The Xiris Blog

Watching a Rotating Cladding Process

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 10:46 AM

Cladding material on to the inside surface of a pipe requires movement of the torch head relative to the pipe surface. This is done by either rotating the pipe, keeping the welding torch stationary, or by rotating the welding torch and keeping the pipe stationary. For longer sections of pipe, or for pipe that has already had a number of sections welded together, moving the pipe itself is not always practical. Instead, the weld torch must be rotated to perform the cladding operation.

To remotely monitor the cladding process, a weld camera can be mounted next to the weld torch, allowing operators to detect defects in the cladding process while they are happening and respond immediately with positional adjustments or even by tweaking the material inputs to the optimize the clad. While it is not too difficult when the torch remains stationary, it is more of a challenge when the torch has to rotate through many rotations to complete the cladding operation.

To solve this problem, the Xiris XVC-1000 and XVC-1000e weld cameras were integrated and successfully tested on a slip ring to transmit the power and electrical signals from the camera inside the pipe to an external computer. A slip ring is an electromechanical device that allows the transmission of power and electrical signals from a stationary device such as the external computer to a rotating device – the weld camera inside the pipe.

With the successful testing of the video transmission by slip ring, it is now possible to equip cladding machines that have rotating torches or carriages with a weld camera. This provides much better process monitoring in ways that were not possible previously as operators were forced to watch the cladding through a welding shield or helmet, trying to follow the arc around in circles as best as they could.


2018_3_13 - Watching a Rotating Cladding Process

The View from a Weld Camera as Transmitted over a Slip-Ring

Topics: Pipe Cladding, weld monitoring, Slip Ring

Watching a 1,000,000 Watt Plasma Arc!

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 01:17 PM

Usually Xiris Weld cameras are used to monitor open weld arcs of many kinds of processes, including plasma welding processes, where the power settings are usually in the range of a few hundred Watts of power.

So imagine when presented with the challenge of monitoring a one million Watt plasma arc! This is exactly what Xiris was asked to do – mount a camera to see such a powerful arc as part of an industrial process. We were not sure how well the camera would respond to the plasma arc as it was so hot and generated such intense bright light that even the dynamic range of the XVC-1000 weld camera may not be sufficient to properly image it.

When setting up the camera, we had to mount the camera far away from the plasma arc, at about 6 ft. (2 m) away, while monitor the entire process in a completely different room. The plasma arc was so powerful that our camera would shake when the arc was activated. Even from a protected room, the noise that the plasma arc generated seemed like standing next to a jet engine.

We were happy to discover that, even with such a powerful light source, the Xiris XVC-1000 weld camera was able to capture clear images of the high-powered plasma arc. The images were good enough to see sufficient detail in the arc for research staff to analyze the behavior of the return arc remotely, without having to be close enough to the plasma source to create hazardous work conditions.

2018_2_27 - Watching a 1,000,000 Watt Plasma Arc

An Actual Image of a 1,000,000 Watt Plasma Arc!


Topics: weld camera, weld monitoring, Plasma

Xiris is Growing!

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 11:33 AM

In 2017 Xiris saw business growth of more than 40% over the previous year. This growth was due in part to the large increase in automation throughout the manufacturing industry, an increase in metal additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry and a new focus on employee training, health and safety for welding processes.

North American Industry saw the highest number of robots delivered in 2017, with twenty-seven thousand delivered in the first nine months, according to Machine Design magazine. The largest installations of robots came from the automotive components and metals manufacturing markets with food and consumer goods close behind. The machine vision market also saw a growth rate of 14% in 2017 with 14% of those being vision systems.

The Xiris XVC family of weld cameras have become critical tools in advancing weld automation processes across the board, particularly in the growing markets mentioned above. The Xiris weld cameras become the eyes of the robot and enable operators to safely see the weld process from start to finish.

In order to keep up with this growth, Xiris is also expanding. We have added a number of new employees in all areas of the company. We now have a Sales Manager in Dusseldorf to address increased demand in Europe. We have also increased staff at our head office in Burlington in all areas of the business including software/hardware design and development, production and product support. With these added resources we feel well positioned to meet growing demands and look forward to continued growth and success in 2018 and the coming years.

Thank you to all our great customers and partners for a great 2017!

Xiris personnel.jpg


Topics: weld camera, welding automation, Machine Vision, Robotic Welding

Using Cameras When Welding Spiral Pipe Part 3: Post Weld Inspection

Posted by Cornelius Sawatzky on Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 03:16 PM

Following sub arc welding on the inside and outside of a helically welded pipe, the pipe must undergo inspection to be prepared for further processing or service in the field. This preparation step includes rigorous inspection and testing procedures, repair of defects, and application of anti-corrosion coatings before the pipe enters service.


Dec 4 - image 1.jpg

Post-weld Scarfing in helical sub arc welding

Traditionally, post-weld inspection is done manually by an operator who walks around the exterior of the pipe or crawls through it as part of an offline process. The operator is responsible for identifying any weld undercut, incorrect weld wetting angles, or insufficient or excessive weld bead material from the process.  It is not only time consuming, but it relies on the operator to be consistent to be able to catch all defects in the product.

A better solution is to use automatic inspection equipment such as the Xiris WI3000 weld inspection system, which can profile the entire weld bead after the flux has been removed or fallen away to detect problems sooner in the process.  Usually used as an inline inspection tool post-weld, the WI3000 can also be used to provide the operator with feedback to make corrections reducing additional defects while marking the location of a defect to expedite the repair process.

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Laser Bead Profile of a Weld Bead with a Too Steep Slope on the Right Side of the Bead

Information from the laser sensor is transmitted to a single image-processing system, allowing the operator to identify and control the welding parameters.   The end result is a better, more objective measurement of the weld bead inspection process in advance of use of the pipe in the field.

Xiris Automation offers a full suite of products for your helical sub arc welding (HSAW) process. From the control and quality assurance of the initial forming and tacking stage by the XVC-1000, through the remote monitoring of process parameters during full-seam sub arc welding by the XVC-S, and the post-welding and post-scarfing inspection by the WI-3000, Xiris provides operators with the tools they need to prepare the highest-quality products they can.

To learn more about how Xiris Automation’s full suite of turnkey solutions can improve the quality and yield of your HSAW manufacturing process, contact one of our technical specialists today.


Topics: High Dynamic Range, Tube and Pipe welding, submerged arc welding

Weld Camera Success at Fabtech 2017!

Posted by Catherine Cline on Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 02:19 PM

Xiris recently attended the Fabtech trade show, held once again this year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Being the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America, we were pleased to be an exhibitor! Not only did we have several hundred companies stop by our booth to see our weld camera system and learn how it could be integrated into their equipment or processes, we also had our cameras demonstrated in a variety of other exhibitors’ booths including: Miller Electric, Airgas/Red-D-Arc, Arc Specialties, WeldObot, Hyundai Welding and others.

In each case, the cameras displayed real time images of the welding process, showcasing the advantages of the exhibitor’s welding equipment.Cladding machines, orbital welding equipment and closed cell automated welding processes were all on display in real time.Miller Electric was featuring their manual weld equipment and various welding techniques they use when use with their equipment. 

Miller Electric / Hobart                                     Airgas / Red-D-ArcNov 24 Fabtech5.jpg

Arc Specialties                                                WeldObot Nov 24 Fabtech2-1.jpg

Hyundai Welding
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The use of Xiris cameras at tradeshows has grown exponentially as exhibitors believe it gives them a significant advantage over their competition in two ways. First, it demonstrates their ability to integrate vision into their equipment when required for operator safety and quality, and second, to showcase the finer features of the weld process and the benefits of using their equipment for specific applications.

If your company is exhibiting at Fabtech or any other welding automation or fabrication show, in 2018, and you feel you could benefit from displaying or operating a Xiris camera, please contact us here.


Topics: Trade Show, XVC Weld Camera

How to Make Metal AM Process Adjustments in Real Time

Posted by Catherine Cline on Thursday, November 02, 2017 @ 11:31 AM

Research and Development is a crucial element of success in Metal Additive Manufacturing. However, R&D has traditionally been expensive and highly time-consuming.

A primary cause of this cost and time is that Metal AM machine operators cannot make adjustments to a first-run part in real time. Engineers must wait for the build of the entire part before they can test and analyze it. This process results in excess time—stopping the machine to make adjustments, testing and analyzing after the first run, and future runs after post-run adjustments are made. Each additional run also drives up materials’ costs and involves costly, time-consuming stoppages for reprogramming new runs.

The powder feed/ droplet formation in Metal Additive Manufacturing as seen with Xiris Weld CameraMAM like you have never seen it_Page 6_Top Image_powder feed droplet formation.png

Fortunately, this cost/time problem can be minimized. You no longer need to wait to test and analyze first-run Metal AM parts until they are completed. Recent developments in software and camera technology are allowing operators to use High Dynamic Range (HDR) weld cameras to make adjustments to a part in real time during the initial run. Process engineers can also monitor the sequence and program in real-time adjustments.

By integrating HDR weld cameras into the Metal AM machine, operators in any setup can get clear, high-contrast views of the torch and wire (or powder flow) and their alignment to the process and other material settings. Operators can monitor material inputs and achieve ideal conditions on a consistent basis throughout the process, without stopping the machine.

Xiris’s HDR weld cameras feature the latest software and camera technology. Using our cameras, operators can monitor the weld torch, its immediate background, and material deposits from previous machine passes—with a level of visibility that has never been possible before. Importantly, this visibility is even greater than when operators are situated close enough to the Metal AM process to see it with their own eyes. Our HDR weld cameras not only allow operators to see more detail, they eliminate the danger and labor time involved with manual monitoring.

Often, due to thermal stresses, a deposited layer of material can start to warp. To compensate, operators can use the clear images from the HDR weld cameras to make precise adjustments to align the torch, wire and/or powder to the warped material, optimizing material alignment and overlap during challenging Metal AM layer deposition.

After an initial run, process engineers can use the recorded video from the HDR weld camera, in conjunction with data from other quality systems, to review the material deposition and resolve issues more quickly than waiting for traditional testing and analysis to take place when the part has been completed. For example, if a layer is deposited with significant porosity, it may only be detected if the operator is using HDR cameras to monitor the melt process. Without such tools, porosity in the material could only be detected by a form of destructive testing after the part has been completed.


Metal AM machine operators can use HDR weld cameras to monitor the initial build of a Metal AM part, providing them with immediate feedback, rather than waiting for the build of an entire part before inspecting, testing, and analyzing it. The result is decreased build times, less engineering/operator cost, and lower materials’ costs. These benefits make the latest in HDR weld cameras a valuable, cost-effective tool in any R&D process for Metal AM.

Topics: High Dynamic Range, metal, additive manufacturing

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