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Cameron Serles

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What Does Welding Sound Like? SMAW

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, December 03, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

“Most welding shop foremen who interview welders give them a weld test and know from halfway across the shop by the sound of the weld if that welder will pass the test.”1 This quote from GoWelding.org highlights how important sound is in welding. This is why our team at Xiris has added audio monitoring to our popular weld cameras.
SMAW- Audio in Welding

Since launching our audio package, we have been diving into audio monitoring in more detail, talking about how monitoring audio can benefit operators and what to listen for in GMAW and GTAW. Today, we’re looking—and listening—in more detail to SMAW, or stick welding.

Like GMAW, SMAW should sound like cooking bacon.2 If the arc sounds overly loud, your amperage might be set too high.3

To set up your welder, strike an arc and listen to the crackle of the rod. Adjust the power setting (amperage) until you hear the sound of bacon or eggs frying.2

It may take years for welders to amass the experience necessary to recognize what quality welds sound like. As you are welding, it is important to pay attention to the sound of your stick welds. Soon, you will be able to determine if you have a quality weld.

This video shows SMAW in action and shares what it sounds like in a variety of situations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akvv4ApYMVE.

 

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Sources: 

1http://gowelding.org/welding/stick-smaw/

2https://quizlet.com/125850644/welding-smaw-shielded-metal-arc-welding-flash-cards/

3https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/five-steps-to-improving-your-stick-welding-technique

Topics: quality control, weld camera, welding, weld monitoring, audio, SMAW

Using Pseudo Color to Highlight Features in Welding

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 @ 11:45 AM

Weld cameras can produce color and monochrome images. Often monochrome images are selected as they provide the best resolution for a wide variety of applications. The monochrome images generated by the camera are often further processed to make the informational detail of the weld process more useful and interesting to the observer.

Usually, a tone mapping process is applied to the weld camera images to provide an enhanced image with maximum contrast for the user, such as what is done with images from the Xiris XVC-1000 weld camera. However, sometimes an additional technique called pseudo coloring can be done on the tone mapped image to provide additional visibility of key features to the user.

 

Pseudo coloring is when each grey level (or intensity value) in a monochrome image is assigned a color. The resulting image can make the identification of certain features easier for the observer, as the perceived difference in color space for the operator is bigger than between successive grey levels alone. Details such as the leading edge of a melt pool, the boundary between a torch and weld arc, the interface between the weld arc and the melt pool, or the texture of the melt pool can all be made more visible to the operator using pseudo coloring.


Monochrome Image from a TIG Weld

TIG Weld with Pseudo Coloring
Monochrome Image from a TIG Weld Same Image, with Pseudo Coloring

 

Why bother with pseudo coloring? You might think that your images look just fine in black and white, right? And they probably do. However, in some welding applications, adding color to an image can make it much easier to distinguish between different objects especially when they are almost the same level of intensity such as in the images above. Try it in WeldStudio™, Xiris’ software utility for weld cameras, to see if it helps.

 

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld camera, High Dynamic Range, HDR, pseudo color

What Does Welding Sound Like? GTAW

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

To accompany the launch of Xiris’ new audio monitoring technology, we are continuing our series about sound in welding. So far, we have covered the announcement of our audio monitoring equipment, benefits of adding audio to your weld camera, and sound in GMAW

Today we are investigating sound in GTAW, or TIG welding.
GTAWGTAW is typically characterized by a high-pitched hum or buzz.1

The polarity of the electrical current—whether it’s AC or DC—affects sound in TIG. AC TIG is much louder than DC. As amperage increases, welding noise will also increase.2

At lower frequencies, you will hear a slow pulse sound as you weld. One operator described it as “Braaap, Braaap, Braaap.” As the power frequency increases, such as to 80-90 hz, the sound becomes “sharper:” “BRAP, BRAP.” With the frequency between 100-120 hz, the “brap” sound becomes a whine. At this point, the arc is moving much more quickly, going from positive to negative hundreds of times a second.2

As in GMAW, sound in GTAW can alert operators to mistakes or faults in their welding.

For example, a torch-to-workpiece angle greater than 20-25 degrees may cause a popping sound as well as poor weld quality.3 A high pitched buzzing sound can signify lower penetration of the heat into the parent material.4

An important consideration in monitoring sound in welding is the environment that you’re working in. Each shop or factory has its own unique acoustics. Some frequencies may echo and welding machines can seem very loud or sound different depending on where they’re located.

For this reason, it is important to spend time assessing your welds, monitoring your equipment and learning what a good weld sounds like in your facility.

Watch a video of welding aluminum with GTAW, and how the frequency settings change the sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzsfBV6_vNY

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Sources: 

1https://weldtalk.hobartwelders.com/forum/weld-talk-topic-archive/welding-processes/12469-a-few-questions-on-tig

2https://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?23153-AC-TIG-Aluminum-Noise

3https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/welding-discussions/3973-sound-of-tig-welding

4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzsfBV6_vNY

 

Topics: quality control, weld camera, welding, GTAW, weld monitoring, audio

What Does Welding Sound Like? GMAW

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, October 02, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Each type of welding has a unique sound. Sometimes that sound can signify problems. Other times it tells the operator that everything is going exactly right. Xiris has now added audio monitoring to our industry-leading weld cameras. This innovative system gives welders a new tool to monitor and improve their operations.

However, it often takes years of experience to be able to distinguish the slight differences in sound that separate a good weld from a bad one. And if you’re new to welding or you’ve not been monitoring by sound before, how do you know what to listen for?
GMAW

Today, we’re looking at GMAW, or MIG welding, and sharing the various sounds you may hear and what they mean.

  1. Frying Bacon: This is the most common description for what GMAW sounds like. The torch will sizzle, with the occasional pop. This usually means that your welder is set up properly and you are laying a quality bead.
  2. Popcorn Popping: If your welding sounds more like popcorn than bacon, with lots of snapping and popping, this may signify that your wire speed is too fast. “The wire is hitting the surface and not melting into the metal fully, creating a weak and dangerous weld.”1
  3. Hissing, as though gas is leaking: Often means too slow of a wire speed. This is also a weak, unsafe weld.1
  4. -  Popping and Hissing: This usually signifies a problem with the shielding gas. You will also see excessive sparks and slag, and pores in the finished weld. Check that the gas is on, there is gas in the tank and the tank pressure is correct.1
  5. Irregular: Another issue that can be identified by sound is wire stickout. If your stickout is too long, the arc may sound irregular – constantly changing in pitch and/or volume.2

The voltage and current setting on your welder, as well as the metal that you are welding, all affect the sound of the arc in GMAW.3 For example, stainless steel welding uses three different approaches: dip transfer, globular transfer or spray arc. Each of these techniques has a different sound, as the arc moves from low power to high through the metal transfer cycle.4

In dip transfer (low amperage welding, which is ideal for thinner materials), you hear a fast crackling—the coveted bacon sound. Globular transfer, which is not often used, makes an uneven, splattering sound, with occasional hisses. Spray transfer has a consistent hissing sound as the hot metal transfers to the parent material in a steady stream.

It is important to learn your equipment, understand your materials and experiment with different settings. Monitor the sound and appearance of the arc and critically evaluate the quality of your welds. Soon you will know what to listen for.

Watch a video that shows how varying the wire feed speed and voltage changes the sound of MIG welding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmcO0lFfn1k.

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Sources: 

1https://garage.eastwood.com/eastwood-chatter/listen-to-your-mig/

2https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/mig-welding-the-basics-for-mild-steel

3https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/welding-discussions/4179-mig-welding-sound

4https://www.theshedmag.co.nz/home/2018/7/8/tackling-stainless-a-guide-to-stainless-steel-welding

 

Topics: quality control, weld camera, GMAW, weld monitoring, audio

How to Implement Audio Monitoring for your Welding Operation

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 @ 11:32 AM

Our team at Xiris has released an audio monitoring package for our weld cameras. Today, we’re sharing how you can set up audio monitoring capability with weld cameras for your operations.

Audio monitoring with weld cameras involves both hardware—the microphone and other equipment—and software—Xiris’ WeldStudio™ software.           

Audio Monitoring Hardware

Audio monitoring starts with the microphone. The welding environment is not very friendly for electronics and sensitive equipment, so Xiris has developed a rugged microphone capable of capturing the full spectrum of audio using a specialized sensor. This sensor captures sound frequency from 40hz up to 20khz. This means that you not only get the low rumbles at the bottom of the range, but you also get the sizzle and pop at the high end.

The microphone has been “ruggedized” so that it is suitable for the welding environment. A protective covering provides thermal, environmental and dust protection for the sensitive microphone elements. The microphone is also directional, meaning once it is pointed at the welding process, it will ignore some of the surrounding noises.

The microphone has been designed to be located near the welding camera, although it can be positioned elsewhere if needed.

Cables and wires connect the microphone and transmit the audio signals to the Xiris HMI computer, which contains Xiris’ specially developed audio processing card. It is here that the signal is processed and conditioned for integration with the video images.

Audio Monitoring Software

The audio feature is part of Xiris’ WeldStudio™ software utility, where operators are able to play back, record and adjust the audio that they’re hearing. The audio signal is synchronized with the video stream from the weld camera, so operators can see and hear what’s happening with their welding at the same time.

Audio 2 image

User Interface of WeldStudio™ with audio feature.

Using equalization controls, operators are able to reduce or eliminate certain frequencies, such as those caused by other mechanical noises or environmental noises unrelated to the welding. The software allows operators to completely control the equalization curve to meet their specific needs, suppressing or enhancing certain frequency ranges depending on what they want to listen to. Audio is a module in the WeldStudio™ software, so the touch and feel of the interface and the tools within the program will feel familiar to experienced users.

Summary

Video monitoring using weld cameras has brought many benefits to fabricators and their operations. However, there was something missing. Sound.

Experienced welders understand how sound can help to tune and monitor their welding processes. With this new audio monitoring package, Xiris is providing this capability as an option with the Xiris weld camera system.

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld monitoring, audio, hardware, software

Xiris Launches Audio Monitoring for Weld Cameras!

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 @ 11:25 AM

Xiris is proud to announce a revolutionary addition to our industry-leading cameras: SOUND!

At Xiris, we strive to be a world leader in developing sensors and inspection systems for welding processes. Our team of multidisciplinary experts have extended our weld camera product line with the addition of audio capture and monitoring capability. We are committed to continuously improving our products to meet the needs of our customers, and audio monitoring is something our clients have been asking for.

Adding audio capture and playback to Xiris’ weld cameras introduces a new dimension to welding quality control. Now fabricators can use two sensory inputs – sight AND sound – to help them determine if the welding process is functioning correctly or needs fine tuning to provide the best weld process possible. This enhancement gives operators another tool to assess, monitor and improve the consistency and effectiveness of their welding processes.

Xiris Launches Audio monitoring for welding camerasAn Audio Waveform Picture from the Xiris Audio Recorder

A study in the January 2017 edition of the Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing found that multisensory evaluation of seam welds was 97% more accurate recognizing defects. Various academic and anecdotal studies confirm that sound is key to real-time monitoring of welding quality and process control for intelligent manufacturing.

Welders draw on years of experience to recognize what quality welds sound like. Each type of welding can generate a unique sound signature when it is “in tune” and when it is “out of tune”. In upcoming blogs, we will be talking about the different types of welding and what to listen for. We will also share more details about the Xiris audio recording and playback option and how you can add it to your operations.

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Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

Follow Xiris on social media for regular updates and welding videos!

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Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld monitoring, audio

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