Ulis, a manufacturer of infrared detectors for low-cost IR cameras, has expanded the production capacity of its microbolometers from 50,000 to 200,000 units per year. Ulis is augmenting its production capacity to meet growing trends for lower cost IR detectors used by trade professionals for application in thermometry.
Ulis sees three market drivers: the emerging trend to add infrared capability to visible surveillance cameras (about 25 million are currently installed worldwide); government mandates for improved safety; and new regulations in energy conservation and building compliance.
'This upgrade is a first step in a capacity extension plan that will address the market for large-scale orders, 100K-plus,' said Jean-François Delepau, managing director of Ulis. 'Customers can be assured of a ready and available supply that hits mass market target price points enabling them to be aggressively more competitive in the market.'
According to Ulis, trade professionals are increasingly using thermal imagers to inspect building equipment. For example, with the help of an IR camera, plumbers can check the water temperature of pipes embedded in under floor heating and allow them to adjust the distribution of the heat. There are roughly 240,000 plumbing enterprises in Europe. 'With a camera price below 2,000 Euros, these enterprises could benefit from the advantages IR detectors can bring,' added Delepau.
Included in Ulis' extension plan are new buildings to accommodate staff growth (+25 per cent on last year), a new training centre for customers to test-run microbolometer products, and a production ramp-up of its high-definition 17µm IR detector, which it introduced to the market earlier this year. The new buildings will enable a future production capacity of up to 500,000 units per year.