The Xiris Blog

The Technology Behind Every Xiris System

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 @ 03:42 PM

Every machine vision system developed by Xiris is based upon an internal image processing library developed by Xiris over a 20 year period including thousands of hours of coding and testing.  The library has been built up to include a number of key algorithms to perform specific imaging tasks, and includes a number of tools created for maximum specification.

 Pattern Match Tool

Figure 1: This image demonstrates the capabilities of the Pattern match tool

The Edge Tools are used to very precisely locate single edges or edge pairs in a straight line or along an arc.  Best used for precisely gauging the distance between two edges or object location (finding one or two edges precisely to locate a corner, or feature), the software has been scientifically proven in a lab environment to be accurate to better than 1/20th of a pixel.

The Blob Tool is used to perform shape analysis of randomly oriented objects in an image with over 60 different measured features.  It can be used to determine if object meets specific criteria with individual thresholds available for each parameter to quickly select the features of interest, including: Area, Perimeter, Equivalent Diameter, Centroid, Orientation, Second Moments, Bounding Box, Circularity, Eccentricity and many others.

The Pattern Match (or Search) Tool, as shown above, is used to perform pattern matching by locating two dimensional objects in a very accurate manner (1/4 pixel or better).  The Pattern Match Tool is very useful when trying to find an object in a complex scene. Additionally, this tool can be used to determine how well an object matches its ideal, or golden part. 

Used to identify lighting variations, the Light Meter (or Histogram) Tool monitors overall intensity changes or simple part presence. Another important application of this tool is the modification of the Brightness or Contrast of the overall image.

Print Inspection uses a golden template pattern, built over a series of taught images, to compare with the image under inspection.  The Euclidean distance between each overlaid pixel is analyzed to determine if the image under inspection meets with predefined defect criteria.  During the teaching phase, the tool automatically determines appropriate inspection thresholds for each pixel.

Color Tools can be used to verify or recognize a region of color on a component by comparing the candidate color to a series of pre-taught, or known colors.  The color processing can be done inRGB (Red, Green, Blue), HLS (Hue, Luminance, Saturation), CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), XYZ or other color spaces.  These tools are often used for product identification, print image quality, feature analysis.

Symbology Tools help read or verify various types of symbols, including multi-format 1-D and two-D bar codes, as well as Optical Character Verification and Recognition.  Characters can be verified or recognized down to 24x24 pixels in size.

Other tools in our software package include Temporal Tools, which can track position over time, a number of Surface Inspection tools, which range from feature detection to defect classification, and 3D Imaging with the use of Laser Triangulation, used to extract the 3-dimensional shape of a surface

Our other Image Processing Tools are used to enhance an image for the benefit of an operator, including morphology (shape based processing such as erosion/dilation or opening/closing), and neighborhood processing using convolutions, including: Sobel, Averaging, Sharpening, Low Pass, Median, Watershed, and others.

All of these tools were created to help the operator make better decisions based upon what they are able to monitor. By using its own software imaging library in its machine vision systems, Xiris is able to provide custom algorithms to suit some very specific market requirements, achieving greater speed and performance benefits that would be otherwise unavailable were a general purpose imaging library to be used. The customizable nature of this software toolkit makes a Xiris system essential for a variety of applications. 

 

Have an application that could benefit from these tools? Contact us, we always welcome the opportunity to discuss new initiatives! 

 

Topics: remote monitoring, camera selection, quality control, weld camera, weld inspection, Machine Vision, image processing, field of view, High Dynamic Range, laser-based monitoring, image contrast

Expanding Weld Camera Reach

Posted by Lisa Colling on Friday, December 06, 2013 @ 02:17 PM

Having valuable and knowledgeable partners is a key component to Xiris’ success and where ever potential customers live we want to be able to assist them as efficiently as possible.

Therefore, Xiris has once again extended our reach into the global market place by signing Harbin Jinlifeng Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd (“Jinlifeng”) to be the exclusive Chinese distributor of Xiris productransparent globe 3 resized 600ts for the Welding Industry.

Xiris Automation Inc. specializes in developing Optical Metrology equipment for leading manufacturers around the world, including the XVC-O Weld Camera for open arc welding applications.

The XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging technology allows operators greater real-time visibility of the weld process than previously possible—significantly improving operator health and safety, weld quality, and productivity

Lin Li, President of Jinlifeng in Harbin, China, adds that “Xiris’ XVC-O camera technology is an important productivity and quality tool for many critical welding processes across China.  China represents the largest market for welding equipment in the world, so this is a very good product to introduce to China at this time”.

Jinlifeng aligns with our core focus on product quality, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement of technology; we welcome this great addition to our sales team and look forward to serving the Welding Industry in China.

Xiris has already delivered more than 2,000 vision systems to customers in over 30 countries around the world and we work with various representatives and agents to help us provide local sales and service.

To contact us for your personal demonstration, please call +1.905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email sales@xiris.com


Topics: camera selection, weld camera, welding automation, Machine Vision

Using a Weld Camera for High-Temperature Pipe Cladding

Posted by Cameron Serles on Friday, November 29, 2013 @ 04:43 PM

For certain types of pipe cladding operations, fabricators have to preheat the parent metal in order to achieve better cohesion between the cladding and the base pipe material.

With inside-diameter (ID) cladding, this heating means that the inside of the pipe becomes too hot—often well over 500° F (260°C)—for direct monitoring of the cladding application by the operator. The space inside the pipe is also often limited, with pipes as small as 4 inches commonly requiring in ID cladding.

The XVC-O Weld Camera can provide remote weld monitoring in extremely hot weld environments.A Weld Camera is the ideal solution for monitoring ID cladding because it can fit in a narrow pipe and provide an image that can be viewed remotely by the operator. If the Weld Camera is equipped with High Dynamic Range imaging technology —an essential feature for advanced Weld Cameras—it can provide operators with real-time, high-quality images of the weld process characteristics.

But the extreme heat present in the pipe also presents a challenge for Weld Cameras. To withstand the high temperatures often found in ID cladding, Weld Cameras need special design considerations to prevent overheating.

To meet this challenge, Xiris has engineered a cooling kit that consists of a cool-air generator and a thermal blanket enclosing the camera and cables. We tested the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera inside this kit, exposed to over 300° C  (approximately 600° F) for  the better part of a day—and the XVC-O kept its temperature at about 30° C  (86° F), well within safe operating range of the camera.

This cooling kit enables fabricators to use the XVC-O to view welding processes such as high-temperature ID cladding to make necessary in-process adjustments, when it would otherwise be impossible to sufficiently monitor the weld quality. In ID cladding, the cooling kit is key to unlocking the benefits of the XVC-O and its High Dynamic Range imaging technology.

Conclusion

Weld Cameras with High Dynamic Range imaging can provide operators with a clear, high-detail view of weld features so they can use their experience and judgment to make cost-saving, quality-enhancing adjustments. But in ID pipe cladding or any other welding application in a high-temperature environment (e.g., oil and gas operations, nuclear power plants), Weld Cameras need a special cooling solution to keep the camera within safe operating temperature.

Xiris has developed such a solution for its XVC-O Weld Camera, allowing it to be installed in a diverse range of welding applications. 

 

Image courtesy of Kilom691, Creative Commons.

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, weld environment, High Dynamic Range, Tube and Pipe welding

Using a Weld Camera in High-Humidity Environments

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, November 28, 2013 @ 07:35 PM

Some welding applications must be done in high-humidity conditions that can cause problems for Weld Cameras.

Because of the heat around the weld arc, a Weld Camera must be cooled during operation. In a high-humidity environment such as a jungle location, the high humidity results in condensation forming on the lines that flow cool air into the camera to accomplish the cooling. If the Weld Camera isn’t waterproof, the condensation can run along the air lines into the camera’s electrical components, causing shorting or oxidation.

Condensation on a Weld Camera's cooling lines can cause damage to the camera.Outdoor welding is a common reason for high humidity. In addition, other types of welding such as that done on Tube or Pipe mills, where a large amount of water/oil coolant is used, also create high humidity around the weld camera.

Whatever the cause, when using a Weld Camera in such an environment, a sealed housing to waterproof the camera is essential for ensuring long-term operation.

For the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera—which features state-of-the-art High Dynamic Range imaging to help operates better see critical details of a weld—we designed a rugged, enclosed housing that’s IP67-rated and therefore able to resist water, smoke and other ambient particulates found in the immediate area of a weld process.

We recently visited a customer site where this sealed housing was desperately needed. The customer was welding in Southeast Asia—a jungle environment where the humidity was 100 percent and the ambient temperature was a steamy 35° C (95° F). Predictably, they had a problem with condensation running down the cooling lines used to cool their production equipment.

However, the Weld Cameras stayed completely dry and functioning properly despite the fact that they were covered in moisture. The water-resistant housing allowed the customer to gain the many advantages of XVC-O Weld Cameras, without putting the cameras at risk of damage in a high-humidity environment.

Conclusion

Welding in adverse environmental conditions such as high humidity does not mean that you can’t use a Weld Camera without subjecting it to harmful water exposure. Xiris’ XVC-O Weld Camera can safely and effectively operate in the most-humid environments in the world and has the experience to prove it! 

 

Image courtesy of Muffet, Creative Commons.

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, weld environment

Spreading Weld Camera Innovation Worldwide

Posted by Lisa Colling on Friday, November 22, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

Xiris is based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, near Toronto, but we’re a global company. No matter where you are in the world, we can provide you with the most-advanced Weld Cameras available.

Xiris offers its Weld Cameras with High Dynamic Range imaging across the globe.

Xiris’ XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging technology allows operators greater real-time visibility of the weld process than previously possible—significantly improving operator health and safety, weld quality, and productivity. We think this new technology has tremendous value for fabricators, and we want to spread it far and wide.

We work with machine builders and integrators all over the world in customizing the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera to meet their needs for open arc welding applications, or the XVC-S for submerged arc welding applications.

We also work with various representatives and agents around the world to help us provide local sales and service in key regions.

As an example of our reach, we just signed Monitech Co., Ltd. in Korea to be the exclusive Korean distributor of Xiris Weld Cameras. Monitech’s president, David Hwang, called our Weld Cameras a “superior technology” for customers and expressed optimism that it will “contribute toward the field of welding.”

Monitech lives up to the high standards we look for in sales partners—experienced in weld quality monitoring and focused on continuous improvement.

Xiris has already delivered more than 2,000 vision systems to customers in over 30 countries around the world.

Technology knows no boundaries, and neither does Xiris.

To contact us for your personal demonstration, please call +1.905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email sales@xiris.com.

 

Image courtesy of shaire productions, Creative Commons

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, welding automation, Machine Vision

Advanced Weld Cameras: The Rental Option

Posted by Eric McCarron on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 06:12 PM

The Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera features High Dynamic Range imaging, a technology that enables Weld Cameras to provide manufacturers with productivity and quality gains never before possible with cameras.

High Dynamic Range imaging combines advanced camera and image-processing technologies to give operators a clear, real-time image of the welding process, including both the super-bright arc region and the dark surrounding background

Because operators using a Weld Camera without this capability have to periodically adjust lighting in order to clearly see all the detail of the weld, High Dynamic Range imaging results in increased welding output. And because the images are of such high quality, operators have greater visibility into the process than possible with traditional Weld Cameras—leading to improved quality control.

But as with any new technology, there is an initial cost for taking advantage of it. The expense of purchasing an XVC-O (or XVC-S for Sub Arc Welding) is a small price to pay for the long-term benefits; nonetheless, it is a capital investment—and it’s not always the right time to purchase an asset, no matter how attractive its potential return on investment.

Fortunately, as with most commercial equipment, Xiris Weld Cameras can also be rented, allowing companies to pay monthly payments rather than a lump cash payment, thereby preserving working capital for other business needs. (And the rental programs can typically be structured to allow for rent-to-own.)

Red-D-Arc Adds Xiris                                                                                                     

As part of our effort to make our Weld Cameras easily available for rental, Xiris has recently partnered with Red-D-Arc Welderentals, which the Rental Equipment Registry dubbed as the “industry’s leading welder rental specialist” in its 2013 list of the top 100 equipment leasing companies (Red-D-Arc ranked #22 overall).

Red-D-Arc is leasing Xiris Weld Cameras with advanced camera technology.On its website, Red-D-Arc is now featuring both the XVC-O and the XVC-S. Red-D-Arc also has the XVC-S installed on a manipulator it's exhibiting at Fabtech 2013, currently underway in Chicago.

Our Weld Cameras are housed in an extremely rugged enclosure, and when rented through Red-D-Arc, they are sent out in a sturdy Pelican case, making them easy to return in one piece.

If you’d like to gain the benefits of the XVC-O or XVC-S without the capital commitment of a purchase, leasing through Red-D-Arc could be the path for you.

Conclusion

Advanced Weld Cameras can add substantial value to automated welding operations—and that value can be gained through purchasing or leasing. You don’t have to spend a lot of cash to begin reaping the benefits of this exciting technology now.

To learn more about the Xiris XVC-O and XVC-S, or to set up a personal demonstration, please call 905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email us at sales@xiris.com.

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, welding automation