camera. But as we proceeded to study the idea, we knew this was absolutely impossible to realize with a smartphone.

Tanji : This product is a measuring instrument anyway. The camera should not only capture an image but also measure. And, the camera should record the data certainly.

Kimura : Including the design you know, we aimed to create a camera is differentiated from a smartphone, not a device like a smartphone. It was a big point, wasn't it?

Fue : Yes. The more we pursued the functionality and the availability as measuring instrument, the more the realization with an existing device became impossible. Thermography is a special measuring instrument, so everything from the hardware to the OS had to be reworked. But, conversely, this made us confident as well. We were the only one that could realize the technological development for creating availability from the viewpoint of users based on thorough knowledge of the infrared technologies and the sites.

Uda : As we consider of the camera as a useful measuring instrument on site, camera's robustness and high-speed processing performance of the controller are the essential performance. In addition, easy-to-operate hardware buttons while wearing gloves and the specification for the adoption of wired communication for securing the reliability of data communication are also essential. Furthermore, we had difficulty especially with the user interfaces. We had to re-structure the existing button-only operation to touchscreen operation from scratch. We proceeded with the development in cooperation with a partner of the NEC group, but there was unprecedented. We just know that the setup of a temperature scale on a touchscreen would be convenient from a long time ago, then we discussed how to finish up the structure and repeated the argument while straying to and for saying, "This is not and that is not, either" and anyhow we made progress in the design.

Fue : Thermography requires unique correction for use as measuring instruments, you know. That's a very important point that we spent much time to verify the correction on a PC as a new attempt. Then, we can smoothly check the state of correction and the better correction can be built. This model can be continuously updated from now on, so we will be able to shorten the development cycle. It's very nice we created an outcome leading to the next step at this development, isn't it? We are very grateful to the persons in charge on their efforts.

Kimura : And the removable mechanism of camera-head was an important theme. At first, we were planning a magnetic removable mechanism, but various problems such as the influence on the other equipment of the customer, and the weakness for force from a direction came up as we were proceeding with the design. Then, a new removable mechanism was designed without a magnet and was finalized into the current mechanical structure. We insisted on the importance of the feeling of tilting the camera-head, and of course the fixation of the camera-head.

Kenji Fue
Yasushi Uda

With New Usage, Evolution into a Product that Creates New Markets

---- How do you want this product to be used?

Kimura : First, we would like you to use this camera for "Facility Diagnosis" at power plants. The removable mechanism of this product will be useful for high-efficiency the work. Furthermore, the camera-head with wide angle lens will be useful for "Home Inspection". You can shoot the wall surface at narrow-indoor, the ceiling plenum and under the eaves where had been difficult for the conventional thermal imaging camera by removing the camera-head efficiently. "Thermo FLEX F50" is easily mounted on a tripod by the tripod socket of the camera-head and the controller, you know. This is our particularly point during the design process, and expands the possibility of usage. For example, at the research and development site, you can remotely record the changes of the temperature without touching the camera-head. Once the angle is changed, it is impossible to create an accurate temperature graph, you know. Furthermore, it is possible to put the camera-head into a thermostatic chamber taking advantage of its environmental temperature performance.

Fue : The camera-head can be set and fixed on something through a narrow gap. Use to integrate into a device and in the engine room of vehicle; these are good examples, too.

Kimura : I want to add the possibility of uses for lifesaving—won't it be used for searching survivor under the debris? It may be a good idea to attach the camera to a rescue dog harness thanks to this compact and lightweight camera.

Tanji : That's true. Personally, we are awaiting plenty of uses that we can't even imagine. I'm very interested in what kind of uses are coming out from this unprecedented-concept camera. If any new uses comes out, we would like to create a new plan and release the products in the market with a good cycle.

Fue : Certainly! This product cannot be occupied the market, but can be expanded the market, you know.

Uda : This camera is the most promising among the products until now! (laugh). We strongly hope this product will be used for you. And we shall continue to release new product based on this product.

Kimura : Yes. For that purpose, I think "Marketing" and "Innovation" are the most important, you know.
We are committed to create our products with understanding the essential needs of our customers leveraged our unique strength against the competition. And we are also committed to create further innovation making use of our intuition and perspective based on the wide knowledge of products and the industry.