For certain types of pipe cladding operations, fabricators have to preheat the parent metal in order to achieve better cohesion between the cladding and the base pipe material.
With inside-diameter (ID) cladding, this heating means that the inside of the pipe becomes too hot—often well over 500° F (260°C)—for direct monitoring of the cladding application by the operator. The space inside the pipe is also often limited, with pipes as small as 4 inches commonly requiring in ID cladding.
A Weld Camera is the ideal solution for monitoring ID cladding because it can fit in a narrow pipe and provide an image that can be viewed remotely by the operator. If the Weld Camera is equipped with High Dynamic Range imaging technology —an essential feature for advanced Weld Cameras—it can provide operators with real-time, high-quality images of the weld process characteristics.
But the extreme heat present in the pipe also presents a challenge for Weld Cameras. To withstand the high temperatures often found in ID cladding, Weld Cameras need special design considerations to prevent overheating.
To meet this challenge, Xiris has engineered a cooling kit that consists of a cool-air generator and a thermal blanket enclosing the camera and cables. We tested the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera inside this kit, exposed to over 300° C (approximately 600° F) for the better part of a day—and the XVC-O kept its temperature at about 30° C (86° F), well within safe operating range of the camera.
This cooling kit enables fabricators to use the XVC-O to view welding processes such as high-temperature ID cladding to make necessary in-process adjustments, when it would otherwise be impossible to sufficiently monitor the weld quality. In ID cladding, the cooling kit is key to unlocking the benefits of the XVC-O and its High Dynamic Range imaging technology.
Weld Cameras with High Dynamic Range imaging can provide operators with a clear, high-detail view of weld features so they can use their experience and judgment to make cost-saving, quality-enhancing adjustments. But in ID pipe cladding or any other welding application in a high-temperature environment (e.g., oil and gas operations, nuclear power plants), Weld Cameras need a special cooling solution to keep the camera within safe operating temperature.
Xiris has developed such a solution for its XVC-O Weld Camera, allowing it to be installed in a diverse range of welding applications.
Image courtesy of Kilom691, Creative Commons.
Some welding applications must be done in high-humidity conditions that can cause problems for Weld Cameras.
Because of the heat around the weld arc, a Weld Camera must be cooled during operation. In a high-humidity environment such as a jungle location, the high humidity results in condensation forming on the lines that flow cool air into the camera to accomplish the cooling. If the Weld Camera isn’t waterproof, the condensation can run along the air lines into the camera’s electrical components, causing shorting or oxidation.
Outdoor welding is a common reason for high humidity. In addition, other types of welding such as that done on Tube or Pipe mills, where a large amount of water/oil coolant is used, also create high humidity around the weld camera.
Whatever the cause, when using a Weld Camera in such an environment, a sealed housing to waterproof the camera is essential for ensuring long-term operation.
For the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera—which features state-of-the-art High Dynamic Range imaging to help operates better see critical details of a weld—we designed a rugged, enclosed housing that’s IP67-rated and therefore able to resist water, smoke and other ambient particulates found in the immediate area of a weld process.
We recently visited a customer site where this sealed housing was desperately needed. The customer was welding in Southeast Asia—a jungle environment where the humidity was 100 percent and the ambient temperature was a steamy 35° C (95° F). Predictably, they had a problem with condensation running down the cooling lines used to cool their production equipment.
However, the Weld Cameras stayed completely dry and functioning properly despite the fact that they were covered in moisture. The water-resistant housing allowed the customer to gain the many advantages of XVC-O Weld Cameras, without putting the cameras at risk of damage in a high-humidity environment.
Welding in adverse environmental conditions such as high humidity does not mean that you can’t use a Weld Camera without subjecting it to harmful water exposure. Xiris’ XVC-O Weld Camera can safely and effectively operate in the most-humid environments in the world and has the experience to prove it!
Image courtesy of Muffet, Creative Commons.
Xiris is based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, near Toronto, but we’re a global company. No matter where you are in the world, we can provide you with the most-advanced Weld Cameras available.
Xiris’ XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging technology allows operators greater real-time visibility of the weld process than previously possible—significantly improving operator health and safety, weld quality, and productivity. We think this new technology has tremendous value for fabricators, and we want to spread it far and wide.
We work with machine builders and integrators all over the world in customizing the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera to meet their needs for open arc welding applications, or the XVC-S for submerged arc welding applications.
We also work with various representatives and agents around the world to help us provide local sales and service in key regions.
As an example of our reach, we just signed Monitech Co., Ltd. in Korea to be the exclusive Korean distributor of Xiris Weld Cameras. Monitech’s president, David Hwang, called our Weld Cameras a “superior technology” for customers and expressed optimism that it will “contribute toward the field of welding.”
Monitech lives up to the high standards we look for in sales partners—experienced in weld quality monitoring and focused on continuous improvement.
Xiris has already delivered more than 2,000 vision systems to customers in over 30 countries around the world.
Technology knows no boundaries, and neither does Xiris.
To contact us for your personal demonstration, please call +1.905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email email@example.com.
Image courtesy of shaire productions, Creative Commons
The Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera features High Dynamic Range imaging, a technology that enables Weld Cameras to provide manufacturers with productivity and quality gains never before possible with cameras.
High Dynamic Range imaging combines advanced camera and image-processing technologies to give operators a clear, real-time image of the welding process, including both the super-bright arc region and the dark surrounding background.
Because operators using a Weld Camera without this capability have to periodically adjust lighting in order to clearly see all the detail of the weld, High Dynamic Range imaging results in increased welding output. And because the images are of such high quality, operators have greater visibility into the process than possible with traditional Weld Cameras—leading to improved quality control.
But as with any new technology, there is an initial cost for taking advantage of it. The expense of purchasing an XVC-O (or XVC-S for Sub Arc Welding) is a small price to pay for the long-term benefits; nonetheless, it is a capital investment—and it’s not always the right time to purchase an asset, no matter how attractive its potential return on investment.
Fortunately, as with most commercial equipment, Xiris Weld Cameras can also be rented, allowing companies to pay monthly payments rather than a lump cash payment, thereby preserving working capital for other business needs. (And the rental programs can typically be structured to allow for rent-to-own.)
Red-D-Arc Adds Xiris
As part of our effort to make our Weld Cameras easily available for rental, Xiris has recently partnered with Red-D-Arc Welderentals, which the Rental Equipment Registry dubbed as the “industry’s leading welder rental specialist” in its 2013 list of the top 100 equipment leasing companies (Red-D-Arc ranked #22 overall).
On its website, Red-D-Arc is now featuring both the XVC-O and the XVC-S. Red-D-Arc also has the XVC-S installed on a manipulator it's exhibiting at Fabtech 2013, currently underway in Chicago.
Our Weld Cameras are housed in an extremely rugged enclosure, and when rented through Red-D-Arc, they are sent out in a sturdy Pelican case, making them easy to return in one piece.
If you’d like to gain the benefits of the XVC-O or XVC-S without the capital commitment of a purchase, leasing through Red-D-Arc could be the path for you.
Advanced Weld Cameras can add substantial value to automated welding operations—and that value can be gained through purchasing or leasing. You don’t have to spend a lot of cash to begin reaping the benefits of this exciting technology now.
To learn more about the Xiris XVC-O and XVC-S, or to set up a personal demonstration, please call 905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to new developments in electronics and sensor technology, fabricators can now use specially designed Weld Cameras to monitor the pipe or pressure-vessel cladding process with better clarity than ever before.
The higher-quality images of these Weld Cameras can provide numerous productivity, quality, and health and safety benefits to fabricators—as Xiris’ president, Cameron Serles, will explain at Fabtech 2013 on Tuesday, Nov.19, 2013.
Serles and Rob Stewart of LJ Welding Automation will be discussing the use of Weld Cameras for pipe cladding as part of Fabtech’s “Inspecting and Troubleshooting Welded Tube” education session. Several images and video clips of challenging pipe cladding applications will be shown, highlighting features of interest in the welding process and how they were successfully monitored using Xiris’ advanced Weld Cameras, the Xiris XVC-O and XVC-S.
XVC-O Image of TIG Pipe Cladding
While Weld Cameras are highly valuable in many applications, pipe cladding stands out as an application where a Weld Camera is essential. Often performed in difficult or hazardous working conditions, the cladding process benefits greatly from an operator being able to remotely monitor it using a Weld Camera. The environment of the cladding process is often complicated by:
- Restricted operating sizes, such as small-diameter pipe or pressure vessels.
- Elevated working temperatures that could reach as high as 700°F.
- The need to not only see the definition of the welding arc, but also the detail, position, and quality of the weld bead that is generated during the cladding process, as well as its position relative to a previous clad layer.
However, Weld Cameras have traditionally produced poor-quality images that hampered their effectiveness. Fortunately, that technological limitation has been overcome with better technology so that the best Weld Cameras can now provide images with a degree of quality that enables operators to make in-process adjustments that enhance productivity and quality.
As to be discussed in a case study as part of the Fabtech presentation, LJ Automation has used both the XVC-O and XVC-S in creating a high-volume, heavy wall double-jointing pipe system for offshore riser pipe fabrication.
For the pulsed MIG root pass, LJ used the XVC-O Weld Camera, which features High Dynamic Range imaging. This technology allows operators to clearly see all the details of the weld scene, including both the extremely bright region of the open arc and the much-darker background region, without saturation.
LJ System Seen Via XVC-O Weld Camera
For the Submerged Arc Weld fill, LJ used the XVC-S, a specially designed low-light Weld Camera that provides high-quality, color images of the dim environment of the SAW process.
LJ reports that its system tripled productivity on the case-study project, reducing cycle times from eight hours to less than three hours!
Weld Cameras with the latest technology can provide fabricators with numerous benefits in pipe cladding, including:
- Greater visibility of the seam and other weld details.
- Early detection of defects.
- The capability for “on the fly” adjustments.
- Increased arc “on-time.”
- Faster weld head set-up.
- Improved safety and health.
- A video record for troubleshooting, training, and process improvement.
Xiris is pleased to join LJ to discuss these benefits at Fabtech. If you’re attending, we hope you’ll attend the education session on Nov. 19 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in room S405B, as well as stop by the Xiris exhibit at booth #N2217.
If you’re not going to be at Fabtech, please call 905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email us at email@example.com to set up a personal demonstration of a Xiris Weld Camera.
At Xiris, we love new technology. As engineers, we get excited when we see new, better ways of doing things.
That’s why we’re so eagerly awaiting Fabtech 2013, which is being held Nov. 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. More than 35,000 attendees and 1,500 exhibiting companies are expected at this year’s Fabtech, making it North America’s largest event for the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industry.
Fabtech is an annual highlight for us—not only because it’s a chance to share Xiris’ innovations, but also because we get to check out all the other new technologies on display. We learn and get inspired.
You can find Xiris at booth #N2217, where we’ll be demonstrating our XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging, which allows operators to monitor the entire weld process in real time, with a clear view of both the super-bright arc and the dark background. This video previews what you can learn about this valuable emerging technology at our booth.
The XVC-O will also be featured in the booths of Magnetic Analysis Corp. (#S3503), and Praxair (#N1432). Meanwhile, Xiris’s XVC-S Weld Camera for Sub Arc Welding will be shown at the booths of Airgas/Red-D-Arc (#N1174) and Koike (#N806).
Both the XVC-O and XVC-S can increase output, lower costs, and improve quality for fabricators. On Tuesday (Nov. 19), from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room S405B, our president, Cameron Serles, will be discussing these benefits in relation to pipe cladding applications.More details on the presentation are here.
If you’re planning to be at Fabtech, we know that it means you care about leading-edge technology just as we do. We look forward to seeing you there and sharing in the enthusiasm!
If you’d like to set up a personal demonstration of our Weld Cameras, please call 905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images courtesy of Fabtech.
Some specialized welding processes, such as Orbital Welding processes used at nuclear power generation facilities, are done in a high-temperature environment where the base metal is often preheated to over 260° C (500° F) to ensure proper welding occurs. To be able to properly monitor the process, a Weld Camera should be used, but it has to be able to operate in the high-temperature environment.
To make sure the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera could operate under such conditions, we put it to the test in our laboratory.
We placed the XVC-O in a high-temperature cooling kit that included a thermal blanket and air cooling, and then we subjected it to a temperature of 278° C (532° F) for four hours in a heat chamber.
Cooking the XVC-O!
By applying cooling air into the cooling unit, we kept the interior of the XVC-O within a comfortable operating temperature of less than 40°C (104°F) through the entire four hours using only 0.275 m3/minute (roughly 9 CFM) of airflow —more air could have kept the camera even cooler.
Our Cooling Kit kept the XVC-O at below 40° C.
The result of our experiment proves what we expected— that an XVC-O equipped with such a cooling kit will be able to function effectively over long periods of time, even in the excessively high temperatures of nuclear power generation facilities.
This is good news for the nuclear power industry because the harsh environment inside nuclear facilities calls for Weld Cameras to be used to monitor the welding process, so that operators can monitor welds from a safe, remote location, away from higher levels of radiation.
If the weld camera has High Dynamic Range imaging capability (such as the XVC-O), operators can clearly view in real time the entire visual range of the weld scene, including both the super-bright arc and the much darker background. This enhanced weld visibility can facilitate substantial productivity and quality assurance improvements to the welding process.
The high-temperature testing we did in preparation for the XVC-O’s use in nuclear facilities is just one example of Xiris’s commitment to continually testing our products to ensure they work in the most extreme of welding conditions. You can also read our blog on how the XVC-O performed when we tested it in extreme cold.
By allowing real-time remote monitoring of automated weld processes, Weld Cameras capable of High Dynamic Range imaging can significantly improve the quality and productivity of welding operations.
Although High Dynamic Range imaging is still a relatively new technology in welding, we believe it will become an industry standard, and our XVC-O Weld Camera features it.
One organization dedicated to the spread of cutting-edge welding technology—the Ohio, U.S.-based nonprofit research institute, EWI—has taken an interest in adding High Dynamic Range imaging to monitor a variety of its welding processes. EWI has just purchased and installed an XVC-O Weld Camera for research in its laboratories.
EWI (formerly the Edison Welding Institute) provides research, consulting, and training to its nearly 1,200 member companies, across a range of industries worldwide.
Since the early 1980s, it has been developing and applying pioneering welding technologies to help manufacturers improve processes and increase productivity.
Xiris is proud to be a member of EWI because we know the important leadership role it has played in advancing the level of welding technology available. That history of knowledge and experience is why we’re so excited about EWI’s involvement with our XVC-O cameras for welding.
Xiris has been providing camera-based weld monitoring solutions for 25 years, but we’ve never been as excited about a technology as we are about High Dynamic Range imaging. By allowing operators to view both the super-bright arc region and the dark background at the same time, High Dynamic Range imaging provides productivity and quality-control benefits well beyond what Weld Cameras have been able to provide before.
The dynamic range of a camera refers to the amount of light variation it can tolerate. Standard cameras have a dynamic range of about 1,000:1, which means they can image a feature that’s 1,000 times brighter than the darkest feature in the image.
But that’s not enough dynamic range for welding, where the range of brightness can easily exceed 1,000,000:1. That’s why High Dynamic Range imaging is so important for Weld Cameras—with it, a Weld Camera can image a range of brightness greater than 1,000,000:1.
How can this technology help your company improve profitability?
To answer that question, we put together a short video on what the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging can do—and how it can positively impact your bottom line. Take a look. We think you’ll be glad you did.
An increasing number of tube and pipe fabricators are turning from conventional plasma and GTAW (TIG) welding to laser beam welding (LBW), which can provide higher welding rates, stronger welds, and deeper, narrower keyholes.
But there’s a tradeoff to the advantages of LBW systems—the resulting need to improve monitoring of the edge presentation and seam location.
Just as with GTAW and plasma welding, the strip edge presentation and seam location relative to the weld head must be controlled to minimize defects such as mismatch, edge wave, edge gap, and seam wandering. But because a laser beam spot is about 10 percent the size of a GTAW or plasma arc, achieving this control is much more difficult in LBW.
The Advantages of Laser Beam Welding
There are clear and compelling reasons for the increased popularity of LBW among tube and pipe fabricators.
LBW results in increased productivity for the fabricator because it can be 50 percent or more faster than conventional welding techniques, if the laser is appropriately sized and fiber lasers are used.
LBW systems have greater power density than GTAW or plasma welding systems. The heat in a laser system concentrates into such a small spot that it forms a keyhole weld, which generally extends through the entire thickness of the material and has a narrow heat-affected zone.
The capability for a deeper, narrower weld is valuable in many applications, and the narrow heat-affected zone results in a stronger weld because less of the parent material is distorted or changed in the weld heat zone.
The Challenges – How to Achieve Greater Precision
While the narrower heat-affected zone of LBW creates stronger welds, the small spot size makes it difficult to keep the laser on the seam as the seam wanders from left to right, requiring very precise monitoring to keep the seam on track.
Laser-based Weld Inspection Systems, such as the Xiris WI2000p, have proven to be an effective way to monitor if the seam is out of alignment. Using a triangulated laser and camera solution to monitor the weld seam, the typical laser-based Weld Inspection System can accurately track the seam over an area of 25 mm (1”)—enough to compensate for seam wandering in properly maintained mills.
And once the Weld Inspection System has been taught the correct weld parameters, it monitors the process and alerts operators when parameters are exceeded.
Weld Cameras are another tool that progressive tube and pipe fabricators are using to enhance their monitoring of LBW. A Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging—such as the Xiris XVC-O—can allow operators to watch the laser beam process in real time, with clear visibility of the entire brightness range of the weld scene. This visibility allows operators to use their judgment and experience to make adjustments that improve quality and productivity during production.
Laser Cladding Image From XVC-O
The advent of laser-based welding processes in tube and pipe production brings a number of advantages to the fabricator. However, with those advantages, there is a need for enhanced monitoring because the laser weld is so small.
Laser-based Weld Inspection Systems provide a useful way to monitor the weld quality after the fact and Weld Cameras with High Dynamic Range imaging allow an operator to see all the details of the weld and its background during the process to provide instant quality and process control.