The Xiris Blog

Why Weld Cameras are Essential when Welding Large Pipe

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

 

 

Apr 3 image 1.png

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!

 Apr 3 image 2.png

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.

Apr 3 image 3.png

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.

Apr 3 image 4.png

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:

 Apr 3 image 5-1.png

 

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 

Don't miss any of our amazing videos! Sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

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

Upgrade Your View with a Xiris Weld Camera

Posted by Justin Grahn on Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 09:15 AM

Upgrade Your View!

This isn’t the first time Xiris has run into a duct-taped welding shield and it won’t be the last.  A manufacturing company, welding high quality products on a seamer has recently made some major upgrades.

From this:


Mar20 Image1.png

To this:

Mar20 Image2.png

What other single upgrade can so easily and cost-effectively increase quality, raise productivity, reduce health and safety risk, and improve working conditions for your operators?

A Xiris Weld Camera can be retrofitted on virtually any seamer in minutes.

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 

Don't miss any of our amazing videos! Sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: quality control, Xiris, welding, weld safety, productivity tools

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.

table

 

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

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.  

 

7720 062 resized 600

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

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.

Request A Free Consultation

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

Using Cameras to Monitor Fillet Welds in Nuclear Facilities

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, July 11, 2013 @ 03:10 PM

Welding is a commonplace activity at a nuclear facility to repair or build various structures, pressure vessels, tanks, boilers and other items. Because of the nature of the environment in a nuclear facility and the levels of radiation present, the weld technician is usually removed from the welding process to an isolated control room that is a reduced radiation area.

Weld Cameras can be very useful in the monitoring of fillet welds in nuclear facilities.From this control room, a continuous clear view of the welding process is mandatory for the weld technician to be able to monitor and control the welding process. Because of the high quality levels required in a nuclear environment,  remote weld monitoring that provides a clear view of the welding process in clear detail is absolutely essential. The level of visibility required can best be achieved with a Weld Camera equipped with High Dynamic Range imaging capability that can see the detail of the extremely bright open arc, as well as its dark surrounding background.

The materials that get welded in nuclear facilities can range from mild to hardened steels, stainless steel, copper, aluminum and some exotic metals. With the welding of such high-cost, specialized materials, tight monitoring and control over all welding parameters is vital. Some metals have unique weld environments (such as highly reflective parent material, excess spatter, variable speed pulsed power) where a Weld Camera equipped with High Dynamic Range imaging is the only way to produce a weld image with enough detail of the entire weld scene to be fully useful to the weld technician.

In the nuclear-facility weld environment—where the stakes are high and each weld pass may have unique weld parameters resulting in changes in the weld pool and arc—High Dynamic Range imaging enables the process and quality control that are imperative.

How Weld Cameras Are Used in Nuclear Facilities

In nuclear facilities, a weaving weld process—using a side-to-side weld torch stroke— is generally used to fill in a fillet weld, especially in the later passes where a wider bead is required to fill the joint.

To monitor the weaving weld process in a nuclear facility, two Weld Cameras are typically used—one camera in front of the weld and one in the rear of the weld.

The view of the weld from the front is used for continuous monitoring of:

  • The weld tip position for seam guidance.
  • The amount of cut into the sidewall of the parent material.
  • The feed wire stick-out.
  • The amount of spatter.
  • Arc stability (consistency of arc shape).

The view of the weld from the rear allows continuous monitoring of:

  • The solidification process of the molten weld material.
  • The finished bead, including its surface appearance.
  • Porosity of the finished bead.
  • Slag/dross.
  • Other impurities.

Weave welds are characterized by three things: the stroke length of the side to side motion of the weld torch, the speed of the side to side motion, and the travel speed of the weld torch along the seam.

The front Weld Camera is helpful to the weld technician in determining the stroke length and weave speed, identifying how much weld overlap occurs at a particular travel speed with the goal of obtaining optimum bead configuration. To properly see the weld weave, the field of view of the Weld Camera needs to encompass the full width of the weave as well as the sides of the parent material.

The rear Weld Camera allows an operator to monitor the effect of the weld puddle on the finished weld and verify that the desired weld effect (either smooth or rippled bead) occurs.

Conclusion

Given the critical, high-cost nature of welding in nuclear facilities, an investment in a Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging capability can yield crucial benefits in quality control, productivity, and cost reduction.

 

Image courtesy of Paul J Everett, Creative Commons.

Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld environment, weld safety, High Dynamic Range