The Xiris Blog

Using High Dynamic Range Cameras for Slip-Ring Applications

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, August 16, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

If you use slip rings and rotating torches in cladding, there now is a way that you can see the welding process much more clearly than ever before.

Xiris has successfully tested our XVC-1000 and XVC-1000e weld cameras on rotating welding machines using slip rings—and the cameras work perfectly!  Unlike other cameras with electrical noise interferences, the Xiris Weld Cameras are not affected by the electrical noise and interferences common with running video over a slip ring.

Even Over a Slip Ring Connection, Xiris Weld Camera Maintains a Noise Free Image

Slip rings are electromechanical devices that are designed to pass electrical signals from a rotary source (such as a weld camera mounted next to one or more torches that rotate around the inside of a part) to a stationary receiver (such as a computer which receives the video data from the cameras). They are devices that allow for the transmission of an electrical signal and power.  By employing a metal brush that rubs against a rotating metal ring, the video signal coming from the camera travels through the connection, avoiding the use of solid cables that could potentially twist indefinitely until damaged.

Weld cameras are making their way into a variety of cladding operations.  However, it is very difficult to monitor cladding on the inside of the pipe, especially when the pipe stays stationary and the torch rotates.  This can be a problem for a standard connection: as the torch rotates continuously, cables cannot withstand very many rotations before they break.  Therefore, the use of slip rings would be a natural solution.  However, slip rings typically are used for motor signals and power, applications that are a little more tolerant of electrical noise than video signals.  Typical industrial cameras haven’t worked well with slip rings because their analog signals are not resistant to electrical noise.

The problem is that cladding is typically done using a TIG welding process, which is notorious for generating lots of electrical noise that can kill standard electronics due to its high-frequency starts.

But the Xiris weld cameras don’t die or short-circuit from high-frequency welding noise, even with a slip ring.  Our cameras and the welding machine keep working together when used with a slip ring—allowing operators to remotely see high dynamic range (HDR) images of their cladding process, in real time, on a computer screen, remotely.  The Xiris weld cameras with HDR capability permit operators to see both the super-bright weld arc and its dark surrounding background, with no need to stop the process.

We’ve tested our HDR weld cameras on slip-ring applications numerous times, and the advanced electronics in the cameras have repeatedly been up to the task. We’d be glad to demonstrate on your set-up.

This is new technology, but it’s ready now to improve the efficiency of your rotating-torch cladding.

Topics: Pipe Cladding, pipe, TIG, Slip Ring, weld camera system, cladding, tig torch, TIG welding

Monitoring Welding Processes in Color

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 @ 12:52 PM

In most situations, a high dynamic range (HDR) image that provides a clear view of the weld arc and immediate work environment is enough to provide operators everything they need to control or adjust their welding process.  Typically, such images are provided in monochrome because, in certain circumstances, it provides better image saturation and fidelity. Monochrome images can accentuate the light and shadows of a welding scene, making the texture of the welding surfaces, torch tip, wire and melt pool easier to see.  Images with a wide range of tonal values, such as what might exist in a high dynamic range image of a welding scene, tend to work well in monochrome.  This is especially the case when the tones in the image range all the way from the blackest blacks of the background to the whitest whites of the welding arc, with lots of varying grey tones in between.

However, for some welding situations, color imaging that delivers high dynamic range imaging has particular value.  The presence of color allows the boundary of aspects of the weld process to be easily detected by the operator.  Bright hues that highlight an element, such as the melt pool, shielding gas or torch tip can improve the visibility of that object to the operator.

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Color Image of a Manual TIG Process

Of all the types of welding, perhaps the most suitable for color imaging is GTAW (TIG).  Some of the features that are better seen with color in a TIG process include:

  • Melt Pool: Better edge definition and detection of flow of molten material.
  • Shielding Gas: Operators are able to see if there is any shielding gas present.  Also, each shielding gas mixture typically has its own signature certain color.  If the gas chemistry in the welding environment changes, then so does its color. 
  • Oxidation: Very easy to detect the presence of flames resulting from the burn-off of any oils or impurities.
  • Heat Affected Zone (HAZ): The leading edge of the heat affected zone can be detected in the parent material as it typically colorizes at elevated temperatures.  This can indicate the amount of heat penetration and energy transfer.
  • Temperature Indicator: Operators can clearly see discoloration of metal due to excess heat in the welding process.
  • Torch Tip: Easier to see the definition of the torch tip and cup relative to the weld arc.  Allows the operator to monitor the impurity build up on the torch tip and spatter presence on the cup.

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Narrow Gap TIG Welding – Color Exposes Different Details

Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice of whether to use color or black and white camera technology depends on what feels right for the operator.  Nevertheless, for certain welding operations such as TIG, the use of color imaging can significantly enhance the clarity and detail of the image, thereby improving the operator’s ability to detect even small changes in the weld scene.

For more information on how Xiris Color Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com 

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Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, High Dynamic Range, TIG, productivity tools, color imaging

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