The Xiris Blog

Success at Fabtech Atlanta for Xiris!

Posted by Leanne Sinclair on Monday, November 24, 2014 @ 12:06 PM

Fabtech is North America’s largest metal forming and fabricating event that occurs every year. Fabtech began in 1981 and had grown steadily since, this year alone the show featured over 27,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors. Xiris was very pleased to be one of these exhibitors, and was very excited to debut our new product, the Xiris XVC-1000 Weld Camera, at Fabtech in Atlanta, Georgia this past November 11-13th.

The Xiris booth featured two examples of the new camera system: one camera was installed on a laser beam delivery system that demonstrated how well the camera integrates into laser, plasma or electron beam welding machines; and the other camera was integrated to a high intensity LED light source that could demonstrate the ability to see a super bright object while able to image darker areas in its background, similar to an actual welding environment.

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Xiris XVC-1000 Camera Integrated to Laser Beam Delivery System

The Xiris booth was in Hall C, which focused on companies exhibiting equipment for the Welding and Tube & Pipe industries. There were numerous booths specializing in welding equipment, and Xiris had weld camera systems for both Open Arc and Submerged Arc Welding demonstrated in a variety of other booths including: Lincoln Electric, Gullco, Irco, LaserMech, LJ Welding/Praxair, Red-D-Arc/AirGas, and ESAB. This display of the weld cameras inspired plenty of interest in the product line that kept the Xiris sales team very busy during the show!

Xiris is proud to partner with so many prominent companies, and respond to so much interest during the show. Many welding machine builders and laser manufacturers saw great value in integrating the Xiris Weld Camera into their processes and machinery. With small format size, high dynamic range capability and remote imaging, the XVC-1000 is a powerful addition to any welding process.

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The Xiris Booth at Fabtech

After a successful show, Xiris returned with high hopes and prospects for the XVC-1000.
For more pictures of the show, please visit our social media pages!
See you at Fabtech Chicago 2015!

Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld inspection, Trade Show, new product launch

Decrease Injuries, Increase Efficiency and Prioritize Workplace Safety!

Posted by Leanne Sinclair on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 @ 05:28 PM

The construction of large ship vessels is a very complex and hazardous trade. In order to fabricate these large structures, there are various positions and maintenance that needs to be completed for proper assembly. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of accidents. As many shipyards use sub-arc welding, this process involves operators to be suspended high in the air, or exposed to different gases and hazards.

In 2011, two workers were fatally injured on the site of a Singapore shipyard, when a powerful explosion was caused due to the build-up of pressurized air. Fortunately, other team members were inside the nearby building attending a safety briefing when the accident occurred. The explosion shook the entire stretch near Benoi Road, and the loss of the two workers was mourned by various media outlets.  

Sadly, these types of accidents are common in this area of work. The article of this accident is accompanied with a chart that demonstrates that in 2007 14.3% of accidents occurring at shipyards were due to fire and explosions, most commonly associated with welding. The graph below demonstrates a study conducted by the Ministry of Manpower in 2013 of the Workplace Injuries by Industry and Degree of Injury. You will see that Construction, Manufacturing and Marine trades have the highest amount of fatalities and are the most common trades using welding.

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These studies demonstrate the demand for increased safety in all of these trades, specifically shipbuilding. These huge constructions involve a variety of complex conditions and trades that need to be completed with efficiency and reliability. Risking a worker’s life by adding hazardous factors to an already dangerous trade is unnecessary and should be avoided. In order to complete reliable and quality welds, it is important that it is monitored, but this does not mean the operator must be where the weld occurs. With the development of welding cameras, injuries and fatalities in this industry can be largely reduced.

Systems such as the Xiris XVC-S Weld Camera for Sub Arc Welding can be added to conditions commonly seen in shipyards. This small addition could have large benefits, and large decreases in the high number of injuries and deaths seen in this prominent trade. It allows welds to be monitored consistently, from a safe distance, which would increase worker safety and efficiency.

 

Is your shipyard safe? Are your welds consistent and the best quality you can provide? Can you risk any more lost product, lost time, or employee safety?

To learn more about how Xiris Weld Cameras can benefit your business, please visit our website.

Topics: weld safety, weld environment, weld inspection, Sub Arc welding, weld camera, safety, accident, fatal, death, camera, visibility, weld allignment

Monitoring Squeeze Pressure on Tube and Pipe Mills

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 @ 03:58 PM

Recent advancements in machine vision technology have made a new type of inspection capable of recognizing defects related to the forming and welding area of a tube or pipe.  The result is improved quality assurance and process control on the production line.  The new type of inspection device is a laser-based triangulation system that measures the outside contour of a tube or pipe in the vicinity of its weld. 

Typically NDT (non-destructive testing) systems are placed at the end of a production as a final check.  However, the laser inspection system can be placed directly after the weld box.  This system can let operators know what is changing in the welding process, allowing them to perform corrective action before significant scrap occurs. This capability is especially helpful for one of the most common defects found across all types of tube manufacturing: insufficient or excess squeeze pressure. This pressure is used to form the tube during welding and can be monitored by measuring the bead ratio of the tube.

The Bead Ratio

The bead ratio is an important measurement for ERW/HF processes to monitor.  It is calculated by measuring the maximum bead height above the parent material, divided by the thickness of the parent material wall thickness.  The bead ratio is an excellent indication of the amount of squeeze pressure used on an ERW/HF mill during welding. When the squeeze pressure is too high, molten material will spill out of the seam, causing a higher bead to form and increasing the bead ratio.  Likewise, when the squeeze pressure is too small, the parent material will not be pushed together enough and a sunken weld will result, causing the bead ratio to fall.  By taking into account the wall thickness, the bead ratio can determine the severity of a sunken or raised weld for a particular weld thickness, making it more of a measurement relevant across all tube thicknesses.

 sadjf;lasdkjfa;lllllllkj resized 600The Bead Ratio (h/e), where “h” = the height of the bead and “e” = the tube wall thickness.

How the WI2000p System Measures the Bead Ratio

Xiris Automation Inc. has developed a non-destructive inspection system called the WI2000p Weld Inspection System. The WI2000p includes a laser line and a camera whose optical axis is offset to the axis of the laser line by an “offset angle”.  The WI2000p creates a visible cross-section of the tube by projecting the laser line on to the tube and capturing an image of the line using the camera.  The resulting image shows a profile of the tube surface as if it were cut in cross section.  If a tube is ideally round, the laser image will represent a section of an ellipse and any anomaly such the bead height can be mathematically detected. 

The WI2000p bases all of its measurements on the differences between the actual laser profile line seen by the camera, and the ideal mathematical profile based on the tube parameters.  By knowing the position of the actual laser profile, the ideal profile, and the size of the pixels in the image, the WI2000p can detect weld bead profile defects that often escape detection by other quality tools such as Eddy Current testing, or Ultrasonic Testing techniques.

Conclusion

Overall, laser-based 3D imaging systems, such as the WI2000p from Xiris, offer an excellent measurement option for tube mill owners/operators who want additional, real-time monitoring of weld features. They can be used in a proactive manner, warning operators what is changing in their welding process so that they can perform corrective action before significant scrap occurs And by measuring the outside contour of a weld, laser-based 3D imaging systems can operate on any type of material, regardless of its reflectance or magnetic properties, using a single head to perform the measurement.


Topics: weld inspection, Machine Vision, camera placement, Tube and Pipe welding, Welding Process

How to Get the Best View of an Open Arc Weld

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, July 17, 2014 @ 06:00 PM

Attaining a good image of a weld and the surrounding background has been a struggle ever since video cameras for welding became available.  The problem has always been the range of brightness that occurs during welding: the ratio between the maximum and minimum light intensity is usually too great for a standard camera to measure properly.  Standard cameras on the market today can typically measure about 1,000 levels of brightness between the maximum and minimum light levels in an image.  However, in a typical open arc welding environment, there is a brightness range that can exceed 10,000,000 levels of brightness between the brightest portion of the welding arc, and the darker areas surrounding the weld.  Using a standard camera to image such a weld will create an image similar to the image below on the left, where the camera sensor will image the scene up to a point and then saturate when it gets too bright. This causes the bright areas of the image to appear as a white blur.

 

To solve this problem, Xiris Automation has developed the XVC-O View Camera that uses advanced electronics with logarithmic sensitivity to be able to see more than 10,000,000 levels of brightness in an image.  As a result, more image detail is visible than ever seen before. The detail of the weld arc, the shielding gas, weld pool, torch tip, and weld seam can all clearly be seen.  The image below on the right is an image taken from the XVC-O camera of an open arc welding process. The weld arc is no longer saturated and is clearly visible as is the detail of the background, providing better quality information for the weld operator.

 

GOOOOOOD resized 600       Standard Camera Image of a Weld                      Xiris XVC-O Camera Image of a Weld

With the ability to see more detail of the weld arc and the surrounding environment, welding technicians are able to use the XVC-O to better control their welding processes through better quality assurance and process feedback. 

To see examples of the video quality possible with the XVC-O across a variety of welding processes and materials, please see our Weld Video Library here.

 

Topics: welding automation, weld environment, weld inspection, Machine Vision, image contrast, Laser welding, image processing, weld camera, Education, Welding Process, weld video, Xiris

Taking the Danger Out of Weld Monitoring

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, July 08, 2014 @ 06:10 PM

Xiris recently received a call from a prospective client asking about our XVC-S Submerged Arc View camera and how it worked. They had two main questions: Can two cameras be monitored simultaneously? And can their images be recorded?

After a short conversation with the customer, the reason for the request became clear. The customer was welding tanks with the Submerged Arc welding process, and they had a problem. They operate two sub arc welding heads, approximately 13’ apart, both of which need to be monitored for weld process quality.  Their present monitoring solution used an operator sitting in a chair mounted to a ladder.  The operator would move from one head to the other during the welding process in order to be able to see what was going on with both heads.  During one of these shifts, an operator fell, and was injured.  The customer’s initial solution was to replace the chair and ladder with a man lift to allow the operator to move between the weld heads, and welding controls when adjustments were required.  But it still was not an ideal situation.

Instead, the customer wanted the operator to remain on the floor with the welding controls, monitor both welding heads, and perform the adjustments from there.  The standard XVC-S View Camera system was designed for one primary camera, but has recently been updated.  

 

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The updated XVC-S+ system with multiple camera heads.

The XVC-S+ system, which comes complete with computer and HMI console allows for two cameras to connect to the console, and be displayed on a single screen in a split screen view.  With this system, the operator is able to monitor both welding head images side by side on a single screen.  With features such as adjustable crosshairs and targets on the screen, the operator is able to make continuous adjustments to the weld heads from a safe, remote operating location.

The images can be saved to the hard drive on the computer for off line viewing, review and analysis, allowing the customer to use the video segments for training, off line quality audits, and process troubleshooting.

In conclusion, a previously unsafe and inefficient welding environment resulted in injury and poor productivity. These problems were resolved with the addition of on system, the XVC-S+ Sub Arc View camera system including two cameras and split screen display capability.  

Topics: weld safety, weld inspection, weld camera, Welding Process, weld video, welding

Post-Secondary Schools Increase Trade Resources and Improve Student Experience

Posted by Cornelius Sawatzky on Wednesday, July 02, 2014 @ 04:16 PM

Technical trade schools and welding education programs are not new to post-secondary institutions, but as organizations see an increase in admissions, there is also a noticable increase in demand for equipment. This is not only to appease the quantity of new students, but also to ensure safety and efficiency in the curriculums. The most appealing program to a student will have experienced and knowledgeable professors, interesting and extensive material, as well as modern equipment. However, even with all of these tools there are still some major factors that all of these institutions face:

  • The booths to demonstrate and instruct welding are too small for more than just a few students at a time
  • The instruction area has inadequate space for the number of students registered in the program
  • The welding consumables budget is insufficient and will not cover the cost for new equipment

When instructing such a unique trade, it is important that students not only understand what is being taught, but can see the demonstration. Being able to see and understand what is occurring with a weld tip and arc, as well as the environment around it (weld seam, weld pool, shielding gas, and wire feed) are all essential elements to understanding the welding process. Without a grasp on these elements and factors, there is little that can be retained by the student. This is all based on a visual demonstration that can be hard to provide in many welding institution settings.

As technology and equipment advance, the ability to record lessons and welds adds an immense benefit to both students and instructors. Students can learn more outside of the classroom, as well as retain and digest all of the important elements of the lesson using video playback. This can be provided through the addition of weld cameras.

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Not any camera can be placed in such a hostile environment, and expected to function normally. Therefore, more research and development has been contributed to constructing a small, clear, and functional camera that can withstand this environment, and provide the best image quality. Xiris Automation Inc. has created such a camera, called the XVC-O (Xiris View Camera for Open Arc Welding). This allows video recording, clear images, storing/saving capabilities, as well as better classroom visuals for welding programs. This live weld feed can be attached to a simple monitor (as demonstrated above), or even a full size projector, and still provide a clear, comprehensive view of all elements. Xiris has also developed a version for submerged arc welding.

Local colleges, such as Conestoga College, have added this kind of technology to their budding trades programs. As the Government of Canada announced this May, they are investing $2.3 million over the next five years towards Conestoga College’s new Centre for Smart Manufacturing establishment. Already using the XVC-O, these improvements have allowed Conestoga to become an extremely competitive College in the area, and one of the most competitive for the welding trade school industry. Other institutions, such as NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) have also added systems to their curriculum and have noticed great improvements. NAIT’s Chair of Welding Programs, Chris Manning says “by displaying the captured welding video on a remote screen, the instructors can vastly improve the learning experience of their students, with improved learning success, which is always the instructor’s goal”.

For more information about how welding cameras can assist welding education please visit www.xiris.com.

 

Topics: weld inspection, Machine Vision, camera placement, field of view, welding instruction, quality control, weld camera, weld camera, Education, Welding Process, weld video, Xiris, welding, Conestoga College, NAIT

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