The Xiris Blog

Rugged, Robust, and Ready to Use - The XVC-S Sub Arc Weld Camera

Posted by Cornelius Sawatzky on Thursday, November 01, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) is a common welding process used in a variety of applications pipe and pipeline fabrication.  In many applications, pipe is tack welded together to hold the pipe in shape, then submerged arc welded from the outside using a continuous process such as on a spiral welded pipe mill, or in butt joining pipe segments using an orbital welding process.  Many of these applications have a very confined or awkward working environment that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a human to observe the weld process in a production environment.

XVC S Column and BoomAn XVC-S Mounted to a Column and Boom Robot Performing Welding and
Cladding on Large Pipes

In any such welding work environment, whether it be the confined space of a pipe welding application or a high-height welding application such as in large pressure vessel construction, operator safety is always a priority. In the welding industry, workforce demands, government regulations, changing business practices, and increasing environmental awareness are driving the manufacturing environment to be safer, healthier, and friendlier for workers. As a result, the use of camera technology is becoming more prevalent in order to alleviate some of the dangers and liabilities.

While the welding environment is particularly harsh on electronics, the Xiris XVC-S cameras for Sub-Arc welding applications have proven to be very durable and reliable in some of the toughest environments. The XVC-S cameras have been used in hot, confined spaces to provide a clear view of the submerged arc weld torch and its alignment to the weld seam, or in a post-weld application to inspect the weld as the slag comes off the weld bead. The cameras allow the operator to remotely view and manage the welding process by providing the ability to adjust the weld process real-time, ultimately reducing potential subsequent rework.  For the fabricator, this means saving time and money with less machine stops and more on-arc time.

XVC-S ViewThe View of the Sub Arc Welding Process Using an XVC-S Camera

But the benefits of the XVC-S are not just financial: since the XVC-S submerged arc weld camera allows the welding processes to be viewed remotely, operators can monitor the welding process from the comfort of a process control cabinet as the cameras are placed at the weld head.  As a result, welders are no longer required to work in cramped, uncomfortable places or dangerous heights, reducing fatigue and safety issues.

With clearly demonstrated financial benefits from cost savings and improved health and safety considerations, the business case for implementing an XVC-S camera is straightforward.  Don’t you think it’s worth looking into a camera for your sub arc business? Learn more about the XVC-S camera and download the FREE Datasheet for more details. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Topics: submerged arc welding, Sub Arc welding, XVC Weld Camera, pipe, Xiris, Robotic Welding, welding automation, weld inspection

Xiris is Growing!

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 11:33 AM

In 2017 Xiris saw business growth of more than 40% over the previous year. This growth was due in part to the large increase in automation throughout the manufacturing industry, an increase in metal additive manufacturing in the aerospace industry and a new focus on employee training, health and safety for welding processes.

North American Industry saw the highest number of robots delivered in 2017, with twenty-seven thousand delivered in the first nine months, according to Machine Design magazine. The largest installations of robots came from the automotive components and metals manufacturing markets with food and consumer goods close behind. The machine vision market also saw a growth rate of 14% in 2017 with 14% of those being vision systems.

The Xiris XVC family of weld cameras have become critical tools in advancing weld automation processes across the board, particularly in the growing markets mentioned above. The Xiris weld cameras become the eyes of the robot and enable operators to safely see the weld process from start to finish.

In order to keep up with this growth, Xiris is also expanding. We have added a number of new employees in all areas of the company. We now have a Sales Manager in Dusseldorf to address increased demand in Europe. We have also increased staff at our head office in Burlington in all areas of the business including software/hardware design and development, production and product support. With these added resources we feel well positioned to meet growing demands and look forward to continued growth and success in 2018 and the coming years.

Thank you to all our great customers and partners for a great 2017!

Xiris personnel.jpg

 

Topics: welding automation, weld camera, Machine Vision, Robotic Welding

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Relies on XVC 1000

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 @ 01:00 AM

Recently, Xiris had the pleasure of working with the Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AML) team at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.   AML has been using the XVC 1000 camera to assist with its metal additive manufacturing automation process.  AML has used CCD cameras in the past, but according to Joshua Hammell, Research Scientist and AML Lab Manager, “the high dynamic range of the XVC-1000, provides orders of magnitude more information about the process, while removing the need for different optical filters during cold alignment and high temperature processing. This is a major advantage for process automation.” 

The XVC 1000 has been an essential tool for machine and process development, saving the team at AML a great deal of time and money.  The initial plan for the camera was for laboratory use only; however, AML has since decided that the cameras will be integrated into all of its metal additive manufacturing systems for process monitoring during production. 

Details of the current AML process are very confidential but AML has granted us permission to show an older process development video taken with the XVC 1000…

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help with your manufacturing processes, please visit Xiris.com 

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Topics: weld camera, welding automation, Education, welding, additive manufacturing, laser additive manufacturing

Using a View Camera to Monitor Automotive Body Laser Welds

Posted by Cameron Serles on Friday, January 09, 2015 @ 09:29 AM

During the initial stages of automotive assembly, a car’s chassis is built up by welding together all its major sheet metal components, such as side walls, doors, door frames, roof joints, floor panels, the engine cavity and hood parts. The assembly process stage of welding all these components together is known as “body-in-white” and has been the source of much technology advancement in recent years.

One major technology advancement has been the introduction of laser welding processes to replace the traditional methods of fastening and joining the metal components. Laser welding offers numerous advantages over traditional techniques such as resistive spot welding but like any new technology, it requires more precise material preparation and careful process implementation.

 

Essential Advantages of using Laser Welding for Body in White

  • Single-sided access to the point of welding, allowing for simpler chassis design in some situations.
  • Better looking joints that are almost invisible are possible with some creative laser weld placement or by using laser brazing technology.
  • The flanges required to hold together sheet metal components around apertures such as door openings can be smaller, leading to weight reduction and better automotive designs.
  • Higher process speeds that can improve productivity, reduce cycle time, and reduce production floor space

 

However, there are disadvantages of the process….

  • Tight Tolerances. The narrowly focused laser beam requires very precise seam preparation to ensure a successful result. Overlooking this in early automotive laser history resulted in many failures.
  • Specific Repair Methods. Because laser welding is a relatively new joining method, repair techniques specifically designed for laser welding must be used when repairing laser welded joints.

 

The Solution

The solution to this problem is very precise seam preparation (with almost no gap) and precise clamping methods. But even with the best preparation, the seam can vary enough to cause problems with the weld process. With such a process, it is important to maintain very good alignment of the seam to the laser spot: because the laser beam is so small, a small movement of the seam out of alignment may jeopardize the quality of the alignment.

To solve this problem, a high dynamic range camera can be added to the laser process, either coaxially in the optics of the laser beam delivery system itself, or off axis. In either case, the camera can be positioned to see the laser keyhole, weld pool and weld seam. Because the high dynamic camera can see much more of the bright areas, including the weld pool and keyhole, as well as the darker areas such as the seam and background, it becomes much easier for operators to monitor the laser process to verify that it is in alignment.

Another “solution” involves the combination of laser welding and an open arc welding process (e.g. MIG or TIG) in a so-called hybrid process. For such a process, the open arc welding method delivers extra weld material that makes sure that the seam flanges are processed even without a precise seam; the laser permits deep penetration into the substrate, and the welding speed is significantly higher than if an open arc welding process was used on its own. Once again, the use of a High Dynamic Camera can help verify that all components of the weld environment are working correctly, in particular the alignment of the laser arc to the seam.

 

Jan_9.15_Blog_Body_in_White

Figure 1: Camera Running Co-Axially to the Laser Beam Delivery System1

 

Conclusion

Laser processing continues to grow market share in a number of applications in body-in-white automotive manufacturing. However, as with any new process, it must be carefully implemented to take full advantage of the technology. To maximize the chances of success, a Weld Camera with a High Dynamic Range imaging capability should be used to provide operators with adequate weld visibility to monitor and control the laser to seam alignment before it moves out of control and causes defects in the welded seam.

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1. Adapted from: A. Ribolla et al. / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 164–165 (2005) 1120–1127

Topics: Laser welding, welding automation, High Dynamic Range

Xiris Gets Rave Reviews of our Weld Camera from a 3rd Party!

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 @ 03:05 PM

Xiris received an early Christmas present this year in the form of a fantastic blog post reviewing our XVC Weld Camera. Brian Dobben of Visionary Welding, a blogging site dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in welding automation, put the Xiris XVC-O Open Arc Weld Camera System to the test and had excellent results.  

Mr. Dobben has never issued an independent review of a product, and was not prompted by us, but after testing the XVC-O Camera System, he said, in his own words, “it’s a story worth telling.” To see the blog in its entirety, please visit www.VisionaryWelding.org.

2014 has been incredibly busy and successful for Xiris Automation with the launch of the new XVC-1000 Weld Camera and continuous improvements to the XVC-0 Open Arc and XVC-S Sub Arc Weld Camera Systems. This favorable review by Mr. Dobben provides confirmation we are positioned well to grow within the welding automation industry and is a wonderful way to end the year and look forward to 2015.

Xiris Automation would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Topics: weld camera, welding automation, welding

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

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