The Xiris Blog

Cameron Serles

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Using Weld Cameras to Enable a Continuous Coil Joining Process

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, January 10, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Xiris’ High Dynamic Range (HDR) welding cameras can be used in a multitude of ways, some of which our customers have discovered on their own.

For example, a manufacturer of thick-walled steel pipe recently figured out how to use our cameras in a way that has greatly improved the efficiency of their coil joining process.

Operators only have about 10 minutes to end-sheer, mate, and weld coils during the semi-automatic front-end part of the process. The cost of coil joint failure is high, so the manufacturer would stop the tube mill to check on the integrity of the coil joint before continuing.

Even though the stoppage prevented more-costly failures, it had its own cost. What our customer needed was a way to adequately monitor the end joining in the infeed buffer of the pipe mill without having to stop the process to assure correct coil matching.

They knew the capabilities of our cameras to enable real-time remote monitoring of weld processes with greater visibility than ever before possible. So they developed a plan to use Xiris XVC-110e50 cameras to monitor the coil joining during the front end of the process. This monitoring eliminates the need for routine stoppages.

This solution also keeps operators safer. Coil joining is performed using a MIG welding torch mounted onto a linear track with dual-axis torch position. Previously, operators had to be close enough to the torch to see what was happening with the weld. With the Xiris HDR cameras, they have a clear view of the coil joining process from a safe remote location.

With their creative use of our HDR camera technology, this manufacturer was able to significantly reduce the time and cost of coil joining, while increasing consistency.

For a video of the coil joining process taken by the XVC-1100e50 camera, please view the video below

Coil Joining Video 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: tube mill, tube, quality control, coil joining, weld camera system, reduced costs

How to Detect Scarf Tool Wear on a Tube Mill

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, December 13, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

During tube production, immediately after the tube has been welded and before any further in-line processing is done, the weld bead must be scarfed off the tube. Scarfing is the process whereby the weld bead is cut off with a knife, or scarfing tool.  Unfortunately, if the scarfing tool is not done properly, the tube may not meet end user customer specifications because of a rough surface left behind by the scarf tool.  The result can be the primary contributor to creating a leak path on a compression fitting.

Using a surface profiling tool such as the Xiris WI2000, the scarf defect measurement can be used to detect how well the scarfing tool is cutting the weld bead and indicate the amount of scarf tool wear. 

Scarf tool wear describes the gradual failure condition of a scarf cutting tool on a tube mill as a result of ongoing use.  It can occur either as flank wear in which the portion of the scarf tool in contact with the welded tube erodes over time sometimes causing a ridge to be left behind in the scarf zone; or as crater wear, in which contact with chips of weld bead erodes the rake face of the tool causing an uneven cut surface; or a cluster of weld bead material building up on the face of the tool causing it to dredge a groove in the scarf zone. These conditions are somewhat normal for tool wear, and they do not seriously degrade the use of the scarf tool until it becomes serious enough to cause a scarf tool cutting edge failure that may be a concern for a potential leak path for the tube in its final use.

The scarf defect measurement on the WI2000 looks for any significant deviations in surface height above or below the ideal scarf surface.  The Scarf Defect will detect the absolute value of the largest defect on the scarf surface.  Any significant amount of scarf tool wear could reduce the specifications and performance of the final tube, especially for some automotive applications where tight assembly requirements or a smooth, scratch free surface is required.

Scarf Defect_2017-01

The Definition of a Scarf Tool Wear: The scarf plane can be defined as the straight line drawn between the left and right scarf edges.  Any detected features above or below the scarf plane, are measured as a scarf defect.  The actual amount of wear is defined as the distance from the scarf plane measured perpendicularly to the scarf plane.

If you have any questions about our profile inspections for tube and pipe, please feel free to contact us. 

 

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Topics: tube mill, tubedefects, WI-2000p, defects, tube, pipe, scarfing, bead height, Tube and Pipe welding, quality control

Detecting Bead Ripple During Tube Manufacturing

Posted by Cameron Serles on Friday, October 05, 2018 @ 11:45 AM

Lighter wall mild steel pipe production requires bead height monitoring for bead ripple. Bead ripple is a condition sometimes associated with a weld process that is too hot and may result in longitudinal weld cracks.  Bead ripples appear along the length of the weld bead as undulations with measurable differences in height by as much as 1/8” (3 mm).  Often the height of the bead ripple on a welded pipe is a function of the heat that has gone into the weld process:  the higher the heat, the greater the height of the bead ripple. In most applications, a weld bead should have a smooth, consistent height as an indicator of a stable weld process.

Bead Ripple1An image of a weld bead with bead ripple

In some applications, a weld bead ripple can be desired, such as in certain coated steel products. This ensures that all contaminants from the area of the weld have been squeezed out, preventing potential inclusions from occurring in the weld bead, which would result in compromised weld quality.

By measuring the bead height on a weld bead over a period of time using a laser based triangulation system , an indication of the smoothness of the weld bead can be made.  By calculating ongoing historical statistics of the head height (e.g. min/max, average, standard deviation), an indication of smoothness of the weld bead or bead ripple can be made.  Tolerances of the amount of smoothness or ripple can be set to match the process and when exceeded, an alarm can be set.

Bead Ripple Detection1 Measuring the weld bead height over successive images can detect bead ripple over time

Topics: tube mill, tubedefects, productivity tools, tube, bead height, Tube and Pipe welding, quality control

Using High Dynamic Range Cameras for Slip-Ring Applications

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, August 16, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

If you use slip rings and rotating torches in cladding, there now is a way that you can see the welding process much more clearly than ever before.

Xiris has successfully tested our XVC-1000 and XVC-1000e weld cameras on rotating welding machines using slip rings—and the cameras work perfectly!  Unlike other cameras with electrical noise interferences, the Xiris Weld Cameras are not affected by the electrical noise and interferences common with running video over a slip ring.

Even Over a Slip Ring Connection, Xiris Weld Camera Maintains a Noise Free Image

Slip rings are electromechanical devices that are designed to pass electrical signals from a rotary source (such as a weld camera mounted next to one or more torches that rotate around the inside of a part) to a stationary receiver (such as a computer which receives the video data from the cameras). They are devices that allow for the transmission of an electrical signal and power.  By employing a metal brush that rubs against a rotating metal ring, the video signal coming from the camera travels through the connection, avoiding the use of solid cables that could potentially twist indefinitely until damaged.

Weld cameras are making their way into a variety of cladding operations.  However, it is very difficult to monitor cladding on the inside of the pipe, especially when the pipe stays stationary and the torch rotates.  This can be a problem for a standard connection: as the torch rotates continuously, cables cannot withstand very many rotations before they break.  Therefore, the use of slip rings would be a natural solution.  However, slip rings typically are used for motor signals and power, applications that are a little more tolerant of electrical noise than video signals.  Typical industrial cameras haven’t worked well with slip rings because their analog signals are not resistant to electrical noise.

The problem is that cladding is typically done using a TIG welding process, which is notorious for generating lots of electrical noise that can kill standard electronics due to its high-frequency starts.

But the Xiris weld cameras don’t die or short-circuit from high-frequency welding noise, even with a slip ring.  Our cameras and the welding machine keep working together when used with a slip ring—allowing operators to remotely see high dynamic range (HDR) images of their cladding process, in real time, on a computer screen, remotely.  The Xiris weld cameras with HDR capability permit operators to see both the super-bright weld arc and its dark surrounding background, with no need to stop the process.

We’ve tested our HDR weld cameras on slip-ring applications numerous times, and the advanced electronics in the cameras have repeatedly been up to the task. We’d be glad to demonstrate on your set-up.

This is new technology, but it’s ready now to improve the efficiency of your rotating-torch cladding.

Topics: weld camera system, cladding, Pipe Cladding, pipe, Slip Ring, TIG, TIG welding, tig torch

DED Additive Manufacturing: 5 Things You Can Monitor With A Weld Camera

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, July 05, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Of greatest interest to most users of Additive Manufacturing using Direct Energy Depostion (DED) processes is the ability to constantly monitor the deposition process and to stop the process if the deposition goes awry. DED power sources generate a lot of light which is difficult to properly image using a traditional camera.  By using a Xiris Weld Camera placed around the DED head to monitor the DED process, an operator can stop the deposition process and repair the defective region then resume the deposition without adding additional material on top of the defective area. 

 vlcsnap-2018-06-27-13h50m13s456

 A detailed image of the Additive Manufacturing process, captured by a Xiris Weld Camera.

With a Xiris Weld Camera, the bright light arc from the DED power source can be clearly seen as well as the detail of its immediate surrounding environment.  Here are 5 areas where the operator is able to see more details of the additive process with such a camera:

  1. Amount of shielding gas being used (Plasma or TIG)

With a clear view of the arc used to melt the fed powder or wire, operators can monitor how much shielding gas is being used and whether adjustments are needed

  1. Alignment of weld torch to previous layer

With a clear view of the previous pass of material, the operator can make sure that the DED head is tracking the layer properly.

  1. Keyhole spot size, location and shape (Laser)

All features of the molten material being deposited can be better monitored with a clearer view of the weld environment.

  1. The powder or wire being deposited,

With a clear view of the arc used to melt the fed powder or wire, operators can monitor how much shielding gas is being used and whether adjustments are needed

  1. The quality of the resulting melt pool and formed final bead.

Looking for dross, good quality melting and proper wetting in the melt pool and proper final bead shape one the bead has cooled is possible with a weld camera as the operator can see enough detail for these features to be visible.

 

Summary

By adding a Xiris weld camera to a DED process, operators can ensure that their parts quality is optimized during production and expensive rework is avoided.

 

Topics: weld camera system, color weld camera, additive manufacturing

SPC Measurements on a Tube Mill

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 @ 02:58 PM

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is the use of inspection data to determine the characteristics of a process, using techniques to find and remove abnormal variations in completed tubes.  Variable data is quantitative and is generated from actual measurements, such as the Mismatch, Bead Height, Deflection or similar measurements obtained from the Xiris WI2000 Weld Inspection system when it is placed right after the weld box on a tube mill. 

Variation is the difference between things that should be alike because they were produced under the same conditions.  Variation can be measured and groups of these measurements can be plotted as a frequency distribution, or histogram.  Since quality is a measure of conformance to specifications, poor quality results when variation falls outside the upper and lower specification limits.

2018_4_3 - SPC Data Logging Utility Display, Xiris WI2000.jpg

The SPC Data Logging Utility Display from a Xiris WI2000 system

 

SPC data can now be recorded and reviewed off line using the WI2000 measuring a number of parameters, including: 

  • Mean - the average of a group of values of a particular measurement.
  • Median -  the middle value of a group of ordered measurements.
  • Mode - the measurement occurring with the highest frequency.  This is the peak of the histogram.  In a true normal distribution, the mean, median and mode are all equal.
  • Range - the highest minus the lowest value in a set of measurement data.  This is a simple measure of the dispersion, or spread, in a set of data.
  • Standard Deviation - a measure of dispersion computed from the square root of the sum of the deviations from the mean, divided by the total frequency. 

Statistical process control uses the concept of subgroup sampling.  This is a method of data collection that considers a series of consecutive measurements together as a single group.  A typical subgroup size is five (5) measurements.  In order to smooth out the variability associated with an individual measurement, five consecutive measurements would be considered together as a representative sample. 

Xiris has implemented an SPC measurement logging capability to provide a way for fabricators to monitor their tube mills and identify abnormal variations in their completed tubes.

 

Topics: Tube and Pipe welding, weld inspection

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