The Xiris Blog

Using a Weld Camera to Monitor Tandem MIG Welding

Posted by Cameron Serles on Monday, February 24, 2014 @ 02:01 PM

Tandem MIG/MAG welding is a beneficial material processing application for many fabricators because it can weld at higher speed with higher deposition rates than traditional single wire MIG/MAG processes, while reducing heat input and improving weld penetration on thicker materials.  But it also demands a level of precision that necessitates detailed, real-time monitoring of the weld process.

Advanced Weld Cameras can provide this level of monitoring, allowing fabricators to gain the advantages of the Tandem MIG/MAG process without any sacrifice in productivity or quality. In fact, Weld Cameras with High Dynamic Range imaging can improve output and quality control.

The Tandem (or Twin) MIG/MAG Welding Process

In a Tandem MIG/MAG welding process, two wires are continuously fed through a special welding torch and are consumed to form a single weld puddle.  The first or leading wire controls the deposition rate and penetration.  The second or trailing wire controls the weld bead appearance.  The wires are controlled independently through separate power supplies and/or waveforms to achieve different results. 

Typical applications of tandem MIG/MAG welding include automotive, construction, shipbuilding, pressure vessel welding aluminum, steel and other materials. Weld overlays have also been deposited using this technique.

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Tandem MIG/MAG Weld Process

(courtesy Fronius AG)

 

Why use a Weld Camera?

Tandem MIG/MAG welding can only be used for automated welding processes because of the accuracy required in positioning the bulky torch and the limited accessibility for direct viewing of the weld process that it offers.  A weld camera is therefore an essential productivity aid to allow operators to monitor the quality of the weld process and its surrounding environment, including:

 - Ensuring that the welding torch is suitably rigid and following the seam properly

 - Ensure that safe and consistent wire feed does not compromise the high speed advantages of the tandem process

 - Ensure that consistent welding conditions are maintained to obtain a smooth weld bead.

 - Ensure that a minimum weld pool size is maintained to provide proper wetting of the bead

 - Ensure that the power supplies of the two different wires are functioning correctly to create the best quality molten weld pool.

 - Monitor the completed weld bead for indications of a good tandem weld process:  clean seam surfaces, flush weld toes, and minimal welding spatter

 

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View of a Tandem MIG Process Using a Xiris Weld Camera

 

Conclusion:

Integrating Weld Cameras into a Tandem MIG/MAG welding process is essential to creating a high-quality, high-speed, state-of-the-art welding cell.  Fabricators can gain a competitive advantage by being able to better monitor the high speed welding process, providing better process control.  The net result is that they can leverage their investment in a Tandem MIG/MAG process to achieve better results.

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Topics: quality control, weld camera, field of view, Education, Welding Process, High Dynamic Range, MIG/MAG

Better Images, Better Instruction, Better Welding Students!

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 03:50 PM

Training a new group of welding students can have a number of challenges for even the best instructors: getting all the students around the weld head to be able to see what is going on; a limited number of hours the instructor has available for actually performing the welding; how to see all the features of the weld arc as well as the background information, and how to make sure that all students are marked fairly and objectively. 

When educating welding students, providing them with the ability to view the detail of the weld tip as well as the environment around the weld tip (such as the weld seam and weld pool) is important for them to learn all the parameters of the welding process.  To overcome the visual monitoring challenges created by the presence of a very bright light source (the weld arc), as well as dark areas in the image (the background around the weld tip), a camera with a wide dynamic range of imaging is required.  Reliable visualization of the environment around the weld tip is necessary to control and adjust the welding process found on most modern welding processes.  In addition, the ability to record video and play it back to the students can provide multiple benefits for teaching and correcting welding techniques.

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Image courtesy of Casper College

They Can’t All See the Details…. 

New developments in electronics has led to the creation of a new type of camera that is able to accommodate the full range of light present at a weld head during welding, allowing welding to be taught in a way it has never been taught before!

By providing a good quality image of the weld tip and background, welding instructors and their students can remotely monitor a weld demonstration and record the results for off-line feedback.  By using a camera to view the weld demonstration, the students can verify that the tip is in position and that all the welding inputs (welding wire, shielding gas, etc.) are being properly fed.  Because the area around the weld demonstration is typically quite congested for class sizes more than a few students, using a camera mounted at the welding tip allows the students to clearly view the welding process remotely.  The video can also be replayed back, off-line in the classroom for instruction, marking or review purposes. 

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The Solution: a Xiris XVC-O View Camera for Teaching Welding

 Conclusion

Using a View Cameras in the classroom to teach welding results in:

  • —  A more Enjoyable Learning Experience for the Students
  • —  Less Time Required to Achieve Results
  • —  Reduced Material Consumption
  • —  A Video Library of Standard Applications for Review / Consulting / Analysis
  • —  Easier to Explain New Welding Techniques
  • —  Better Support for Students’ Technical Projects
  • —  Research Tool

Join the growing number of Welding Educational Institutions who have added a Xiris XVC-O View Camera to their classrooms. Improve welding instruction and achieve the numerous benefits!

To read educator's personal testimonials below

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For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can augment your welding education program, please visit Xiris.com 

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Topics: remote monitoring, weld camera, weld inspection, Laser welding, Machine Vision, image processing, field of view, welding instruction, Education, High Dynamic Range, laser-based monitoring, image contrast

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