The Xiris Blog

Post Scarf Inspection of Automotive Fuel Line Tubing

Posted by Cornelius Sawatzky on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 04:00 AM

Fuel line tubing is typically manufactured on an ERW welding mill similar to traditional seam welded tubing.  Once the tube has been welded, it moves down the mill for further in-line processing that may include reducing, sizing, annealing and coating processes to meet the customer’s needs.

Fuel line tubing must be perfectly round in order to create a good seal when compression fittings are applied to it. The tube surface must be free from longitudinal scratches, grooves or beads in order to prevent a leak path from developing at the interface point of the fittings.

Immediately after the fuel line tube has been welded and before any further in-line processing is done, the weld bead must be scarfed (the process whereby the weld bead is cut off with a knife).  Unfortunately, the scarfing process can be the primary contributor to creating a leak path on a compression fitting because:

1. Insufficient scarfing can leave a small portion of the weld bead protruding from the     surface of the tube. This may be on either one or both sides of the weld bead where scarfing tool positioning is critical.

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Insufficient Scarfing

2. Excessive scarfing may look perfectly round to the human eye however a non-uniform wall thickness may be lurking below the surface. What is not always apparent and usually only observed during thorough end cut inspection is a thinned portion of the tubing wall that may compromise the integrity of the tube. The reducing process applies enough external force to the tube that the tube may buckle or collapse, causing a deep surface groove.


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Excessive Scarfing

3. A mismatched setup may also be a contributor to a non-uniform wall thickness. The scarfing tool may cut the bead on the outside diameter so that it looks perfectly round to the human eye, disguising the compromised wall thickness below the surface. Sufficient mismatch conditions will most certainly cause the tube to split on end forming later in the fabrication process.

June 14 Image 3.jpgMismatched Defect, Post Scarfing

The Xiris WI2000/3000 Weld Inspection System uses laser-based imaging techniques to continually monitor the scarf zone for any variations in the scarf height, seam mismatch and possible scarf tool wear or chips that may cause a longitudinal line on the tube. By detecting and responding to these conditions proactively, a mill operator is able to reduce the chance of a leak path on the tube and avoid an unplanned stoppage to the mill due to a tube collapse during the reducing process.

For more information on how a Xiris Weld Inspection System can enhance your scarfing processes visit Xiris.com 

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Topics: quality control, Tube and Pipe welding, laser-based monitoring, scarfing, productivity tools, automotive

Why Weld Cameras are Essential when Welding Large Pipe

Posted by Cameron Serles on Monday, April 03, 2017 @ 12:56 PM

 

 

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Large Pipe Fabrication

Welding large pipes using either Submerged Arc or Open Arc welding processes may pose a number of problems, such as:

  • poor alignment of torch to seam
  • improper levels or placement of shielding gas or flux
  • improper joint preparation
  • jammed wire feeders
  • wrong welding power levels

to name just a few.

 In order to avoid these problems and ensure the highest possible quality, welding processes must be monitored closely.  When automated welding processes were first introduced, fabricators stationed an operator in a chair atop a welding machine, such as a column and boom welder, to visually monitor the welding process directly.  Surprisingly, this is still a widely used approach to weld monitoring!

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An empty chair waiting for the operator….

Even today, there are fabricators who are unfamiliar with automated inspection process and are forced to place an operator on a chair high above the welded pipe to monitor the welding process.  This is a health and safety problem waiting to happen!  Not only does the operator face fume inhalation, they risk injury from moving equipment, inadequate protection and dangerous heights.

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Can you see the Operator monitoring the process?

In addition to the safety concerns, work breaks are a major drain on productivity.  Just think of the production time lost while moving the gantry robot or hoisting equipment down so that the operator can safely exit the equipment at ground level, not to mention the idle time until the operator returns to their position.

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Or Here?

A Better Solution

The better solution is to use a remote monitoring weld camera installed at the weld head that can be viewed from as far as 100 m away.  Operators are on the production floor, removed from the welding process but still able to see all the details of a welding process.   Watch the video below, created by LJ Welding in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for an excellent demonstration of how weld cameras are being used in the field:

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You can visit our

WELD VIDEO LIBRARY

for dozens of examples of the camera in action. 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can enhance your weld processes visit Xiris.com or REQUEST A DEMONSTRATON 

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Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, weld safety, Tube and Pipe welding, productivity tools

How to Reduce Customer Returns from your Tube Mill

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 04:00 AM

When a customer refuses to accept a shipment because of a quality problem, the cost escalates as soon as the tube leaves the plant. The cost of customer returns includes all product that gets returned from, rejected by or credited to a customer. It also includes the expense of sorting, investigations, meetings, reporting, shipping, handling and containment.  The tube producer may have to rework the product until it meets customer expectations, scrap it or, worse, send a team to the customer’s site to inspect each piece manually.  By adding weld inspection into a tube production line, the rate of defect detection will be higher as the weld inspection system will be able to detect, at a high level of accuracy, defects that are not easily detected by NDT equipment or manual operators.  With higher defect detection rates, better quality product will be shipped, ultimately reducing customer returns.

Feb 13 Blog Image 1.jpg(photo courtesy of www.demacmedia.com)

 

Reduce your customer returns! Justify an automatic weld inspection system using a ROI worksheet where you can enter your own mill data. 

 

    Download your FREE ROI Calculator Now!

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com or sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, Tube and Pipe welding, ROI, return on investment, productivity tools

How to Find Defects Sooner and Reduce Scrap on a Tube Mill

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 @ 05:00 AM

In a tube mill, production scrap can come from just about anywhere: tooling wear, bad material inputs, out-of-maintenance equipment or a process that is out of control.  Regardless of where it comes from, the creation of scrap costs tube fabricators a lot of money and time.  Since raw material accounts for the majority of the cost to make a tube, reducing the scrap rate by even a fraction of 1% can provide substantial savings to the tube fabricator.

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Typical Scrap Generated from a Tube Mill

(photo courtesy of www.roll-kraft.com)

Traditionally, defects are found on a tube mill at the end of the production line by existing NDT equipment or alert operators.  By placing an automatic weld inspection system right after the weld box, defects or weld zone variations can be detected earlier in the production process and can be removed from production prior to further value being added to defective products.  By detecting the defects automatically right after the weld box and not manually by an operator or inspector at the end of the line after cutting or bundling, a complete length of tube can be saved by responding faster to the out-of-control process.

The result is material savings of scrap tube because the process can be brought in control sooner, avoiding producing extra lengths of defective tube. 

Want to reduce scrap in your mill?  Justify an automatic weld inspection system using a ROI worksheet where you can enter your own mill data. 

 

    Download your FREE ROI Calculator Now!

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com or sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, Tube and Pipe welding, ROI, return on investment, productivity tools

Checking Tube Welds Before and After Scarfing

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

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The process of tube welding requires several variables to be in check for efficient and stable production and to meet the quality demands of the industry.  Mill dynamics, from setup to production, have an impact on the stability of these variables.  Measuring and monitoring these variables is the first step in controlling them and improving weld quality for tube fabricators.

In response, tube fabricators employ laser based weld inspection systems to monitor a variety of geometrical features around the weld area of the tube and to provide early warning of quality issues related to the welding and forming process.  Traditionally placed right after the weld box on a tube mill, where the majority of tube forming and weld bead measurements can be made, such systems provide the operator with an early warning of weld related process variations that could lead to quality defects.  

While most tube mill customers use the system right after the weld box where the most as-weld related information is available, some fabricators use it after scarfing to check for quality issues related to the scarfing process: does the scarfing tool cut too deeply, or not enough?  Is the tool damaged?  Is the scarf cut a consistent amount?  All these questions can be addressed by installing a weld system after scarfing.

Now, Xiris has developed a double head laser based weld inspection system that allows for one head to be placed immediately after the weld box and one head immediately after scarfing.  In this way, tube fabricators can monitor their tube production before scarfing for weld related defects; and after scarfing for potential scarf related issues.

 

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WI2000 Double Head Configuration: One Head Post Weld, One Head Post Scarf

 With a double head configuration, tube fabricators can better control their process and improve quality by monitoring the tube profile, weld bead geometry and final scarf cut, all controlled from a single system. 

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com or sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld inspection, Xiris, Tube and Pipe welding, scarfing, weld seam

Reducing Tube Mill Downtime with Weld Inspection

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, November 23, 2016 @ 03:00 AM

Tube mills require a large capital investment that often gets amortized over several years.  Even assuming that a mill is written down over an extended period, such as 10 years, the total cost of running a mill can be substantial when including the hourly amortized cost of the mill, the operating costs and related personnel costs.  Not surprisingly, minimizing mill downtime is always a priority for tube producers.  When a tube mill stops for planned events (such as product change overs, mill qualification, planned maintenance), or unplanned events (such as equipment failures, material input problems, shortage of operators, unscheduled maintenance), production stops.  For most tube fabricators, downtime is the single largest source of lost production time.  While there could be many reasons for a mill’s downtime, focusing attention on the constraints of the mill to ensure optimal use of resources is the most direct route to improved productivity.  When manufacturing processes get out of control on a tube mill, common trial and error solutions typically prolong the time needed to correct the process.  The result is high wastage and repair costs. 

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(photo courtesy of www.prweb.com)

In contrast, by implementing automated tools such as an automatic weld inspection system, mill downtime can be reduced by improving the use of resources needed to keep the process in control.  With this equipment, tube fabricators can get a better and more advanced warning of process issues that are moving out of tolerance so that the mill does not have to be shut down to fix major tooling or welding issues.

Want to reduce downtime in your mill?  Justify an automatic weld inspection system using a ROI worksheet where you can enter your own mill data. 

 

    Download your FREE ROI Calculator Now!

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com or sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, Tube and Pipe welding, ROI, return on investment, productivity tools