FLIR Company History

FLIR - The Global Leader in the Design, Manufacture and Marketing of Thermal Imaging Infrared Cameras

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 end 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 provided FLIR engineering teams and sales and support infrastructure that accelerated FLIR’s success in commercial thermal imaging markets. Together, Agema and Inframetrics represented over 60 years of significant infrared camera development and thermography applications expertise. Agema developed the first commercial infrared scanner, designed for powerline inspections, in 1965, 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.

Ever since, FLIR has invested in numerous adjacent markets, technologies, and products to expand its sensor solution set and its ability to service a broader set of customers. These investments have enabled significant growth in revenue and unit volumes, which has helped reduce the cost, and thus end user prices, of the products. This has resulted in dramatic increases in customers as well as increased global awareness of the power of thermal technology.

Currently, FLIR operates in many locations around the globe and employs a total of over 2,800 dedicated employees.