The Xiris Blog

Two Types of Weld Cameras to Help You

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 @ 01:02 PM


Xiris Automation Inc. designs inspection systems, or “machines that can see”. Our products are used for process and quality control and provide some of the world’s most dynamic manufacturers with the ability to detect, recognize, and interpret quality issues in their manufactured goods. These technologies are applied across many different industries to improve safety, efficiency and productivity. We have developed camera technology to help monitor both Open Arc welding and Sub Arc Welding processes which has significantly enhanced the welding industry.


Xiris View Cameras: Open Arc Welding

Welding cameras can make a drastic difference in manufacturing and quality control for Open Arc welding processes such as GMAW (MIG/MAG), GTAW (TIG), Plasma or Laser welding. By integrating a camera at the weld head, fabricators can improve the human interpretation of the weld quality by providing a better image than otherwise possible and therefore decrease the chances of human error. The Xiris View Camera for Open Arc welding (XVC-O) is a complete system that comes with monitor, software, and camera, and can be easily integrated to any automated welding process. Beyond the production line, the system can also be used as a training tool, inside and outside of the classroom. With video recording capabilities, the XVC-O allows instructors to record welds and defects for offline review, analysis and instruction. The result is a better tool to teach welding to more students, as well as a way to introduce a more consistent assessment and review process.

XVC-O_Monitor_image

The XVC-O monitor display

Xiris View Cameras: Submerged Arc Welding

Monitoring Submerged Arc welding is less difficult than Open Arc welding processes because of the blanket of flux that covers the welding process. The blanket of flux used in Sub Arc Welding prevents spatter and sparks but ensuring the alignment and angle of the weld tip is still essential to ensure the quality of the resulting weld. In addition, monitoring the continuously fed wire is another feature that needs monitoring in order to ensure the consistency of pressure of the arc. The Xiris View Camera for Submerged Arc Welding (XVC-S) provides clear images of the weld environment, weld tip and feeder wire to the operator in order to more accurately control the parameters that make a good weld. It also removes operators from potentially hazardous work environments without sacrificing their ability to monitor the weld process.


Welding injuries are far too common in today’s work environment and any steps that can be taken to improve workplace safety as well as productivity should be taken. Just last year, a Texas-based company says an explosion on a Mexican oil platform off the Louisiana coast was caused by unsafe welding practices. This report followed not one, but four lawsuits against the company asking for $20 million each in actual damages, plus a total of $100 million in punitive damages*. Safety concerns such as these could be reduced with the introduction of a Xiris Weld Camera. Let us help you prioritize safety and efficiency.

 
The XVC-O comes in both a standard and advanced system, and can be easily integrated into a manufacturing line, or the classroom. To learn more about our products and services please visit our website www.xiris.com or contact our sales team directly at sales@xiris.com.

 *This information was collected from the following article: http://www.nola.com/traffic/index.ssf/2013/08/consultantprivate_report_says.html

Topics: weld camera, Welding Process, Sub Arc welding, camera, weld allignment, arc welding, accident

How to Improve Your Sub Arc Business

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 @ 12:59 PM


The submerged arc welding process is used in a variety of industries all that work with thick, heavy and expensive materials. Many of these industries also perform cladding, where weldment material is added to the base material to improve its wear resistance. In many cases, having a cladding process located near the sub arc welding process can increase the health and safety risk for operators who must monitor the welding process close by. Instead, a welding camera could be added to the submerged arc welding process (SAW) to assist the operator in monitoring the process remotely, providing a number of benefits:


1. Cost Savings

One of the first and most substantial benefits a welding camera provides to the SAW process is to eliminate an abundance of rework and set up time. By adding a camera to remotely monitor the welding process, operators can ensure that all welds are lined up correctly and make immediate adjustments if necessary while welding. This reduces scrapped material as well as any machine down time in order to reset the process.

2. Safety Benefits

Remote monitoring of the sub arc welding process provides health and safety benefits to the welding operators by:

o   Removing them from a high heat environment without having to compromise their monitoring of the welding process. By working remotely to monitor the weld process, the operator has a quieter, cleaner, healthier work environment while still being able to control the weld alignment and surrounding environment.

o   Removing them from dangerous monitoring positions. Some sub arc welding tasks require operators to monitor the weld process from immense heights, or tight spaces in order to ensure weld quality and process efficiency. A welding camera with a remote display screen allows the operators to view the weld in a less hazardous environment, improving employee safety without sacrificing quality.

Xiris View Camera for Submerged Arc Welding

The Xiris View Camera for Submerged Arc Welding (XVC-S)

3. Eliminates Failure Rates

As already mentioned, SAW involves a lot of costly, heavy materials, many that are used in industries such as shipbuilding. In this high demand, high quality industry, there is no room for failure or risk of low quality welds. It is absolutely crucial that every weld involved is durable, reliable, and of the best standard of quality. The addition of a weld camera would allow an operator to eliminate a possible failure, by monitoring the process as it occurs.

4. Automation Benefits

As the demand in industries such as shipbuilding, bridge-building, spiral pipe applications and green energy technology increases, the demand and expectations of the quality of SAW processes continue to rise. By using automation to improve the consistency and repeatability of SAW processes, fabricators can better meet the quality requirements of their customers. As more advanced technology allows for the manipulation of material, spinning and moving the weld as it occurs, this can make monitoring more difficult. The addition of a welding camera would allow the weld head to be easily installed to most automation equipment, moving with the material or weld torch as it moves.

Secondly, in terms of changing materials, sizes or processes in general, the addition of a welding camera would allow automation lines to changeover much more quickly through faster set ups. As the automation equipment is prepared to run again, the operator can speed the set up process quicklyprocess quickly, making adjustments on the fly so that there is minimal scrap or lost time when changeover begins


There are numerous benefits to adding a welding camera to a SAW process. With the ability to remotely monitor the position, alignment and operation of the weld tip, operators can reduce down time, increase productivity and improve weld quality.

The Xiris product line includes cameras that can be used in both submerged and open arc welding processes, and can be found on our website.
See the benefits yourself by adding a weld camera today!


 

Topics: quality control, Sub Arc welding, camera, applications, productivity

Shutter Selection: Improve the Image Quality of Your Weld Camera

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, October 02, 2014 @ 10:30 AM


Recent advances in electronics technology have made it possible for cameras with High Dynamic Range capability to be used to capture images of welding. This allow fabricators to be able to view the detail of the weld tip, as well as its immediate environment (such as the weld seam and weld pool) to get better control of the welding process. Reliable visualization of the environment around the weld tip is necessary to control and adjust the welding process. However, in order to be able to obtain the best possible image quality of a weld, the selection of the most suitable shutter technology must be made. The camera shutter type determines how and when light will be recorded during a camera exposure, and therefore determines the quality and functionality of the image that is provided. There are two main shutter types used in capturing images of welding: rolling or global.


Rolling Shutter

A rolling shutter captures an image by exposing one line at a time, moving from top to bottom. The rolling shutter capture technique is commonly used in film and can go largely unnoticed in certain applications. However, when applying this form of technology to the welding process, where high amounts of light with pulsing and movement are present, the image quality suffers. The image below demonstrates a rolling shutter exposure of a TIG welding process. As the picture demonstrates, some lines of the image get exposed during a welding pulse where a lot of light is present. These lines appear brighter than the rest. Other lines get exposed when the welding pulse is off when less light is present, these lines appear darker than the rest. Over time, if the pulse frequency does not match the frame rate of the camera, the line pattern will appear to move down the screen, causing a distracting image pattern to the viewer. In some cases, as material and surrounding background move past the rolling shutter, different images and movements would be captured, providing inconsistent results on which to base quality judgements of the weld.

Rolling_Shutter

 

 Effects of a Rolling Shutter on an Image of a TIG Weld Process


Global Shutter

A global shutter captures an image by exposing all rows of the sensor to light at the same time. This allows large amounts of motion to be captured at the same time, without blur or distortion. This type of shutter is also easier to pair with external applications such as external triggering or matching the image acquisition to a pulsed waveform of a welding power supply. When partnered with High Dynamic Range imaging capabilities, global shutter image capture is the most accurate and ideal technique for monitoring welding processes that involve motion or rapid changes in brightness. The drawback however, is that a global shutter image provides slightly lower contrast than a rolling shutter due to the fact that there is less time to expose each pixel, so in some situations, the image quality may not appear as vivid to the viewer as those taken with a rolling shutter.


CONCLUSION:

Advanced weld cameras such as the Xiris XVC-O partners both High Dynamic Range imaging capability with the choice of both rolling and global shutter capture modes to provide welding operators unprecedented image quality of their welding processes. By selecting the appropriate shutter technique, image quality can be optimized for the application.

 

To learn more about the Xiris XVC-O and other products,
please visit our website



 

Topics: weld camera, visibility

Xiris Presents at Pipe and Tube Houston

Posted by Leanne Sinclair on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 @ 04:23 PM

This past week, The Tube & Pipe Association (TPA) and the International Tube Association (ITA) coordinated the Pipe and Tube Houston 2014 Conference, where Xiris attended to present its WI2000p Weld Inspection System.  The WI2000p system is used to inspect welded tube and pipe immediately after the weld box for forming and weld defects with the goal of performing process control.  Xiris presented on the WI2000p and how it can detect certain defects found specifically in High Frequency and ERW welded tubing. The conference was attended by several hundred members of the tube and pipe community, as well as a variety of equipment vendors.

describe the imageInteractive Discussion Panel

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xiris also demonstrated the Xiris WI2000p Post Weld Inspection System at the conference’s table top exhibits.  Using actual tube samples from a variety of customers, the WI2000p’s ability to detect a variety of tube weld and forming defects, such as bead height, bead ratio, slope angle, deflection, mismatch, roll, freeze line, scarf width, and undercut.  Detection of all these critical defects was demonstrated as to how the WI2000p can assist operators in controlling their process.  The net result is to help tube and pipe fabricators decrease scrap rates, increase productivity and improve quality of the end product.

For more information about the WI2000p Post Weld Inspection system for tube and pipes, or to learn more about our other products and resources, please visit our website www.xiris.com

Topics: Trade Show, safety, houston, pipe, tube, presentation, defects, conference, exhibit, vendors, fabricators, scrap, productivity

Xiris Exhibits at IMTS 2014

Posted by Leanne Sinclair on Thursday, September 18, 2014 @ 05:10 PM

Xiris Automation participates in many international trade shows. Our products have immense value across a number of markets, including welding, where we present our XVC-O Weld Camera to the Weld industry. With video demonstrations and expert explanations about how our weld camera can improve weld monitoring, trade shows are hugely beneficial to customer understanding of this technology.

Partnering with one of our large OEMs, ESAB Welding & Cutting Products, Xiris was privileged to exhibit the XVC-O Weld Camera for Open Arc welding processes. ESAB was one of only two major welding automation companies exhibiting at the International Manufacturing Technology Show. IMTS is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and 114,140 registrants.

ESAB IMTS

ESAB showcased their pre-engineered robotic welding cell using a new tandem MIG welding process called Swift Arc LS. Xiris assisted with the ESAB exhibit by providing the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera to demonstrate how the operator could view the welding process remotely. The weld camera was mounted on the robot and travelled with the weld torch to provide visitors a clear, live view of the weld arc. Xiris also demonstrated a live weld feed for visitors to see the software and dashboard view of the system (demonstrated above).

This is one of the many trade shows Xiris has attended this year, and will be attending many more! Watch for us at the Sheet Metal Welding Conference in Michigan, US, FabTech in Atlanta, Ga, US and the 5th Welding Busan Exhibition in Korea this November.

To learn about all of our events and tradeshows please visit our website and be sure to subscribe to our blog.

Topics: weld camera, Trade Show, manufacturing, IMTS, distributors, weld monitoring, integrated

Decrease Injuries, Increase Efficiency and Prioritize Workplace Safety!

Posted by Leanne Sinclair on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 @ 05:28 PM

The construction of large ship vessels is a very complex and hazardous trade. In order to fabricate these large structures, there are various positions and maintenance that needs to be completed for proper assembly. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of accidents. As many shipyards use sub-arc welding, this process involves operators to be suspended high in the air, or exposed to different gases and hazards.

In 2011, two workers were fatally injured on the site of a Singapore shipyard, when a powerful explosion was caused due to the build-up of pressurized air. Fortunately, other team members were inside the nearby building attending a safety briefing when the accident occurred. The explosion shook the entire stretch near Benoi Road, and the loss of the two workers was mourned by various media outlets.  

Sadly, these types of accidents are common in this area of work. The article of this accident is accompanied with a chart that demonstrates that in 2007 14.3% of accidents occurring at shipyards were due to fire and explosions, most commonly associated with welding. The graph below demonstrates a study conducted by the Ministry of Manpower in 2013 of the Workplace Injuries by Industry and Degree of Injury. You will see that Construction, Manufacturing and Marine trades have the highest amount of fatalities and are the most common trades using welding.

table

 

These studies demonstrate the demand for increased safety in all of these trades, specifically shipbuilding. These huge constructions involve a variety of complex conditions and trades that need to be completed with efficiency and reliability. Risking a worker’s life by adding hazardous factors to an already dangerous trade is unnecessary and should be avoided. In order to complete reliable and quality welds, it is important that it is monitored, but this does not mean the operator must be where the weld occurs. With the development of welding cameras, injuries and fatalities in this industry can be largely reduced.

Systems such as the Xiris XVC-S Weld Camera for Sub Arc Welding can be added to conditions commonly seen in shipyards. This small addition could have large benefits, and large decreases in the high number of injuries and deaths seen in this prominent trade. It allows welds to be monitored consistently, from a safe distance, which would increase worker safety and efficiency.

 

Is your shipyard safe? Are your welds consistent and the best quality you can provide? Can you risk any more lost product, lost time, or employee safety?

To learn more about how Xiris Weld Cameras can benefit your business, please visit our website.

Topics: weld camera, weld inspection, weld environment, weld safety, Sub Arc welding, safety, camera, weld allignment, visibility, accident, fatal, death

Monitoring Tube and Pipe Production to Find the TOE ANGLE

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, September 02, 2014 @ 04:30 PM

 Recent advancements in machine vision technology have made a new type of inspection, capable of finding defects related to the forming and welding area of a tube or pipe.  The result is improved quality assurance and process control on the production line.  The new inspection device is a laser-based triangulation system that measures the outside contour of a tube or pipe in the vicinity of its weld. 

Typically NDT (non-destructive testing) systems are placed at the end of a production as a final check.  However, the laser inspection system can be placed directly after the weld box.  This system can let operators know what is changing in their welding process, allowing them to perform corrective action before significant scrap occurs. This capacity is especially helpful for a closely monitored measurement on ERW/HFI production mills:  the Toe Angle.

The Bead Slop Angle

The Left and Right Bead Slope Angles are measured in degrees at either edge of the weld bead, and represent the angle subtended by a line that follows the contour of the weld bead on either side and a horizontal line.  Also referred to as the Toe Angle, it can indicate the strength of the weld, and the correct forming of the parent material during the creation of the weld, particularly on an ERW/HF process.  A forming problem could be detected because of a larger or smaller than normal slope angle.  It is important to measure both the left and right slope angles separately. This is because the forming of the parent material could be asymmetric on a pipe mill, causing the slope angles to be different on either side of the weld bead, and thereby indicating a forming problem.

als;kdgjdsa;lghfdag resized 600The Bead Slope Angle or Toe Angle, measured in degrees from the horizontal.

 

How the WI2000p System Measures the Bead Slope, or Toe Angle

Xiris Automation Inc. has developed a non-destructive inspection system called the WI2000p Weld Inspection System. The WI2000p includes a laser line, and a camera with an optical axis that is offset to the axis of the laser line by an “offset angle”.  The WI2000p creates a visible cross-section of the tube by projecting the laser line on to the tube, and capturing an image of the line using the camera.  The resulting image shows a profile of the tube surface as if it were cut in cross section.  If a tube is the ideal round, the laser image will represent a section of an ellipse and any anomaly such as the bead can be mathematically detected and the bead slope, measured. 

The WI2000p bases all of its measurements on the differences between the actual laser profile line (seen by the camera), and the ideal mathematical profile based on the tube parameters.  By knowing the position of the actual laser profile, the ideal profile, and the size of the pixels in the image, the WI2000p can detect weld bead profile defects that often escape detection by other quality tools such as Eddy Current testing, or Ultrasonic Testing techniques.

Conclusion

Overall, laser-based 3D imaging systems, such as the WI2000p from Xiris, offer an excellent measurement option for tube mill owners/operators who want additional, real-time monitoring of weld features. They can be used in a proactive manner, warning operators what is changing in their welding process so that they can perform corrective action before significant scrap occurs. Laser--based 3D imaging systems can operate on any type of material, regardless of its reflectance or magnetic properties, using a single head to perform the measurement.

Topics: camera placement, welding instruction, Tube and Pipe welding, bead height, bead roll

If You Can’t See It, Should You Sell It?

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, August 28, 2014 @ 03:06 PM

Xiris Automation specializes in “machines that can see”. We provide some of the world’s most dynamic manufacturers with the ability to detect, recognize, and interpret quality defects in their manufactured goods. As quality standards continue to rise, the expectation of quality fabricated products also increases.  Reducing scrap rates and increasing productivity, while providing consistent quality welds are high expectations with no room for compromise.

So, this raises the question: if you can’t see what you’re welding, are you confident selling it?

Today there are tools that allow metal fabricators to ensure that what they are providing their customers is at the best possible quality level.  One of the most effective tools for monitoring the weld quality is a weld camera.  A weld camera, such as the Xiris XVC-O camera, provides the ability for the welding process to be monitored remotely by an operator. This allows the operator to monitor the process and make adjustments to ensure the welding process has the best quality possible, while increasing the health and safety of their work environment.  

What the XVCO shows

The image above is an example of what the XVC-O system can provide.  As you can see, most features in the welding environment are clearly visible: the weld tip, weld pool, filler wire feed, seam alignment as well as the surrounding background.  This gives the operator enough information to make an informed decision about how to control the weld quality before problems develop.  It also allows for reduced welding process set up time, as any errors in the welding process will be detected right away by the operator, minimizing down time and scrap. The XVC-O Weld Camera provides clear detail of the welding process, allowing for consistent, high quality welded products to be fabricated.

 

Information on the XVC-O and all other Xiris products is available on our website www.xiris.com, including a library of recorded weld videos for your review.

Topics: safety, camera, weld, operator, visible, weld pool, weld allignment, manufacturing, fabricator, metal

Welding Smoke: How Does it Effect You?

Posted by Leanne Sinclair on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 @ 06:09 PM

The welding environment has very dangerous elements; one that has been scrutinized recently is welding smoke. Although there is an abundance of protective equipment and proactive measures taken, there are still some very hazardous exposures that can occur.

According to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), welding smoke is a “mixture of very fine particles (fumes) and gases”. This is a known fact of the trade, and every employee and professional knows the risk one accepts when they weld. However, as more long term studies are completed, there are some seemingly minor details that can contribute to very serious health conditions caused by welding. Most fumes and smoke is produced when using arc welding, due to the high heat involved.

smoke1 resized 600

Welding fumes and gases form from the base or filter material, any coatings present, shielding gases, any contaminants in the air, and chemical reactions from arc ultraviolet light and heat. However, these are all very important elements that must be monitored not only for the quality of the weld, but the safety of the employee.

There has been a large amount of studies concerning welding and its relation to Parkinson’s disease. This is a neurological disorder that damages brain cells in the midbrain. These studies have analyzed environmental factors that could be the cause, and have determined that welders develop Parkinson’s at a higher rate than others. This elevated rate has been related to a direct exposure to manganese welding fumes but no definitive results have been found.

With the addition of a welding camera, such injuries and health concerns can be avoided. Welding cameras, such as the XVC-O promote weld efficiency, quality products, as well as the safety of all employees and operators.

To read more about these health concerns and studies follow this link.

To learn more about the efficiency of weld cameras and the numerous benefits please visit our website.

www.xiris.com

Topics: welding, safety, camera, smoke, health, arc welding, parkinsons

Monitoring Squeeze Pressure on Tube and Pipe Mills

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 @ 03:58 PM

Recent advancements in machine vision technology have made a new type of inspection capable of recognizing defects related to the forming and welding area of a tube or pipe.  The result is improved quality assurance and process control on the production line.  The new type of inspection device is a laser-based triangulation system that measures the outside contour of a tube or pipe in the vicinity of its weld. 

Typically NDT (non-destructive testing) systems are placed at the end of a production as a final check.  However, the laser inspection system can be placed directly after the weld box.  This system can let operators know what is changing in the welding process, allowing them to perform corrective action before significant scrap occurs. This capability is especially helpful for one of the most common defects found across all types of tube manufacturing: insufficient or excess squeeze pressure. This pressure is used to form the tube during welding and can be monitored by measuring the bead ratio of the tube.

The Bead Ratio

The bead ratio is an important measurement for ERW/HF processes to monitor.  It is calculated by measuring the maximum bead height above the parent material, divided by the thickness of the parent material wall thickness.  The bead ratio is an excellent indication of the amount of squeeze pressure used on an ERW/HF mill during welding. When the squeeze pressure is too high, molten material will spill out of the seam, causing a higher bead to form and increasing the bead ratio.  Likewise, when the squeeze pressure is too small, the parent material will not be pushed together enough and a sunken weld will result, causing the bead ratio to fall.  By taking into account the wall thickness, the bead ratio can determine the severity of a sunken or raised weld for a particular weld thickness, making it more of a measurement relevant across all tube thicknesses.

 sadjf;lasdkjfa;lllllllkj resized 600The Bead Ratio (h/e), where “h” = the height of the bead and “e” = the tube wall thickness.

How the WI2000p System Measures the Bead Ratio

Xiris Automation Inc. has developed a non-destructive inspection system called the WI2000p Weld Inspection System. The WI2000p includes a laser line and a camera whose optical axis is offset to the axis of the laser line by an “offset angle”.  The WI2000p creates a visible cross-section of the tube by projecting the laser line on to the tube and capturing an image of the line using the camera.  The resulting image shows a profile of the tube surface as if it were cut in cross section.  If a tube is ideally round, the laser image will represent a section of an ellipse and any anomaly such the bead height can be mathematically detected. 

The WI2000p bases all of its measurements on the differences between the actual laser profile line seen by the camera, and the ideal mathematical profile based on the tube parameters.  By knowing the position of the actual laser profile, the ideal profile, and the size of the pixels in the image, the WI2000p can detect weld bead profile defects that often escape detection by other quality tools such as Eddy Current testing, or Ultrasonic Testing techniques.

Conclusion

Overall, laser-based 3D imaging systems, such as the WI2000p from Xiris, offer an excellent measurement option for tube mill owners/operators who want additional, real-time monitoring of weld features. They can be used in a proactive manner, warning operators what is changing in their welding process so that they can perform corrective action before significant scrap occurs And by measuring the outside contour of a weld, laser-based 3D imaging systems can operate on any type of material, regardless of its reflectance or magnetic properties, using a single head to perform the measurement.


Topics: weld inspection, Machine Vision, camera placement, Welding Process, Tube and Pipe welding

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