The Xiris Blog

Monitoring Welding Processes in Color

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 @ 12:52 PM

In most situations, a high dynamic range (HDR) image that provides a clear view of the weld arc and immediate work environment is enough to provide operators everything they need to control or adjust their welding process.  Typically, such images are provided in monochrome because, in certain circumstances, it provides better image saturation and fidelity. Monochrome images can accentuate the light and shadows of a welding scene, making the texture of the welding surfaces, torch tip, wire and melt pool easier to see.  Images with a wide range of tonal values, such as what might exist in a high dynamic range image of a welding scene, tend to work well in monochrome.  This is especially the case when the tones in the image range all the way from the blackest blacks of the background to the whitest whites of the welding arc, with lots of varying grey tones in between.

However, for some welding situations, color imaging that delivers high dynamic range imaging has particular value.  The presence of color allows the boundary of aspects of the weld process to be easily detected by the operator.  Bright hues that highlight an element, such as the melt pool, shielding gas or torch tip can improve the visibility of that object to the operator.

Sep_13_Blog_Image_1.png

Color Image of a Manual TIG Process

Of all the types of welding, perhaps the most suitable for color imaging is GTAW (TIG).  Some of the features that are better seen with color in a TIG process include:

  • Melt Pool: Better edge definition and detection of flow of molten material.
  • Shielding Gas: Operators are able to see if there is any shielding gas present.  Also, each shielding gas mixture typically has its own signature certain color.  If the gas chemistry in the welding environment changes, then so does its color. 
  • Oxidation: Very easy to detect the presence of flames resulting from the burn-off of any oils or impurities.
  • Heat Affected Zone (HAZ): The leading edge of the heat affected zone can be detected in the parent material as it typically colorizes at elevated temperatures.  This can indicate the amount of heat penetration and energy transfer.
  • Temperature Indicator: Operators can clearly see discoloration of metal due to excess heat in the welding process.
  • Torch Tip: Easier to see the definition of the torch tip and cup relative to the weld arc.  Allows the operator to monitor the impurity build up on the torch tip and spatter presence on the cup.

Sep_13_Blog_Image_2.png

Narrow Gap TIG Welding – Color Exposes Different Details

Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice of whether to use color or black and white camera technology depends on what feels right for the operator.  Nevertheless, for certain welding operations such as TIG, the use of color imaging can significantly enhance the clarity and detail of the image, thereby improving the operator’s ability to detect even small changes in the weld scene.

For more information on how Xiris Color Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com 

Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, High Dynamic Range, TIG, productivity tools, color imaging

Free ROI Calculator for Tube Weld Inspection Systems

Posted by Karen Serles on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 @ 02:30 AM

Two of the most important competitive advantages in tube production are the quality of the weld and the quality of the formed profile of the tube.  How can you improve your quality while also driving down costs and delivery times?

Xiris_WI2000p-2-812115-edited.jpg

 

The Xiris WI2000 Weld Inspection System helps Tube fabricators improve quality and save costs by reducing:

  • Mill Set Up Time
  • Lab Time
  • Mill Downtime
  • Scrap
  • Customer Returns

 

Now, there's a powerful way to justify your productivity investment.  Use your own cold, hard figures to calculate Return on Investment (ROI). 

 

 Download your FREE ROI Calculator Now!

Make an informed decision about a XIRIS WI2000 Weld Inspection System purchase and see how you can achieve consistently higher quality while reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com 

Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, ROI, return on investment, productivity tools

Using Weld Cameras For Torch Alignment

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 @ 11:09 AM

When Xiris demonstrates its weld camera systems, one of the unexpected benefits an operator notices right away is the ability to quickly align the torch and seam.   Xiris weld cameras have integrated LED’s that provide a nice bright image of the seam and torch prior to starting the weld process.  Before we begin our demonstration, we ask the operator to align the torch and the seam which is usually done manually with a visual check.  Once we are told the system is aligned, we ask the operator to look at the computer screen and, 90% of the time, the torch and seam are misaligned.  The operator then begins to use the weld camera system right away to achieve perfect alignment on a consistent basis.

Here are three videos that demonstrate the alignment process.  In these examples the manufacturer has installed a positioning sensor on the robotic arm which is meant to ensure perfect torch alignment during each weld and the operator simply verifies the alignment prior to welding.

Operator Alignment:

The positioning sensor and the operator have misaligned the torch, resulting in a bad weld.

 

 

Weld Camera Assisted Alignment:

The operator has used the weld camera system to verify the alignment and you will see the adjustments that were made after the robot had been aligned.  Not only do the cameras ensure accuracy, the operator can perform the alignment quickly, right from the console rather than bending, stretching or climbing up on to the equipment to achieve proper alignment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can ensure accurate alignment of your torch and weld seam, visit Xiris.com

Topics: quality control, weld camera, welding, High Dynamic Range, productivity, color weld camera, weld seam, weld seam alignment

Using a Light Meter for Automatic Weld Monitoring

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, August 02, 2016 @ 02:30 AM

With the advent of high dynamic range weld cameras such as the Xiris XVC-1000, images of welding processes can be made with enormous ranges of brightness.  As a result, it is now possible to monitor and record good quality video of most welding processes using an HDR camera.  With good quality images of the weld pool, arc and seam, the next logical step is to incorporate image processing into the camera system to extract additional information to help operators better control the welding process.

One of the most basic tools for image processing is a LightMeter.  The LightMeter tool from Xiris provides statistical information about the pixel values in an area of interest.  It can be used as an overall measure of the intensity of a weld process, detect part or feature presence, or be the first step in performing powerful image processing on an area of interest.

Blog_Image_1.png

Figure 1 : LightMeter Window

The LightMeter generates a histogram based on the light intensities of the pixels in an area of interest, calculating a number of statistics, including:

Median – the brightness level that separates all the pixels in the area of interest into two equal halves.

Mean - the average brightness of all the pixels in the area of interest

Mode - the pixel brightness level that appears most often in the area of interest.

Minimum - the value of the darkest pixel in the area of interest.

Dark Tail – the pixel value at which a specific percentage of the total number of pixels in an area of interest are found to be darker.

Bright Tail - the pixel value at which a specific percentage of the total number of pixels in an area of interest are found to be brighter. 

Maximum – the value of the brightest pixel in the area of interest.

Standard Deviation – the amount of variation or dispersion of brightness levels of all the pixels in an area of interest.

Sum – the addition of all the pixel values in the area of interest.

These measurements can be used as building blocks by users and developers to create automatic inspection algorithms to measure welding features and parameters with the goal of performing a level of process or quality assurance.

A sample histogram with some of the key features is displayed below:

Blog_Image_2.png

Figure 2: Sample Histogram

Conclusion:

By incorporating image processing tools such as a LightMeter tool into their weld camera systems, machine builders can measure features of their weld processes in a way that has never before been possible.  It is now possible to find and measures levels of light across an entire image, or in a region of interest in an image.  This can provide information about features of the weld, such as the weld wire, melt pool or weld seam, that could allow for further monitoring or analysis, or form the foundation for seam tracking or weld pool geometry analysis.

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras and the LightMeter image processing tool can enhance the quaity and economy of your welding processes, visit Xiris.com

Topics: weld camera, image processing, Xiris, welding, High Dynamic Range, area of interest

XVC-S for Subarc Weld Monitoring: A Case Study

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 @ 02:00 AM

The Xiris XVC-S Weld Camera system was recently profiled in a Subarc Welding case study by LJ Welding Automation of Edmonton, AB.

The XVC-S camera system was chosen as “a key component for remote viewing and easy, safe and efficient adjustment of welding head during set up and welding; laser pointers and cross-hair output on monitor included to make seam following easy for operator “

See the XVC-S in action here: 

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can enhance the quaity and economy of your Subarc and Open Arc welding processes, visit Xiris.com

Topics: Xiris, welding, High Dynamic Range, Sub Arc welding, weld monitoring, submerged arc welding