FLIR History

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Company History

FLIR was established in 1978 to pioneer the development of high-performance, low-cost infrared (thermal) imaging systems for airborne applications. Thermal imaging systems detect the infrared energy (heat) that is emitted by all people, objects and materials. Infrared cameras allow the operator to see in total darkness, adverse weather and through such air pollutants as smoke and haze.

Toward the close of the 1980s, FLIR began to leverage its experience in infrared imaging technology to develop hand-held and laboratory systems for a variety of commercial applications that required not only superior image quality, but also the ability to detect and measure temperature differences. This effort accelerated with the acquisition of the industrial infrared imaging group from the Hughes Aircraft Co. in 1990.

The acquisition of Agema (Sweden) in 1998 and of Inframetrics (Boston, MA) in mid-1999 has given FLIR an engineering team and a sales and support infrastructure that are unmatched. Together Agema and Inframetrics represented over 60 years of significant infrared camera development and thermography applications expertise. Agema Infrared Systems, formerly AGA, developed the first commercial infrared scanner, designed for power line inspections, in 1965. Pioneers in the development of infrared cameras for industrial inspection, other notable Agema achievements included the first battery-operated portable infrared scanner in 1973, the first dual-wavelength system capable of real-time analog recording for R&D markets in 1978, and the first uncooled infrared camera, the Agema 570, and 1997. Inframetrics, also a pioneer in commercial infrared cameras and thermography training, developed the first TV-compatible infrared system in 1975 and the first full-featured camcorder-style focal plane array (FPA) infrared camera in 1995.

In 2003, FLIR acquired Indigo Systems, a leading developer and supplier of a wide range of infrared imaging products, including cooled and uncooled infrared detectors, camera cores and finished cameras. The fruits of these acquisitions have had an extremely positive impact resulting in FLIR's dominance in the commercial infrared camera market with more infrared cameras sold than any other manufacturer.

In 2007, FLIR acquired Extech Instruments based in the US. Extech is the major supplier of test and measurement equipment and portable receipt printers with operations in over 90 countries. The addition of Extech and will expand FLIR’s access to key distribution channels for its emerging low-price thermography products and provide access to low-cost manufacturing in Asia. In 2008, FLIR acquired the French company Cedip, specialized in R&D systems that are application-specific with a greater range of cooled detector combinations.

FLIR's P- and SC-Series of uncooled and cooled thermal imaging cameras have set the standard for thermography testing and analysis and are the most widely used IR non-contact temperature measurement systems in the world.

Currently, FLIR operates three manufacturing plants: two in the USA (Portland, OR and Boston, MA) and one in Stockholm, Sweden. Coupled with worldwide sales, marketing and service network in over 60 countries, FLIR employs a total of over 1300 dedicated infrared specialists, ready to help you with your infrared needs.