The Xiris Blog

How to Reduce Customer Returns from your Tube Mill

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 04:00 AM

When a customer refuses to accept a shipment because of a quality problem, the cost escalates as soon as the tube leaves the plant. The cost of customer returns includes all product that gets returned from, rejected by or credited to a customer. It also includes the expense of sorting, investigations, meetings, reporting, shipping, handling and containment.  The tube producer may have to rework the product until it meets customer expectations, scrap it or, worse, send a team to the customer’s site to inspect each piece manually.  By adding weld inspection into a tube production line, the rate of defect detection will be higher as the weld inspection system will be able to detect, at a high level of accuracy, defects that are not easily detected by NDT equipment or manual operators.  With higher defect detection rates, better quality product will be shipped, ultimately reducing customer returns.

Feb 13 Blog Image 1.jpg(photo courtesy of www.demacmedia.com)

 

Reduce your customer returns! Justify an automatic weld inspection system using a ROI worksheet where you can enter your own mill data. 

 

    Download your FREE ROI Calculator Now!

 

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: quality control, Xiris, welding, Tube and Pipe welding, ROI, return on investment, productivity tools

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.

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

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

How to Find Defects Sooner and Reduce Scrap on a Tube Mill

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 @ 05:00 AM

In a tube mill, production scrap can come from just about anywhere: tooling wear, bad material inputs, out-of-maintenance equipment or a process that is out of control.  Regardless of where it comes from, the creation of scrap costs tube fabricators a lot of money and time.  Since raw material accounts for the majority of the cost to make a tube, reducing the scrap rate by even a fraction of 1% can provide substantial savings to the tube fabricator.

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Typical Scrap Generated from a Tube Mill

(photo courtesy of www.roll-kraft.com)

Traditionally, defects are found on a tube mill at the end of the production line by existing NDT equipment or alert operators.  By placing an automatic weld inspection system right after the weld box, defects or weld zone variations can be detected earlier in the production process and can be removed from production prior to further value being added to defective products.  By detecting the defects automatically right after the weld box and not manually by an operator or inspector at the end of the line after cutting or bundling, a complete length of tube can be saved by responding faster to the out-of-control process.

The result is material savings of scrap tube because the process can be brought in control sooner, avoiding producing extra lengths of defective tube. 

Want to reduce scrap in your mill?  Justify an automatic weld inspection system using a ROI worksheet where you can enter your own mill data. 

 

    Download your FREE ROI Calculator Now!

 

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: quality control, Xiris, welding, Tube and Pipe welding, ROI, return on investment, productivity tools

Checking Tube Welds Before and After Scarfing

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

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The process of tube welding requires several variables to be in check for efficient and stable production and to meet the quality demands of the industry.  Mill dynamics, from setup to production, have an impact on the stability of these variables.  Measuring and monitoring these variables is the first step in controlling them and improving weld quality for tube fabricators.

In response, tube fabricators employ laser based weld inspection systems to monitor a variety of geometrical features around the weld area of the tube and to provide early warning of quality issues related to the welding and forming process.  Traditionally placed right after the weld box on a tube mill, where the majority of tube forming and weld bead measurements can be made, such systems provide the operator with an early warning of weld related process variations that could lead to quality defects.  

While most tube mill customers use the system right after the weld box where the most as-weld related information is available, some fabricators use it after scarfing to check for quality issues related to the scarfing process: does the scarfing tool cut too deeply, or not enough?  Is the tool damaged?  Is the scarf cut a consistent amount?  All these questions can be addressed by installing a weld system after scarfing.

Now, Xiris has developed a double head laser based weld inspection system that allows for one head to be placed immediately after the weld box and one head immediately after scarfing.  In this way, tube fabricators can monitor their tube production before scarfing for weld related defects; and after scarfing for potential scarf related issues.

 

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WI2000 Double Head Configuration: One Head Post Weld, One Head Post Scarf

 With a double head configuration, tube fabricators can better control their process and improve quality by monitoring the tube profile, weld bead geometry and final scarf cut, all controlled from a single system. 

 

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: quality control, weld camera, weld inspection, Xiris, Tube and Pipe welding, scarfing, weld seam

Reducing Tube Mill Downtime with Weld Inspection

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 @ 03:00 AM

Tube mills require a large capital investment that often gets amortized over several years.  Even assuming that a mill is written down over an extended period, such as 10 years, the total cost of running a mill can be substantial when including the hourly amortized cost of the mill, the operating costs and related personnel costs.  Not surprisingly, minimizing mill downtime is always a priority for tube producers.  When a tube mill stops for planned events (such as product change overs, mill qualification, planned maintenance), or unplanned events (such as equipment failures, material input problems, shortage of operators, unscheduled maintenance), production stops.  For most tube fabricators, downtime is the single largest source of lost production time.  While there could be many reasons for a mill’s downtime, focusing attention on the constraints of the mill to ensure optimal use of resources is the most direct route to improved productivity.  When manufacturing processes get out of control on a tube mill, common trial and error solutions typically prolong the time needed to correct the process.  The result is high wastage and repair costs. 

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(photo courtesy of www.prweb.com)

In contrast, by implementing automated tools such as an automatic weld inspection system, mill downtime can be reduced by improving the use of resources needed to keep the process in control.  With this equipment, tube fabricators can get a better and more advanced warning of process issues that are moving out of tolerance so that the mill does not have to be shut down to fix major tooling or welding issues.

Want to reduce downtime in your mill?  Justify an automatic weld inspection system using a ROI worksheet where you can enter your own mill data. 

 

    Download your FREE ROI Calculator Now!

 

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: quality control, Xiris, welding, Tube and Pipe welding, ROI, return on investment, productivity tools