The Xiris Blog

Retrofitting a Weld Camera into an Existing Seamer Device

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 10:06 AM

Recently, Xiris installed a weld camera into an existing welding seamer.  A seamer is an automatic welding cell that joins together two plates of a large pipe or tank with seams that can be up to 30 ft (10 m) long.  Such machines typically weld end to end, during which an operator must watch, and steer, seam alignment of the weld head(s) to ensure that a smooth, consistent weld is produced.

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A Typical Welding Seamer for Pipe Inner Diameter
(courtesy: www.Pandjiris.com)

In this particular application, welding is done using a single pass operation.  Two successive weld heads are used: the leading plasma torch joins the material together via full weld penetration; the trailing TIG weld follows closely with a cap pass, producing a nice smooth and consistent finish.

Would you rather have your operator walking along the seamer, bent over, looking through a filter, or sitting in a chair with controls at hand?

The issue was that the fabricator needed to have a person walk along the inner diameter of the material, constantly bending over to be able to see the weld in process.  The operator had to jump between both weld heads and the controls, trying to control their alignment to the weld seam as well as to each other; all the while trying to stay safe.

The customer originally implemented a two camera solution, placing one camera at each weld head, with the display built into a simple control station.  The original cameras each used a spot filter to provide a dual brightness image: darker in the central part of the image where the weld arc should be, and brighter around the outside of the image where there was less light. 

An improvement but not a final solution!

The problem was that the arc could wander outside of the spot filter causing the cameras to saturate, rendering an almost useless image for the operator.  In addition, the cameras had degraded over time, such that the clarity and sharpness of the image was further reduced.  Other complications arose such as: cables that melted in the heat of the industrial environment, variable light conditions across the travel of the length of the seamer, and difficulty using camera iris controls; requiring manual control every time a weld was to be started or stopped.

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The Original Camera’s Image

The problem solved!

The Xiris XVC-1000 weld camera was selected by the fabricator as a replacement tool for their existing seamer cameras.  The XVC-1000 has been designed to tolerate such difficult welding conditions as: high heat, variable light intensity, and an enormous range of brightness.  It became clear at the end of this installation that most seamer applications could use such a camera to improve production quality, productivity, and health and safety. Even Seamer systems that do not have a camera can be easily upgraded in the field: installing a Xiris XVC-1000 camera can be very easy: the fabricator can just put the display console in place and go!

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Topics: welding, XVC Weld Camera, Seamer

Improving Tank Manufacturing Safety with Cameras

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

Large tank manufacturing can be a difficult process.  Welding together large pieces of formed metal to make round tanks and pressure vessels can be technically challenging.  Typically, manufacturers will implement automatic welding equipment that needs to be constantly monitored in order to ensure that it is operating as optimally as possible.  As automatic as most of the machines are on the market today, there still is a need for operators to monitor the weld process for a number of issues, namely:

  • Adjusting the rotational speed of the tank components being welded;
  • Adjusting the feed speed of the wire as it goes to the weld head;
  • Adjusting the weld head for seam alignment because the tank metal components are not perfectly round.

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Automatic Tank Fabrication

Often, operators are used to physically monitor the welding process directly at the weld site.  This can be a significant safety hazard, especially when using large column and boom welding equipment inside the tanks as the operators can be confined to tight spaces when monitoring the weld and be exposed to multiple toxic fumes.  A simple solution can be implemented to solve this problem: a Xiris XVC Weld Camera. This camera can be mounted on to the weld head allowing the operator can to monitor the welding process remotely, from a safe location outside the tank.

 

This Weld Camera solution was recently installed at a large tank manufacturer.  Prior to implementing the camera, the manufacturer had their operators monitor the weld process directly inside the tank.  Forced to lie flat beside the welding boom to be able to see the welding process as the tank rotated under them, the operators could potentially slip or fall and hit the boom, hot weld seam or bead.  In addition, the operators had to wear extensive personal protection equipment (PPE) and a heavy duty ventilation system had to be installed in order to remove smoke and fumes from the weld process and bring fresh air into the tank in order to protect staff from exposure.  By installing the Weld camera, the manufacturer avoided health and safety issues and made the work of welding a much more comfortable and appealing experience for the operators.

 

The Result

The customer decided to implement a Xiris XVC Weld Camera as part of their overall automation equipment upgrade.  In the words of one of their technicians, the Xiris camera was “the most important part of the upgrade” as it allowed, for the first time, the operator to monitor the welding process remotely.  Now, ventilation equipment is no longer required and the operator can sit in a chair outside of the tank, wear no protective equipment or ventilation equipment, and view a monitor, which  provides better visibility of the weld; allowing for better   control of the weld process.


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Topics: weld camera, XVC Weld Camera, Tank Manufacturing

Successful Show in Shanghai for Xiris!

Posted by Dean Zhao on Monday, July 06, 2015 @ 09:46 AM

Xiris Automation Inc. exhibited the new XVC-1000 Weld View Camera in this year's Essen Welding Show in Shanghai. The show started June 16th and ended on June 19th, 2015 with an estimated 28,000 visitors from 60 different countries.  85% of these visitors were reported from China, and the remaining 15% were international visitors.

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This year's show was another extremely busy show for Xiris, as the use of weld cameras is still new to China.  This allowed us an advantage within the fast paced Chinese market to establish many new relationships with both machine builders and end users alike.  

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We put one camera in Migatronic our partner’s booth demonstrating live welding images from our camera. The live display of the weld images inspired plenty of interest in our camera. There was an enormous turn-out and many discussions with potential customers.  With both new and repeat customers in attendance, our booth was constantly crowded with interested prospective clients.

 

This demand and fascination with our product was due to the unique qualities of the XVC-1000 in the industry.  It is a perfect solution for monitoring all welding processes, and perfect for welding professionals.  With small format size, high dynamic range capability and remote imaging, the XVC-1000 is a powerful addition to any welding process. In China, as elsewhere, System integrators and general fabricators are constantly fighting to differentiate themselves from the intense competition in the industry. The Xiris XVC-1000 could be the key. Our camera can provide superior image clarity to monitor the entire welding process including both the brightness of the welding arc and its darker background.


 

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Topics: Trade Show, XVC Weld Camera

Post Scarf Inspection on Tube and Pipe Mills

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 @ 09:54 AM

Scarfing is a process of removing excess weld bead on a pipe or tube to create a desired shape.  It is done by planing longitudinally welded tubes or pipes right after the welding process.  If it is done perfectly, the resulting profile will match the ideal shape of the parent material.  However, if the scarf tool is set to plane too much material, or not enough, the resulting profile could appear too deep or leave a weld bead above the parent material.

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Result of a Scarf Tool Cutting Too Deeply
 
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Result of a Scarf Tool Not Cut Deep Enough
 

Detecting if the scarf tool is properly adjusted is a difficult task to do on a continuous basis.  In particular, some thick walled tube and pipe mills make precision end products using multiple scarf cuts using scarfing tools operating sequentially.  If not correctly adjusted, the tube or pipe could end up with an incorrect profile shapes where the scarf occurred.  A way to make sure that the right amount of material is removed from the welded tube is important.  If placed after the scarfing process on a tube mill, the Xiris WI-2000p can measure the scarf width and bead height left behind after a scarfing process to provide quality control of the scarfing process itself.

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Image of an Ideal Scarf Zone from the WI-2000p from Xiris

 

In the above image taken from a WI-2000p system, a laser profile is shown of a welded tube, post scarf.  The area of the scarfing does not reflect the laser line as well, so the scarfed area can be easily detected and measured.  As the scarf cuts deeper into the material, the scarf width will increase, as it cuts shallower, the scarf width will decrease.

 

Conclusion

Measuring the scarf area of a tube or pipe with a device such as the WI-2000p Weld inspection system from Xiris is a quality control tool to ensure that the scarfing process has been set properly and not cutting too little or too much of the parent material away.


 

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Topics: weld inspection, Tube and Pipe welding, scarfing, WI-2000p

Xiris Goes to the Shanghai Welding Show!

Posted by Dean Zhao on Monday, June 15, 2015 @ 01:58 PM

Xiris has established success in selling a number of Xiris XVC-O and XVC-1000 weld camera systems to Chinese customers in the past couple of years. To continue expanding our business in China, Xiris will exhibit in the 2015 Beijing Essen Welding and Cutting Fair from June 16 – 19 in Shanghai.

The Beijing Essen Welding and Cutting Fair is the largest and the most influential welding trade fair held in China each year and one of the world’s leading welding exhibitions.  In 2014 the fair had almost 23,000 visitors from over 60 countries, and almost 1,000 exhibitors from 27 countries.  Anticipating an even bigger show this year, Xiris expects to be very busy!

Come visit us at Booth# N3426 in Hall N3 of the show, where we will be demonstrating the XVC-1000 weld camera for Open Arc welding.  Using leading-edge technology, our XVC-1000 weld camera combines a spectacular 140+ dB high dynamic range sensor with power over Ethernet, a full suite of welding-specific imaging software tools, and a host of unique features to provide unprecedented image quality of a variety of welding and laser processes.  The XVC-1000 allows the operator to remotely view the weld information up to 100 m away.  The camera comes packed with functionality designed to maximize image quality and reliability, including image triggering, general purpose I/O, image windowing capability, and a weld arc photodetector.

We are looking forward to the show, and hope you will stop by to see what our weld cameras can do!

See you in Shanghai

Xiris Shanghai Header


 

Would you like to see what the Xiris XVC-1000 has to offer?  Subscribe to the Weld Video of the Month Club to receive exclusive video content recorded by our own XVC-1000

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Topics: XVC Weld Camera

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