The Xiris Blog

10 Reasons Why You Should Add a Weld Camera to Your Classroom

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, May 30, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Adding cameras to view and recording welding is a constant desire of progressive welding schools. However, for many years, there was a lack of the appropriate camera technology with High Dynamic Range imaging capability to properly image welding and display it on a standard 8-bit monitor. The Xiris Weld Camera has overcome this with a combination of advanced electronics and software that map the output to a computer monitor for best viewing results, presenting 10 compelling reasons why Instructors should add a weld camera to their program:

  1. A more-enjoyable, “high-tech” learning experience. By introducing cameras into your training curriculum, students will appreciate the modern approach to training an old skill. The result - enhanced prestige for your weld training facility.
  2. Use of recorded welding videos in the classroom. The ability to repeatedly view, and learn from, recorded demonstrations of good and bad welds can improve the overall effectiveness of your learning program.  Imagine having an ongoing source of video material for multiple classroom discussions, or to recreate lessons of key concepts.
  3. A clear view of all the features of the weld process. Never again worry during welding instruction that all students can see what is being taught.  A camera output to a large display makes all the features of a weld visible to everyone in your class.
  4. Better use of classroom layout. No more worry about classroom space, how many students can fit around a particular weld demonstration and how close they can be to the demonstration.
  5. Better capability to demonstrate new or subtle welding techniques. By building up a library of various techniques, students could review the videos of the best or newest welding technique possible.
  6. Reduced material consumption. Use less welding consumables by being able to minimize the amount repetitive arc on-time by students and instructors of the same welding process.
  7. Better curriculum development. Using cameras provides a whole new dimension in developing a better curriculum for welding courses by allowing instructors to employ digital video content in their classroom.
  8. Differentiation from schools without Weld Cameras in classrooms. Let’s face it – attracting students is a tough job and your school is competing with other schools across town and around the world.  The more appealing you can make your program will raise its appeal to prospective students.
  9. More students moving through existing facilities, faster. By providing students live and recorded content on a large display, more students can be learning via video.  The learning via video can happen while other students learn by doing, reinforcing the learning experience and doubling student throughput.
  10. Testing and verifying of new processes and techniques. When new equipment, process or technique is presented to your school, instructors could make a new video to test out the equipment or process, setting a standard for students to attempt to emulate.

With so many powerful reasons to introduce a weld camera into your curriculum, why wait? 

Contact Xiris today for a consultation.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, weld environment, High Dynamic Range, HDR, weld camera system, consistent, inspection system, educator, weld school

How Weld Inspection Helps Tube Producers Meet Weight Reduction for Automotive Sector

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

The Automotive Sector is constantly trying to reduce the weight of cars. Part of that effort is to approach their suppliers to see what they can do to reduce the weight of their components. Fabricators of tubes for the automotive sector are constantly being asked to meet more difficult weight limitations of their tubes.   

In order to achieve the desired weight reduction of a tube, tube fabricators need to use:

  • Lighter materials;
  • Thinner Wall Thicknesses; and
  • Higher Yield strength materials.

These are only possible if tighter manufacturing specifications and process tolerances are established.

Tubes fabricated from higher yield strength material are more susceptible to mismatch during fabrication. Traditionally; fabricators used a common practice of allowing mismatch on a longitudinal welded tubes of up to 5% of the wall thickness. 5% becomes a very small number very quickly when wall thickness is reduced. 

Experience has shown that for higher yield strength materials a mismatch of 5% will result in a higher weld split failure. In these applications tube producers need to maintain a mismatch tolerance in the 2% to 3% range, well below common practice on milder materials. These tight tolerances make it difficult for mill operators to see or detect using traditional means of looking at the scarf material, the finger nail scratch without stopping the mill interrupting production.

High resolution geometrical measurements are required in the weld zone making this an ideal application for laser based technologies such as Xiris’ Weld Inspection Solutions. The WI2000 or WI3000 makes continuous measurements providing the operator with a clear visual of the weld zone form process while also being able to set tolerance limits to alarm when an unexpected variation occurs.

WI2000 SystemWI2000

WI3000 System

 WI3000

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, High Dynamic Range, pipe, tube, HDR, weld seam, tubedefects, consistent, WI-2000, inspection system, WI-3000

Reflecting on Spring 2019 Trade Shows

Posted by Robin Montgomery on Friday, May 10, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

The past couple of weeks have been busy for the Xiris Automation team as we’ve travelled across North America with our weld cameras and weld inspection systems attending the Pipe and Tube Conference, GAWDA 2019 Spring Management Conference, and FABTECH Mexico

Pipe & Tube Conference 

The Pipe and Tube Conference, organized by FMA, was held in Memphis from April 29th through May 1st. All sectors of the tube and pipe industry were present at this conference. Attendees focused on innovative technologies, interactive learning, and making connections1. Cornelius Sawatzky, a member of our Xiris Team, held a presentation on seam monitoring utilizing High Dynamic Range camera technology and its advantages over some conventional seam monitoring. If you missed Cornelius’ presentation, take a look at this clip that he used.

GAWDA - Spring Management Conference 

This year, the show ran from May 4th to 6th in GAWDA President Brad PetersonMinneapolis and highlighted the theme It’s All About Service. The conference served as an idea platform for networking, process-oriented business education and take-home solutions, for a record of nearly 700 members in attendance2. Throughout the weekend we had the opportunity to listen to many inspirational speakers, including the President of GAWDA, Brad Peterson.

FABTECH Mexico

fabtech mexico

From May 7th through 9th, our team was at FABTECH Mexico with our distributor, PIECSA. Over 13,000 industry professionals were able to find solutions, network, learn, and experience first-hand the latest innovations in the various industries3. FABTECH Mexico also consisted of a huge variety of educational sessions that were open to all attendees.

 

Final Thoughts

We would like to give a big thank you to everyone who assisted in making each trade show happen. All of the hard work and preparation definitely paid off and the work did not go unnoticed. Thus far, it has been an extremely successful trade show season for Xiris Automation. It was a pleasure to meet everyone who was able to stop by our booths and we hope to be able to connect further in the future. If you were unable to visit us at these trade shows and have any questions or would like to learn more about Xiris Automation Inc. please visit our website or contact us. We can’t wait to exhibit our weld cameras and weld inspection systems at the rest of our shows this year!

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Sources:

1 https://pipetubeconf.fmanet.org/

2 http://www.cvent.com/events/2019-spring-management-conference/event-summary-5e77b35eb5aa4af8ad2cef1e60bfb782.aspx

3 https://mexico.fabtechexpo.com

Topics: weld camera, Trade Show, Tube and Pipe welding, XVC Weld Camera, inspection system

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

Using the Photodiode with an XVC-1000 Weld Camera

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

A photodiode is an electronic which, when exposed to light, generates a change in its electrical resistance. When incorporated into an electronics circuit, it can generate a signal when exposed to the right amount of light. The Xiris Weld Cameras are equipped with photodiodes to detect the presence of a weld arc. 

Using Xiris  WeldStudio software, the photodiode circuit can be used to toggle the operating mode of a weld camera from “NO WELD” mode to “WELD” mode or vice versa, based on the amount of light present in the weld environment.  As a result, two sets of parameters can be defined, each associated with one of the two camera modes. Of the many parameters that can be defined, there is the shutter mode, which can be set typically for Rolling shutter in the NO WELD mode and Global shutter in the WELD mode. Toggling between the two modes can happen automatically by enabling the Auto Weld Mode option in the WeldStudio software.

The photodiode sensitivity threshold can be adjusted from within the WeldStudio software to ensure that the NO WELD/WELD triggers on the right amount of light coming from the weld process. When light is emitted from the welding process, the photodiode will activate, toggling the software from NO WELD to WELD mode. When the welding process ceases, the lack of light will have the opposite effect.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, High Dynamic Range, XVC Weld Camera, weld camera system, consistent, trigger, photodiode

Why Recertification of Your Inspection System is Important

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, April 02, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

In today's modern manufacturing environment, continuous improvement is needed to stay competitive. This means equipment up-time, speed and product quality must always be optimized to increase yield and profitability. Any downtime can be minimized by keeping all production and online inspection equipment well maintained and calibrated. 

Sensor HeadThe Xiris WI sensor head Recertification Program is designed to recertify WI sensors onsite at your facility by Xiris personnel with minimal interruption. This helps ensure optimal WI system performance by maximizing tube mill productivity and should be a part of your ongoing quality assurance and yearly preventive maintenance program.

Xiris Recertification Program is done by factory trained personnel and has been designed to ensure your investment in the WI2000/3000 pipe and tube inspection equipment is functioning optimally and in accordance with factory performance plans.   

Recertification takes less than 1 day onsite and we use our field certification kit to check all electronic and optical components to verify laser power is at recommended levels, camera optics are aligned and focused and within factory specifications, and that head measurement accuracy meets factory specifications.  We will also update sensor head firmware, if required, and apply a sticker with date of certification. We perform a generalized computer health check, install any software upgrades as applicable and backup system software and settings.

As a final step, Xiris will also provide you with a detailed report outlining the sensor certification and status, condition of the system and any recommendations to address potential system risks. 

NOTE: No internal adjustment can be done in the field due to laser safety requirements. Any internal repairs would have to be done at a Xiris facility under a separate quotation. 

A WI2000 or WI3000 system is a major investment that can continue to provide a significant productivity gain for your tube mill as long as it is properly maintained and recertified on a yearly basis.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, weld camera system, consistent, WI-2000, inspection system, Recertification Program, WI-3000, recertification

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