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Xiris Presents at Pipe and Tube Houston

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

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Xiris Exhibits at IMTS 2014

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.

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Decrease Injuries, Increase Efficiency and Prioritize Workplace Safety!

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.

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Monitoring Tube and Pipe Production to Find the TOE ANGLE

 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 Slope 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.

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

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.

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Welding Smoke: How Does it Effect You?

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

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Monitoring Squeeze Pressure on Tube and Pipe Mills

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.


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Bring Welding Education into the 21st Century with Weld Cameras!

One of the biggest problems instructors face when teaching welding students is demonstrating proper welding techniques in a way that all students can see them.  The traditional solution has been to repeat the demonstration over and over to small groups of students so that everyone can see and understand what is going on.  This causes instructors to battle time pressure to perform all the required welding demonstrations within the limited number of class hours available.  Another problem with this solution is that students may not all see the same issues, or get the same level of explanation.  But that was with the traditional solution, and the 21st century brings better solutions for such issues.

NAIT Installed side

An example of the Xiris XVC-O View Camera, installed at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

Today, progressive welding educators do not need to face these century old issues.  By implementing a weld camera that can view the huge range of brightness present in an open arc welding environment (including the weld arc and its darker surrounding background), welding schools and colleges can provide their students with a clear view of the weld process. This allows instructors to explain and demonstrate what is really happening with the weld arc, as well as its immediate environment (such as the weld seam, weld pool, shielding gas, wire feed and other inputs).  Furthermore, this allows students to receive the same demonstrations and explanations of one weld, and provides a more consistent teaching method for welding educators.

By using a camera that can generate a clear view of the weld parameters, educators can get better use of their facilities as they can train more students in less time. They can also eliminate space restrictions of larger classes, enhance students’ basic understanding of the welding process, and enhance their school’s reputation amongst prospective students with the addition of small but evolutionary camera.

For the students, the implementation of a welding camera can create a more enjoyable learning experience, requiring less time to gain the skills needed, and raise the perception of welding as an advanced trade and skill. 

By using a weld camera, educators can create new ways to deliver education, such as recording videos of good quality welds for off-line review by students. These videos can also be used for marking or testing purposes, and the implementation of 21st century learning technique: online learning of welding processes!

For more information about our educator packages, prices and offers, please visit our website or contact us directly at sales@xiris.com

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Inspecting Welds on Thin Walled Tubes

Legislative requirements forcing automotive manufacturers to improve their fleet’s fuel economy has put pressure on reducing the overall weight of a vehicle and a number of the components involved.  Over the past couple of decades, tubes and formed profiles have made their way into automotive designs as cost effective substitutes for a variety of components in an automobile.  One way to meet the demand for greater weight reduction is to use thinner materials with higher strength welds.  This has been implemented in a variety of tube applications where more customers are designing thin walled applications that demand more precise manufacturing techniques to meet their expected quality standards.  A typical example is in the exhaust tube assembly which includes the catalytic converter segment, exhaust piping segment, and decorative portion.  Designers of exhaust systems are under greater pressure to reduce weight so they constantly turn to thinner walled tubing to meet their needs.

Detecting weld defects on welded tubing is important on most tube and pipe mills.  However, the thinner the wall thickness, the more critical it is to inspect the weld as soon as possible after welding.  Thin walled tubes are typically made of low carbon steel, which is most effectively welded with TIG or Laser welding processes.  Of all the defects that can occur when making a thin walled tube, mismatch (the uneven alignment of the two sides of material as they come together) is the most critical.  Any small amount of mismatch becomes significant relative to the wall thickness, and a critical problem where additional forming is performed on the tube.  Forming technologies such as hydroforming or roll forming require a precise fit up of the material to produce a smooth formed tube for the process to be effective. 

Mismatch resized 600Mismatch

In addition, any sunken or concave welds may also cause problems similar to mismatch, by increasing the through-wall thickness of the tube so that the overall thickness of the weld bead area becomes substantially larger than the parent material, potentially causing interference fits when two thin walled tubes are sleeved together.

describe the imageThrough Wall Thickness

To detect these defects, and other important defects during the welding and forming processes on a tube mill, progressive fabricators turn to the WI2000p Weld Inspection System.  Using a precise laser camera technology, the WI2000p can detect mismatch, weld height, and other welding and forming defects as small as 7 µm.  By placing the WI2000p system after the weld box, fabricators can detect very small changes in forming characteristics that could cause failures in the field.

For more information on tube inspection, and many useful videos, please visit our new Tube and Pipe Library on our website

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Don’t Compromise! Prioritize Safety, Prioritize Vision.

Welding is a very advanced trade that demands not only skill, but training, awareness, and precaution. Even with all of these qualifications, there is still a large possibility for accidents to occur. It is unfortunate when these incidents occur, but even more so when they could have been prevented. High risk industries that commonly use welding are those involving pipe construction. Large construction companies involved in the rebuilding, improvement, and development of major projects such as pipelines and subways are often tasked with the difficult job of completing welds inside large tubes.

This past October 2013, while reconstructing the major subway Metro Line in Washington, one worker was killed, and two others were injured. The accident occurred because of an explosion, causing a fire to break out in a tunnel, where some of the major reconstruction was occurring. In June 2011 three major manufacturers were fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for up to 25 violations concerning serious safety violations, for a total of $88, 000.

body resized 600The most common areas injured by welding accidents

% of total injuries

Body part

Description of most common welding injuries and causes

31%

Eyes

Fragments or dust in eye, in particular, metal from welding or grinding

21%

Hand, fingers
and thumbs

Wounds/lacerations caused by steel or metal

12%

Back

Muscle and tendon sprains and strains from lifting or carrying pieces of metal or steel, or from bending down

4%

Knee

Muscle and tendon sprains and strains from kneeling, crouching, twisting or walking up or down stairs

4%

Shoulder

Muscle and tendon sprains and strains from repeatedly lifting or moving things

3%

Foot and toes

Crushing or bruising injuries from dropping pieces of metal or machinery

3%

Wrist

Muscle and tendon sprains and strains from repeatedly lifting or moving thing


(Source: Queensland Government, 2011)

Welding accidents can occur in any context, in any environment. From a large scale operation, to a small shop job, there should never be a compromise in safety. There are always risks when dealing with gas, hot metals, and complex components, and any steps that can be made to reduce these risks, and potentially save a life should be taken. How much money does it cost to save a life? With the involvement of welding cameras, many lives can be saved, and more accidents can be avoided. By taking operators and welding engineers away from dangerous environments a small adjustment can make a large improvement. Xiris Automation Inc. produces welding cameras that allow for monitoring welds, and increased safety. All without sacrificing weld quality. The Xiris XVC-O specializes in monitoring Open Arc Welding, and the WI2000p Inspection System specializes in tube and pipe welding inspection. With the inclusion of ether of these devices many injuries can be avoided, production and efficiency in manufacturing lines can increase, and the risk of a fatal welding injury occurring can be severely reduces.

To learn more about welding cameras, machine vision, and examples of weld videos please visit our website.

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