AN internationally renowned thermal imaging firm has secured a deal to consolidate its position as an industry leader.
Family-run Solo Ti, in Darlington, is supplying wholesaler YESSS with cameras.
The products will test for faults on equipment including boilers, pumps and motors.
Bosses say the cameras will be launched for sale and hire in YESSS' Darlington store, and hope to expand its reach across the firm's UK network of more than 70 branches.
Solo-Ti already boasts a stellar client list, with its thermal imaging cameras popular with the White House, the SAS and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
It has also supplied Italian shipyard Costa, the operator behind the tragic Costa Concordia, with thermal imaging helmets, and is developing heat tracking technology to assess injuries in racehorses and greyhounds.
Richard Brooks, Solo-Ti's head of technical support, said the company was proud of its famous customer base, but said the YESSS deal was equally significant.
He said: “This is a new market for us to tap into, but it is a very important one, and the camera is very similar to the ones we make for our equine work.
“It will be a maintenance tool and does the job very well.
“We are looking to launch it softly at the start, get the formula right and roll it out nationally.
“YESSS have more than 70 stores in the UK, so this is a big move for us.
“We envisage doing somewhere in the region of 100 units a month just through them.”
Solo-Ti previously sent 24 of its helmets to the Bangkok Civil Defence, with 25 hand-held thermal imaging cameras sent to Russia, and two cameras shipped to the Bulgarian Fire Service.
It has also worked on hand-held detection units for the Bangladesh navy and supplied helmets to Formula One pit crews at Ferrari and McLaren, with its history impressing YESSS bosses.
Darlington branch sales manager, Jason Denton said the cameras would allow the company to stay at the forefront of customers' demands.
He added: “We saw the potential market for thermal imaging cameras among our base of electricians, plumbers and renewables installers.
“Solo-Ti’s products have traditionally been sold around the world to search and rescue organisations and shipping companies, but the cameras can also be used to detect heat, or lack of, in electrical circuits, under floor heating, plumbing systems, home insulation or solar panels.
“That will allow our customers to detect problems before something serious happens.
“The cameras are such good quality and the after-sales support so good that it was an easy decision.
“The fact we’re supporting a local business in the process, and one of Darlington’s real success stories, is an added bonus.”