The Xiris Blog

Xiris Goes to China!

Posted by Dean Zhao on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 @ 12:03 PM

Xiris has extended its salesforce into the world’s largest and fastest growing market – China.

After signing Harbin Jinlifeng Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd (Jinlifeng) to be the exclusive Chinese distributor of Xiris Products for the welding industry, Cameron Serles, President of Xiris, decided to visit our new Chinese partner in January 2014 along with Dean Zhao, Project Manager for the weld camera product line.

We arrived at Harbin, China, in early January to -25°C temperatures!  Dr. Sanbao Lin, the Vice Director of the State Key Laboratories for Advanced Welding and Joining (State Key Lab), met us at the airport.  Dr. Lin is well known in the Chinese welding community as a welding pioneer and consultant to many companies in different industries across China such as aerospace, nuclear, ship building, automotive, tube mills etc.  His research team is specialized in arc welding techniques and welding process monitoring and control.

Our trip began by visiting the State Key Lab of welding. This lab is part of Harbin Institute of Technology which is one of the top ranked universities in China. The lab was the first welding lab established in China, equipped with all kinds of welding related equipment available from all over the world.  Now, the lab will be equipped with one more piece of welding equipment – the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera System.  We installed and tested our XVC-O Weld Cameras on a number of welding setups: MIG, tandem MIG, TIG, Plasma on aluminum and MIG on aluminum. We demonstrated the system to various graduate students and trained them how the system works. They were able to see features previously not possible:  the wire feeds in a tandem MIG welding process, the keyhole in plasma welding, weld puddles and weld pools in both MIG and TIG welding. 

Blog 280114 Xiris in Harbin resized 600

L to R:  Cameron Serles – President, Xiris Automation Inc / Dr.Lin - Vice Director of the State Key Laboratories for Advanced Welding and Joining of Harbin China / Dean Zhao – Project Manager, Xiris Automaton Inc.

The following day, we visited Harbin Welding Institute (HWI), the largest welding research & development institute in China. HWI has two major subsidiaries: welding material development and welding automation equipment division, one of the largest welding automation companies in China. Headquarters of the China Welding Association, Chinese Welding Society, and Chinese Committee for Welding Standardization are all located in HWI. We met the general manager of HWI’s welding automation group, Mr. Zhang and the sales manager of both groups, Mr. Wu. We introduced Xiris and Xiris weld products to HWI. HWI also gave us an introduction of the institute and took us to their automation shop. They showed us various welding automation projects, including small diameter pipe cladding, underwater laser cutting for the nuclear industry, and multi-torch welding systems. Roughly they had about 30 projects on their floor to be shipped to their customers in the next few months.

Later in the day, we met the general manager of Jinlifeng, Ms. Li. Jinlifeng is specialized in reselling industrial computers and related equipment and will be our distributor for China.

Summary of our findings in our Harbin Trip:

  • Harbin is the centre for welding in China, with famous institutions like State Key Lab and HWI there.
  • China’s welding market is enormous with the huge amount of infrastructure being built.
  • There is a lot of semi-automated welding equipment be used in China. Some of these systems are now being slowly transformed into fully automated welding processes.
  • There is some good technology being developed and used in China for welding!

Topics: weld camera, Laser welding, welding automation, Sub Arc welding, labor market, Harbin

Improve Safety for Submerged Arc Welding Applications!

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 05:16 PM

Submerged arc welding processes are typically run as automatic or semi-automatic processes with automatic flux feed delivery systems. The automation of a sub arc welding process provides the fabricator with a number of distinctive advantages, such as higher quality, higher capacity, and of course much higher productivity in the fabrication process. 

Weld Cameras can improve monitoring of sub arc welding processes.

Automatic sub arc welding can be accomplished by moving the work piece underneath the weld head or moving the weld head over a stationary work piece. However, no matter how much of the process is automated, it is still important for the operator to have visibility of the welding process and see the parameters of the weld (such as wire feed speed, arc current and voltage, travel speed, and wire stick-out) to ensure that the weld process is running efficiently enough. 

If any parameter does go out of control, it is important for the operator to be able to see the process so as to make adjustments before the weld quality deteriorates.

Traditionally, the welding operator has had to be stationed near the weld head to be able to adequately see and manipulate the weld head. However, this close proximity to the weld head often puts the operator at risk and/or in extreme discomfort. This is due to commonly occurring conditions such as:

  • The operator has to sit high over ground to monitor a welded pressure vessel or assembly.
  • The operator has to work with restricted freedom of movement, which may include kneeling or sitting in a cramped space, such as inside a small diameter pressure vessel.
  • Conductive elements are present with which the welder may make accidental contact during the welding process, causing potential electrical shock.
  • The operator has to monitor the weld in wet, damp, or humid conditions, which reduce the skin resistance of the body and the insulating properties of accessories, causing additional potential of shock.

In all of these situations, health risks to the operator can be avoided by removing the operator from the immediate area of the weld environment. This can be accomplished using a Xiris XVC-S Sub Arc Camera. With the use of such a camera, the operator can monitor the progress of the sub arc weld from up to 40 meters away. 

The benefits of using the XVC-S? For the fabricator, easier compliance with an ever-increasing set of regulatory guidelines that limit how and when operators can access the weld area. For the operator, higher productivity by avoiding the distractions caused by the hazards of the immediate vicinity of the sub arc weld area.

Conclusion

Automatic or semi-automatic submerged arc welding requires in-process operator monitoring of the weld, which can best be achieved with a Weld Camera—freeing the operator from the health risks of direct proximity to the weld.

 

Image courtesy of ESAB.

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Topics: weld camera, weld safety, Sub Arc welding, safety, weld, applications, visibility

Using a Weld Camera in Submerged Arc Welding

Posted by Cornelius Sawatzky on Thursday, May 23, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Submerged Arc Welding processes employ a granular flux that is dispensed onto the weld area to protect the molten weld and arc zone from atmospheric contamination. A thick layer of flux is typically put down during the welding process to completely cover the molten metal, preventing weld spatter and sparks from developing during welding. 

As a result, the intense light generated by other welding processes is not visible in Sub Arc welding. Without the presence of an active light source, the scene of the welding environment is rather dark, as there is no need for illumination.

Therefore, a low-light camera is needed with enough sensitivity to properly image the Sub Arc welding process and allow the operator to see the process and verify that all the parameters of the welding process are in place: weld head to seam alignment, sufficient flux, wire feed, torch angle, etc. To improve visibility of the darker areas of the weld environment, auxiliary lighting often must be used to brighten up the scene for imaging to occur.

To provide a more-efficient solution, Xiris has developed the XVC-S, a robust Weld Camera system specifically designed for imaging the low-light conditions of Sub Arc welding applications. The XVC-S is also engineered to operate in the high-temperature, high-voltage, hazardous environments typical of metal working and other industrial materials processing. The affordable system features a rugged industrialized housing with air cooling, built-in solid state lighting, crystal-clear images, and an industrialized flat screen monitor with a reference crosshair generator and an adjustable field of view.

 

Image from the Xiris XVC-O Weld CameraXiris XVC-S Image for Sub Arc Welding

 

Why use a Weld Camera for Sub Arc Welding?

Workforce demands, government regulations, changing business practices, and increasing environmental awareness are driving the manufacturing environment to be quieter, cleaner, healthier, safer, and “friendlier” for workers. The health and safety best-practice trend is for end users to remove operators from the immediate weld area. 

The XVC-S Weld Camera allows the Sub Arc welding process to be viewed remotely, providing clean, noise-free, real-time views during standard and high welding power conditions. Using a Weld Camera during setup helps the operator to set the wire length and torch position. During run time, the camera assists the operator to make continuous corrective actions, increasing productivity with more “arc on” time and less machine stops.

When equipped with a set of graphical crosshairs, as the XVC-S is, the Sub Arc Weld Camera can be used by the operator to determine the ideal horizontal position of the seam or weld tip and the best vertical position (or standoff) of the weld tip relative to the work pieces.

Conclusion

Using a technologically advanced Weld Camera for Sub Arc welding allows progressive manufactures to implement best-of-class manufacturing processes that enable operators to view the welding process in real time remotely, where it is safer and more efficient to monitor and control welding automation equipment.

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, Sub Arc welding

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