The Xiris Blog

How Weld Inspection Helps Tube Producers Meet Weight Reduction for Automotive Sector

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

The Automotive Sector is constantly trying to reduce the weight of cars. Part of that effort is to approach their suppliers to see what they can do to reduce the weight of their components. Fabricators of tubes for the automotive sector are constantly being asked to meet more difficult weight limitations of their tubes.   

In order to achieve the desired weight reduction of a tube, tube fabricators need to use:

  • Lighter materials;
  • Thinner Wall Thicknesses; and
  • Higher Yield strength materials.

These are only possible if tighter manufacturing specifications and process tolerances are established.

Tubes fabricated from higher yield strength material are more susceptible to mismatch during fabrication. Traditionally; fabricators used a common practice of allowing mismatch on a longitudinal welded tubes of up to 5% of the wall thickness. 5% becomes a very small number very quickly when wall thickness is reduced. 

Experience has shown that for higher yield strength materials a mismatch of 5% will result in a higher weld split failure. In these applications tube producers need to maintain a mismatch tolerance in the 2% to 3% range, well below common practice on milder materials. These tight tolerances make it difficult for mill operators to see or detect using traditional means of looking at the scarf material, the finger nail scratch without stopping the mill interrupting production.

High resolution geometrical measurements are required in the weld zone making this an ideal application for laser based technologies such as Xiris’ Weld Inspection Solutions. The WI2000 or WI3000 makes continuous measurements providing the operator with a clear visual of the weld zone form process while also being able to set tolerance limits to alarm when an unexpected variation occurs.

WI2000 SystemWI2000

WI3000 System

 WI3000

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, High Dynamic Range, pipe, tube, HDR, weld seam, tubedefects, consistent, WI-2000, inspection system, WI-3000

Using the Photodiode with an XVC-1000 Weld Camera

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

A photodiode is an electronic which, when exposed to light, generates a change in its electrical resistance. When incorporated into an electronics circuit, it can generate a signal when exposed to the right amount of light. The Xiris Weld Cameras are equipped with photodiodes to detect the presence of a weld arc. 

Using Xiris  WeldStudio software, the photodiode circuit can be used to toggle the operating mode of a weld camera from “NO WELD” mode to “WELD” mode or vice versa, based on the amount of light present in the weld environment.  As a result, two sets of parameters can be defined, each associated with one of the two camera modes. Of the many parameters that can be defined, there is the shutter mode, which can be set typically for Rolling shutter in the NO WELD mode and Global shutter in the WELD mode. Toggling between the two modes can happen automatically by enabling the Auto Weld Mode option in the WeldStudio software.

The photodiode sensitivity threshold can be adjusted from within the WeldStudio software to ensure that the NO WELD/WELD triggers on the right amount of light coming from the weld process. When light is emitted from the welding process, the photodiode will activate, toggling the software from NO WELD to WELD mode. When the welding process ceases, the lack of light will have the opposite effect.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, High Dynamic Range, XVC Weld Camera, weld camera system, consistent, trigger, photodiode

Answering Questions About Weld Camera Set Up

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

Using cameras to monitor welding processes isn’t a new idea. But it’s an idea that’s never been practical—until now.

The development of high dynamic range (HDR) cameras designed for weld monitoring, remote monitoring of welding via cameras, is now feasible. With HDR cameras, the challenge of seeing sufficient detail in a weld arc and its surrounding background can be overcome.

With traditional cameras, the super-brightness of the arc and the dark background couldn’t be viewed at the same time with suitable clarity. HDR cameras can capture all the detail in the arc and background, providing images with more precision than is possible even with an operator observing the weld with their own eyes.

With HDR cameras, operators don’t need to be physically close to a weld to determine what’s happening. This frees operators from dangerous, uncomfortable conditions that expose them to significant health risks.

What would the use of HDR cameras look like? How would they be set up? Can they be used for both trailing and leading views? How many cameras would be most beneficial?

We address these questions in our whitepaper, “Welding Like You’ve Never Seen Before.

You can learn how HDR cameras can be implemented in varied ways to meet specific needs. And you can see for yourself numerous screen shots that show the clarity of HDR images.  

You can download the whitepaper for free right here.

 Welding-like-you-have-never-seen-before-cover

Topics: High Dynamic Range, marketing, weld camera system

LASIMM project goes live with Xiris Automation

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Lasimm Machine

 

The Large Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM) project is now live and ready to build large 3D printed metal structures for construction. The machine is the first of its kind and is predicted to keep Europe's manufacturing industry as a leading competitor in the global market. The project highlights a milling robot – the first for additive manufacturing of aluminum and steel - to integrate seamlessly additive, subtractive, metrology and cold work applications into a single machine. 

LASIMM will enable the creation of mixed-material structures by using similar and incompatible substances along with  software to generate tool paths and machine sequences. The machine will ensure the component's structural integrity by allowing in-process, non-destructive testing and restoration of defects. 

Xiris partnered with Cranfield University, a defining member of the project, and delivered the XVC-1000 HDR Weld Camera as an inspection solution for LASIMM. We are honoured to contribute to this project and are excited to see the results of the project and the impact LASIMM will have on Europe's additive manufacturing industry. 

Topics: weld camera, Education, High Dynamic Range, manufacturing, applications, XVC Weld Camera, HDR, weld camera system, consistent, inspection

Using Cameras When Welding Spiral Pipe Part 3: Post Weld Inspection

Posted by Cornelius Sawatzky on Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 03:16 PM

Following sub arc welding on the inside and outside of a helically welded pipe, the pipe must undergo inspection to be prepared for further processing or service in the field. This preparation step includes rigorous inspection and testing procedures, repair of defects, and application of anti-corrosion coatings before the pipe enters service.

 

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Post-weld Scarfing in helical sub arc welding

Traditionally, post-weld inspection is done manually by an operator who walks around the exterior of the pipe or crawls through it as part of an offline process. The operator is responsible for identifying any weld undercut, incorrect weld wetting angles, or insufficient or excessive weld bead material from the process.  It is not only time consuming, but it relies on the operator to be consistent to be able to catch all defects in the product.

A better solution is to use automatic inspection equipment such as the Xiris WI3000 weld inspection system, which can profile the entire weld bead after the flux has been removed or fallen away to detect problems sooner in the process.  Usually used as an inline inspection tool post-weld, the WI3000 can also be used to provide the operator with feedback to make corrections reducing additional defects while marking the location of a defect to expedite the repair process.

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Laser Bead Profile of a Weld Bead with a Too Steep Slope on the Right Side of the Bead

Information from the laser sensor is transmitted to a single image-processing system, allowing the operator to identify and control the welding parameters.   The end result is a better, more objective measurement of the weld bead inspection process in advance of use of the pipe in the field.

Xiris Automation offers a full suite of products for your helical sub arc welding (HSAW) process. From the control and quality assurance of the initial forming and tacking stage by the XVC-1000, through the remote monitoring of process parameters during full-seam sub arc welding by the XVC-S, and the post-welding and post-scarfing inspection by the WI-3000, Xiris provides operators with the tools they need to prepare the highest-quality products they can.

To learn more about how Xiris Automation’s full suite of turnkey solutions can improve the quality and yield of your HSAW manufacturing process, contact one of our technical specialists today.

 

Topics: High Dynamic Range, Tube and Pipe welding, submerged arc welding

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: High Dynamic Range, metal, additive manufacturing

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