The Xiris Blog

David Giannotti

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Monitoring the Melt Pool from the Backside in Root Pass TIG Welding

Posted by David Giannotti on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

Highly precise welding procedures commonly found in power generation applications where thick walled sections of pipe are welded together using multi-pass TIG welding procedures have demanding quality monitoring requirements. One of the most important monitoring tasks is to monitor the quality of the melt pool from the back side of the weld. In the case of orbital welding two sections of pipe together, this is often done by using a Xiris weld camera mounted inside the pipe looking at the backside of the root pass of an orbital welding head operating from the outside of the pipe.

If a Xiris weld camera is mounted inside the pipe looking at the melt pool, what is visible is a high intensity spot surrounded by an area of lower intensity (see Figure 1 below).  Precision fabricators are often interested in the shape, size and location of the precise boundary of the melt pool relative to the weld seam. Segmentation of the edge of the melt pool is therefore an important first step to measure the shape of the melt pool.

Xiris was given this task to first detect the edges of the melt pool, then measure the size, various shape parameters, and the center of the object relative to the weld seam.




Fig. 1:  Original Image of Melt Pool


Fig. 2 Segmented Region of Interest

Once the Melt Pool can be correctly segmented from the rest of the image, the Xiris Blob Analysis tool can be used to compute various measurements of the region of interest, such as; centroid, area, perimeter, bounding box, and roundness, that together, provide information such as; to how well the melt pool is forming, if the welding torch is burning through, if the weld torch is tracking the seam properly and other process features.

Image processing tools, like Blob Analysis, can be used to find valuable shape, size and location information of key features of the welding process. When combined with a Xiris weld camera, real time analysis can be achieved.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: weld camera, fabricators, TIG welding

Detecting Skip Welds During Fabrication

Posted by David Giannotti on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 @ 10:00 AM

Skip welding, otherwise known as Tack Welding, is a commonly used welding technique used by fabricators to help limit excess heat penetration in, and therefore minimize distortion of the parent material during welding. However, sometimes weld skips can occur unexpectedly and disrupt the process of a good weld. Weld skips can be difficult to predict because they are random events that leave weld operators scratching their heads for a cause.

Fig. 1 Weld Skip on a Section of Welded Tube

An Interesting find!

Recently, at a customer’s site, a robot was performing a longitudinal weld on a large component used in the agricultural industry when a random weld defect was identified by an employee monitoring the weld process.  Unknowingly, it turned out that approximately one in every twenty welds were made with this defect.   Not knowing how to correct the defect, the customer invested in a Xiris weld camera.  After setting up the weld camera to get a better look at the welding live, the weld camera revealed that the weld torch would suddenly skip over a segment of the weld seam that was supposed to be welded, something that is commonly referred to in the welding industry as a “weld skip”. But the question still remained: what was causing the weld to skip?

After carefully examining the recorded video from the weld process, it became clear to the welding engineers what was triggering the defect: an interference in the weld had caused the weld torch to momentarily become stuck in position before the pulling force would build up to enough to cause it to come loose.  Once the torch would come loose, it would jump over a segment of the seam before resuming the weld, resulting in a weld skip.


How Xiris Weld Cameras Can Help

Weld skips can be disastrous to a production process, causing product defects which can be costly to rework.  Having an employee continuously monitor a weld process can be unsafe and an unproductive use of their time, resulting in lost time, money and production. As a result, for some fabricators, their weld processes need to be constantly monitored for their weld skip. This is where Xiris’ weld cameras can help by providing real-time, close up views of the weld process while it is happening, capturing live images of potential welding defects for the operator who can make process parameter changes before the defects turns in to a major production problem. The Xiris weld cameras have the ability to archive the weld videos to allow operators to review the videos offline and analyze what caused a weld defect to occur.  In addition, using a Weld camera can provide employees with a safe means of remotely viewing the welding process, avoiding the need to monitor the welding process in hazardous or confined work spaces, increasing employee focus on other operations.

Topics: welding, weld camera system, inspection

Three Benefits of Adding Audio to your Weld Camera

Posted by David Giannotti on Tuesday, January 07, 2020 @ 11:55 AM

Experienced, professional welders agree that sound is often just as valuable in monitoring welding as being able to see what is going on in the welding process. Issues with wire feed speed, voltage, shielding gas, current and other parameter inputs can all be heard, sometimes more than they can be seen. Giving operators another tool to improve their welding operations and the quality of their products is why Xiris has added audio capture to its industry-leading weld cameras.

Today, we’re sharing 3 ways audio can help your welding process.

1. Multisensory monitoring improves quality. There are many ways to monitor welding operations, such as current, voltage, visual inspection, machine vision sensing, thermal imaging and more. Each method has its own advantages as well as shortcomings. Using multiple monitoring techniques can minimize, or even eliminate these shortcomings.

Audio is another tool to add to your toolbox. Acoustic monitoring may help to overcome some of the challenges of monitoring “dynamic welding characteristics, especially near the arc due to the high temperature, spatter formation, fumes, etc.” 1

2. Audio recording and playback improves real-time monitoring. In order to monitor and immediately control your welding process, you need to know exactly what is happening as it happens. Audio recording and playback allows operators to hear changes as they happen and make the necessary adjustments immediately.

Many factors can affect the generation of welding sounds, such as the volume of the burning arc, the shielding gas flowrate, vibration of the droplet transfer into the welded pool and the noise of the welding apparatus.

3. Audio monitoring can help reduce downtime. Off-line inspections are time-consuming and costly. Finding and correcting welding defects after the welding process is even more costly. Adding audio monitoring to your welding process allows operators to catch mistakes immediately and correct the problem, before wasting time or materials.

Xiris’ weld cameras, equipped with high dynamic range imaging and now equipped with audio monitoring, can help operators be confident in the quality of their welds and decrease the time spent on post-weld inspection and rework.


For over 10 years, Xiris has focused on helping our customers to detect, identify, address and prevent defects in their welding processes.  We know that better images lead to better decisions and better process control. Now, customers can combine those images with audio to further improve their decision-making process.


1 Lv N., Chen S. (2011) Investigation on Acoustic Signals for On-line Monitoring of Welding. In: Tarn TJ., Chen SB., Fang G. (eds) Robotic Welding, Intelligence and Automation. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, vol 88. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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

Fall Tradeshow Recap

Posted by David Giannotti on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 @ 10:15 AM

After another busy quarter, we are taking a look back at some of the major trade shows we attended that helped define a successful fall season for Xiris.

Fabtech 2019 – November 11 – 14, Chicago, USA

Our most important trade show of the Fall was to Fabtech 2019, in Chicago, USA. Being North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, it offered the perfect opportunity to meet world-class fabricators, distributors, machine builders, and end users.  Our new camera, the slimline XVC-700 was introduced at Fabtech to great acclaim by other exhibitors and visitors alike, which made the show that much more special for us!  Xiris was proud to have over 15 cameras on display in 8 different exhibitor’s booths around the show. As the tradeshow went on, it was great to see the excitement from customers as they learned how Xiris weld cameras can allow them to clearly monitor their welding processes. Fabtech 2019 provided a great venue for Xiris to show off its existing and new weld cameras and demonstrate how they can impact welding process and quality control.

Formnext 2019 – November 19 – 22, Frankfurt, Germany

In late November, Xiris travelled to Frankfurt, Germany to exhibit in the leading global trade fair for additive manufacturing (industrial 3D printing).  With over 34,500 visitors from around the world representing aerospace, automotive, energy, medical and additive manufacturing (AM) end user markets, it was an amazing experience to be a part of the largest Formnext to date. Our focus at the show was on the value our cameras can provide for characterizing additive manufacturing processes, especially direct energy deposition. It is apparent that the industry is desperately seeking a solution to process characterization as the reception for Xiris weld cameras was excellent.  Equipment makers, powder suppliers, end users and researchers at Universities and research institutions all expressed keen interest in the Xiris weld camera technology.

TUBE Southeast Asia 2019 – September 17 – 24, Bangkok, Thailand

Xiris also attended some other smaller shows such as the Tube Southeast Asia show in Bangkok, Thailand. At this show, Xiris was able to make potential customers aware of its latest sales presence with an office in Kuala Lumpur. During the show, Xiris had the pleasure of meeting with a variety of global partners, including both new and existing partners from tube fabrication and various metal working industries where we demonstrated the tube weld inspection system and our XVC weld cameras, sparking discussion on the show floor.

Metalex Vietnam 2019 – October 10 – 12, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Metalex Vietnam 2019, held in conjunction with the RobotX and Welding Vietnam shows was held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in the middle of October 2019. Attended by Xiris’ APAC Director, David Garrard, it was a great opportunity to meet with existing partners and key welding-related exhibitors from all over Southeast Asia, India and China. The attendance of this tradeshow aided in the successful introduction of Xiris XVC weld cameras into the APAC region.

Topics: Xiris, welding, Trade Show

5 Welding Applications Where Angled Optics Optimize Monitoring

Posted by David Giannotti on Thursday, December 05, 2019 @ 03:01 PM


The XVC-700, the new weld camera from Xiris, features a unique flex design allowing for a “periscope” configuration of the housing. This means this camera can be mounted anywhere from 0-135° relative to the main body axis of the housing.

The range of applications where angled optics enable better placement of the camera are only limited by your imagination, but here are 5 we are sure you will find interesting:

1. Monitoring of ID Cladding in Small Diameter Pipe

By combining a shallow angle (less than 30°) with angled optics and the weld camera mounted under the welding torch and parallel to the axis of the pipe, the user can see the tip of the torch. Alternatively using an angle that looks past 90 degrees, the weld camera can be mounted beyond the torch tip and look back to get a clear, unrestricted view.

2. Orbital Welding (stud or Tube to Tube sheet)

A Weld Camera with angled optics can be easily placed to rotate with the orbital head, whether ID or OD, minimizing the radial space needed.

3. Continuous welding (Tube and Pipe Mills, Seamers, Orbital Welding, etc.)

Using near 90 degree angles, a weld camera with angled optics can be mounted vertically, allowing users to see the weld process while minimizing the footprint of the camera in the area around the weld head.

4. Seamers & Tube Mills      

In processes and equipment where optical length is critical, for example in the horizontal space of a tube mill set-up, an angled weld camera’s tilted optics allow for optimum positioning.

5. LSAM (WAAM) Robots

In additive manufacturing environments, weld cameras with angled optics can be compactly positioned to best monitor bead height.

Do you have a welding process where an XVC-700 with angled optics would improve your quality assurance practices? Contact us and get a complimentary consult from one of weld camera experts.


Topics: XVC Weld Camera, inspection

How To Engage Young Welding Apprentices

Posted by David Giannotti on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 @ 10:00 AM


Welding has a problem. We all know about it, but we often don’t talk about it.

First of all, the average age of welders is creeping up. In both America and Europe it is almost 60 years old, similar over much of the Western world. Even in China, with many younger welders who entered the work force in the past few decades, the average age of welders is increasing.

Secondly, for a generation growing up with computers, smartphones and video games, many young adults today are more comfortable using a keyboard than they are using their hands to make things, such as fabricating metal with welding. The reality is that a lot of youth are naturally streaming into disciplines that involve computers, in clean work environments, far away from the dirtier, more basic environment in which processes such as welding are done.

Thirdly, young graduates from technical schools want to be continuously learning, not only about their core technology, but about processes around it, to make their work more interesting and appealing.

So, what to do? Perhaps it is time to rethink how to engage young welding apprentices. Adding automation to a process is certainly a good first step to remove the more mundane aspects of a repetitive, difficult welding process. It introduces a component of technology that will certainly increase the interest level of those young students.

But maybe automated welding should be taken a step further. Perhaps the addition of weld cameras to a welding process will expand the interest of a younger crowd and better engage them. By having weld cameras on the welding equipment, you do not need an operator to be present right at the welding torch to monitor what is going on. Instead, they can be on the ground, remote from the welding process, using a computer with a keyboard to monitor and control the welding process, possibly even from a clean office environment! How cool would that be?

By adding automation and weld camera technology to the welding process, fabricators can better engage new welding apprentices entering the workforce to their welding roles with improved health and safety conditions, different ways to make their work more interesting and improved opportunities to learn. 

Topics: Education, Xiris, welding

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