The Xiris Blog

Color or Not? Five Questions to Consider When Choosing a Weld Camera

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, May 02, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

Welding is not a very colorful operation. The metal, torch and other materials are usually varying shades of grey. The arc is bright white. The background is almost black. To accurately monitor and inspect welds, being able to see a massive tonal range, from the brightest to the darkest, is essential.

 Color and Monochrome images of a TIG Welding Proces

Standard cameras, and even the human eye, are incapable of distinguishing all features when faced with such a range of brightness. However, Xiris’ high dynamic range weld cameras can, either in color (the 1100 and 1100e) or black and white (the 1000 and 1000e).
As humans, we often think that color is better. But in weld cameras, that is not always the case. Determining whether a color or monochrome weld camera will work best depends on a company’s operations. Here are five questions to consider when choosing between color and monochrome weld camera:


1. What kind of welding process are you using?
TIG (GTAW) or Plasma welding benefit most from being viewed in color, simply because there is more color present in those welding processes. Evaluating the color of the torch tip, shielding gas, melt pool and even the Heat Affected Zone can help operators to assess the quality of the weld.

2. What do you want to monitor during welding?
For example, do you want to see certain features, such as the boundary between the end of the torch and the shielding gas and arc? That might help you closely monitor the integrity of the torch tip and avoid contamination.

Or, are you concerned about the amount or type of shielding gas in the process? The shielding gas can sometimes take on a unique color as it is consumed by the welding arc. Changes in the color can signify a change in the gas chemistry and alert operators to the possibility of impurities.

Or is the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) of interest? The leading edge of the HAZ may become visible as the parent material colorizes at elevated temperatures. This can indicate the amount of heat penetration and energy transfer made during the welding process. Discoloration of the metal can signify the presence of excess heat.

3. Is color more important than resolution?
To generate a color image, the image sensor in the weld camera is “painted” with color filters. Each pixel becomes filtered with red, green or blue light in a standard pattern known as a Bayer pattern. The imaging software then mathematically recombines the pixels into a color image. One drawback of this process is that the resolution of a color image is decreased by approximately half compared to that of a monochrome image.

With higher resolution, monochrome cameras generate images with sharper detail than color cameras. In monochrome images, edges appear crisper and subtle details are more visible—important for assessing the texture of the melt pool, for example. However, the hues in a color image give the human eye the ability to better evaluate boundaries between various weld components, like the melt pool, torch tip and shielding gas.

4. Is camera speed important for your operation?
Despite being lower resolution, color image files are larger than monochrome because each pixel is described by 3 bytes of data, whereas in monochrome images, only 1 byte of data is required. As a result, a color camera often will transmit data slightly slower than a monochrome camera to its output device.

5. Does color provide additional information that can help your welding process?
Everyone’s welding operation is unique. You may have additional features such as guiding markers on your parent material, or wire being fed into the welding process that might be best suited to monochrome or color cameras. Our team can help you to assess your needs and advise whether color or monochrome will work best for your application.

Whatever the operational needs, Xiris’ weld cameras, in either monochrome or color, provide high contrast, clear images of the welding process, allowing manufacturers to quickly and easily monitor their welds for better process control.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: weld inspection, manufacturing, defects, weld monitoring, XVC Weld Camera, HDR, color weld camera, color imaging, weld camera system, welding education, consistent

April 2018: Looking Back

Posted by Margaret Montgomery on Friday, May 04, 2018 @ 04:24 PM

April was an extremely successful month for Xiris Automation! Read below for a recap of the month's events. 

Tube Dusseldorf 2018

Xiris exhibited at Tube Dusseldorf 2018 in Dusseldorf, Germany, from April 16-20. This was an important opportunity for those in the tube and tube processing industry to witness new technology and innovation in the field. We were thrilled to be an exhibitor at such a pre-eminent event! 

IMG-20180414-WA0007

Our team demonstrated how our innovative quality control solutions add value to tube and pipe welding activities, especially for detecting problems sooner in the tube manufacturing process using our WI2000 inspection system.Overall, it was an extremely successful event for Xiris and an excellent opportunity to engage with leaders in the tube processing and fabrication industries.

 

 

Rapid + TCT

Xiris exhibited at the Rapid + TCT conference in Forth Worth, Texas, USA from April 24-26. Rapid is a significant event for innovation in the additive manufacturing industry, and attracted leaders in 3D Manufacturing from around the world. 

rapid booth

Through demonstrations and interactions with these companies, the Xiris team showed how our HDR weld cameras can decrease building times, reduce operating and engineering costs, and lower materials costs in research and development for Metal Additive Manufacturing. When our High Dynamic Range (HDR) weld cameras are added into an Additive Manufacturing machine, operators can monitor every step of the welding process in real time to ensure quality outputs, detecting any material placement issues such as warping without having to stop the machine.

Japan International Welding Show

Xiris attended the 2018 Japan International Welding Show in Tokyo from April 25- 28, displaying our cameras in the Matsumoto Group booth. This was Japan's largest exhibition of welding technology, and was thus an extremely significant opportunity for Xiris. 

Our extremely durable, industrialized weld camera was on display at the show, as seen below. 

Japan Welding show

 

If you are interested in learning about or displaying one of our cameras, please contact us here.

 

 

Topics: Tube and Pipe welding, weld, Tube Dusseldorf, conference, weld monitoring, XVC Weld Camera, color weld camera

Watching a Rotating Cladding Process

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 10:46 AM

Cladding material on to the inside surface of a pipe requires movement of the torch head relative to the pipe surface. This is done by either rotating the pipe, keeping the welding torch stationary, or by rotating the welding torch and keeping the pipe stationary. For longer sections of pipe, or for pipe that has already had a number of sections welded together, moving the pipe itself is not always practical. Instead, the weld torch must be rotated to perform the cladding operation.

To remotely monitor the cladding process, a weld camera can be mounted next to the weld torch, allowing operators to detect defects in the cladding process while they are happening and respond immediately with positional adjustments or even by tweaking the material inputs to the optimize the clad. While it is not too difficult when the torch remains stationary, it is more of a challenge when the torch has to rotate through many rotations to complete the cladding operation.

To solve this problem, the Xiris XVC-1000 and XVC-1000e weld cameras were integrated and successfully tested on a slip ring to transmit the power and electrical signals from the camera inside the pipe to an external computer. A slip ring is an electromechanical device that allows the transmission of power and electrical signals from a stationary device such as the external computer to a rotating device – the weld camera inside the pipe.

With the successful testing of the video transmission by slip ring, it is now possible to equip cladding machines that have rotating torches or carriages with a weld camera. This provides much better process monitoring in ways that were not possible previously as operators were forced to watch the cladding through a welding shield or helmet, trying to follow the arc around in circles as best as they could.

 

2018_3_13 - Watching a Rotating Cladding Process

The View from a Weld Camera as Transmitted over a Slip-Ring



Topics: Pipe Cladding, weld monitoring, Slip Ring

Watching a 1,000,000 Watt Plasma Arc!

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 @ 01:17 PM

Usually Xiris Weld cameras are used to monitor open weld arcs of many kinds of processes, including plasma welding processes, where the power settings are usually in the range of a few hundred Watts of power.

So imagine when presented with the challenge of monitoring a one million Watt plasma arc! This is exactly what Xiris was asked to do – mount a camera to see such a powerful arc as part of an industrial process. We were not sure how well the camera would respond to the plasma arc as it was so hot and generated such intense bright light that even the dynamic range of the XVC-1000 weld camera may not be sufficient to properly image it.

When setting up the camera, we had to mount the camera far away from the plasma arc, at about 6 ft. (2 m) away, while monitor the entire process in a completely different room. The plasma arc was so powerful that our camera would shake when the arc was activated. Even from a protected room, the noise that the plasma arc generated seemed like standing next to a jet engine.

We were happy to discover that, even with such a powerful light source, the Xiris XVC-1000 weld camera was able to capture clear images of the high-powered plasma arc. The images were good enough to see sufficient detail in the arc for research staff to analyze the behavior of the return arc remotely, without having to be close enough to the plasma source to create hazardous work conditions.

2018_2_27 - Watching a 1,000,000 Watt Plasma Arc

An Actual Image of a 1,000,000 Watt Plasma Arc!

 

Topics: weld camera, weld monitoring, Plasma

Using Weld Cameras to Minimize Excessive Spatter on GMAW

Posted by Peter Serles on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 04:00 AM

Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW) is characterized by the creation of sparks and spatter ejecting from the workpiece as the weld wire/filament shorts and melts over 100 times per second. The creation of spatter is an inevitable part of the GMAW process but it presents a number of issues for the production process, including damaging functional surfaces, increased consumables, and poor finish aesthetics. It may not be possible to eliminate spatter altogether, but it can be greatly reduced with a better understanding of why spatter is created and how to tune your process parameters to control it.

Spatter is the discharge of high temperature material as a result of melt pool surface tension and the conversion of thermal energy to kinetic energy. This sprays small droplets of molten metal onto the surrounding area where they cool and solidify creating a non-uniform surface finish. It is well known that different GMAW processes produce varying levels of spatter but even spray GMAW, which is known for spatter control, can greatly benefit from spatter reduction.

See the full video: Spatter Ejected from GMAW Short Circuit Process on Stainless Steel

June 28 Image 1.jpg

 

As well as being a nuisance to clean, spatter can be a costly problem for GMAW welding. A case study performed by Welding Answers [1] looked at the benefits of parameter tuning and found that spatter reduction by as much as 85% was possible through better parameter settings, leading to operating cost reductions of 21%. This was achieved through reduced labour costs, less lost filler material and fewer consumables required to post-process the weld.

In order to reduce the total spatter, a strong understanding of welding parameters and their effect on the weld pool is required. According to the ASME, 77% of welding defects including high spatter content are caused by improper processing conditions or operator error [2]. Most commonly, adjusting the amperage, voltage, and distance of electrode to workpiece are the significant factors influencing spatter production. Other factors that influence spatter include wire-feed speed, electrode thickness, and surface contamination.

With the use of a Xiris High Dynamic Range welding camera, the weld arc, spatter ejection, and surrounding material can all be clearly observed and the amount of spatter created during the welding process can be monitored and evaluated. This allows better understanding of the effects of varying the welding parameters and their influence on spatter formation. With a clear view of the operating field, welding parameters for every material and thickness can be adjusted to reduce spatter content and inefficiencies as a result of spatter production and cleaning can be greatly reduced.

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can reduce splatter and enhance your GMAW welding processes visit Xiris.com 

You can visit our

 WELD VIDEO LIBRARY

for dozens of examples of the camera in action. 

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References:

[1] http://weldinganswers.com/the-real-cost-of-welding-spatter/

[2] C. Matthews, ‘ASME Engineer’s Data Book’, ASME Press, January 2001

Topics: quality control, Xiris, High Dynamic Range, GMAW, weld monitoring, additive manufacturing

XVC-S for Subarc Weld Monitoring: A Case Study

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 @ 02:00 AM

The Xiris XVC-S Weld Camera system was recently profiled in a Subarc Welding case study by LJ Welding Automation of Edmonton, AB.

The XVC-S camera system was chosen as “a key component for remote viewing and easy, safe and efficient adjustment of welding head during set up and welding; laser pointers and cross-hair output on monitor included to make seam following easy for operator “

See the XVC-S in action here: 

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can enhance the quaity and economy of your Subarc and Open Arc welding processes, visit Xiris.com

Topics: Xiris, welding, High Dynamic Range, Sub Arc welding, weld monitoring, submerged arc welding

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