The Xiris Blog

Catherine Cline

Recent Posts

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: welding automation, weld camera, Machine Vision, Robotic 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
Nov 24 Fabtech3.jpg
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.

Summary

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: additive manufacturing, metal, High Dynamic Range

Robust Weld Cameras for High Frequency Weld Applications

Posted by Catherine Cline on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 @ 09:29 AM

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) that is generated by high frequency weld equipment can often play havoc with other welding equipment, such as cameras, by creating electromagnetic induction in the circuitry of the cameras.  Often the electrical disturbances that occur create a noisy camera image, interrupt image data acquisition or generate continuous lines running through the image. In xtreme cases, it can stop the cameras from functioning altogether.

May 3 image 1.png 

The Xiris XVC-1000e Weld Camera

During extensive testing in the field, Xiris XVC weld cameras have proven themselves to be immune to the EMI that is generated by high frequency weld equipment.  EMI immunity has always been a problem identified by the industry when using cameras, so Xiris took this into consideration when designing the XVC camera family.  The camera is an all digital design, rather than the analog design common on most other weld cameras.  The result is that many problems resulting from outside interference are eliminated, allowing for excellent image stability and cable lengths of up to 100 m.  As part of that design, the camera housings have been extremely well shielded and grounded, eliminating any stray electrical noise.

The XVC weld cameras were extensively tested during the design/build process whereby extreme ranges of frequencies and power levels were used, including some of the harshest welding conditions, such as high power GMAW welding tests, with power approaching 1000A.  During those tests, the XVC weld camera cables were stretched parallel to welding power lines, wrapped around welding power lines and laid on/over/in grounded equipment, all without significant degradation of the camera image.

The camera has been tested to the EN 61326-1:2006 standard which includes the following tests:

  • Electrostatic discharge
  • Radiated RF Immunity
  • Electrical Fast Transients
  • Surge Withstand
  • Conducted RF Immunity
  • Magnetic Field Immunity
  • Voltage Dips
  • Short Interruption
  • Harmonic Current Emissions
  • Voltage Fluctuation and Flicker

The Xiris XVC weld camera is now widely used on manufacturing floors running in some of the most challenging welding environments, including alternating polarity GTAW, high powered GMAW and Plasma processes, providing clear images to operators as far as 100 m away from the weld head.

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can eliminate EMI interference and enhance your weld processes visit Xiris.com 

You can visit our

 WELD VIDEO LIBRARY

for dozens of examples of the camera in action. 

Don't miss any of our amazing videos! Sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: Xiris, welding, productivity tools, quality control, EMI, image processing

Ontario High School Purchases a Weld Camera Kit!

Posted by Catherine Cline on Monday, January 30, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

 

Timiskaming District Secondary School Purchases an XVC 1000 Weld Camera Kit

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Chris Code back in May of 2016 at the Skills Ontario Competition for Secondary Schools, the largest of its kind in Canada. Chris is a teacher and weld instructor at Timiskaming District Secondary School (TDSS) and he had students participating in the event. TDSS offers a special program in Northern Ontario called the Specialist High Skills Major Program (SHSM) in manufacturing. The program gives students exposure to the many careers associated with manufacturing. Students work with CAD tools, hand and machine tools as well as welding and fitting on community based projects. Students can also work toward CWB certification.  

Chris was in the process of deciding between the purchase of a weld simulator and a High Dynamic  Range HDR) weld camera. He and his students had worked with a simulator and found it to be most beneficial for students who had never welded and could adjust their body position and not waste any welding materials. From his perspective however, students did not really grasp the art of welding with continued use of a simulator. It is beneficial for helping them learn the angles and distances for holding a torch, but beyond that it’s just not realistic. With a weld camera, students can see how the arc and puddle react to different techniques and procedures, not just have simulated scores pop up.

Another benefit of a weld camera is the ability to record examples of any defect and show the students how it was formed. The camera can see the torch angle and position while at the same time show detail in the weld. A simulator can’t provide that much detail or immediate visual feedback. Students can record their welds and go over them with Chris after the fact for feedback, particularly helpful in a multi student setting where immediate individual attention is not always possible. 

With the XVC-1000, Chris and his students are able to change the optics of the camera to alter the field of view to allow for a small magnified view of the wire going into the puddle, as shown in the TIG images below, to a larger view to record the weld of an entire 8” coupon, seen in the stick welding image.

Jan 30 Blog Image1.jpgJan 30 Blog Image2.jpg

    Large FOV Stick Weld               Small FOV TIG Weld

Beyond the use of a weld camera as a teaching tool, Chris determined there were additional benefits attained with an in-house weld camera. By having a HDR camera, students are able to learn about camera technology, as Chris allowed his students to play a lead role in camera set up and software configuration as he felt they will be exposed to more vision systems in the future. Chris also intends to work closely with the school’s marketing teacher to use the images captured to market the welding component of the SHSM program.

Thank you Chris, it has certainly been a pleasure to work with you and we intend to keep a close eye on your progress!!

Xiris has a great collection of weld videos, sorted by process, that have been created using the XVC-1000.

Visit the Xiris Weld Video Library

 

You can also sign up to automatically receive our Weld Video of the Month

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

Topics: Xiris, welding, productivity tools, quality control, weld video

The Ultimate Weld Video Library

Posted by Catherine Cline on Monday, January 16, 2017 @ 12:08 PM

First, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!  

2016 was an excellent year for Xiris with weld camera sales increasing over 110% from 2015.  There are many markets and factors contributing to this increase, including; industrial automation, specifically robotic welding, additive manufacturing, demanding quality assurance requirements, focus on operator safety and education.

Another important factor leading to this increase was good old fashioned “pounding the pavement.”  The sales team hit the road and conducted a number of on-site demonstrations which quickly converted to camera sales.  As a result of these demonstrations we collected hours of weld video footage.  We can promise you, these videos have not been enhanced in any way and as such we often hear “this is the first weld camera we’ve seen that actually performs as advertised.” 

When you have a moment, take a look at our incredible collection of videos that are now categorized by process and provide examples of most weld processes out there. Enjoy!

 

Xiris Weld Video Library

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com or sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: Xiris, welding, productivity tools, quality control, weld video

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