The Xiris Blog

Dean Zhao

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Successful Show in Beijing for Xiris!

Posted by Dean Zhao on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 @ 01:55 PM

Xiris Automation Inc. exhibited at the XVC-O Weld View Camera in this year's Beijing Essen Welding Show. The show started June 10th and ended on June 13th, 2014 with an estimated 25,000 visitors from 50 different countries attending the large venue.  Ninety percent of these visitors were reported from China, and the remaining 10% were international visitors

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This year's show was a very unique opportunity for Xiris, as the use of weld cameras is new to China.  This allowed us an advantage within the fast paced Chinese market to establish many new relationships with both machine builders and end users alike.  The show was a late addition to Xiris' busy tradeshow schedule this 2014 season. Therefore our booth was not in our preferred location, but to our immense pleasure, this did not deter any interest in the Xiris XVC-O camera. There was an enormous turn-out and many discussions with potential customers.  With both new and repeat customers in attendance, the booth was constantly crowded with interested prospective clients.

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This demand and fascination with our product was due to the unique qualities of the XVC-O in the industry.  It is a perfect solution for monitoring many different welding processes, and perfect for welding professionals.  In China, as elsewhere, System integrators and general fabricators are constantly fighting to differentiate themselves from the intense competition in the industry. The Xiris XVC-O could be the key. Our camera can provide enough image clarity to monitor the entire welding process including both the brightness of the welding arc and its darker background.

Be sure to check out our website for full event details, and stay tuned for more updates on new products, sources, and pictures on all of our social media. We are now on Google+, as well as LinedIn and Twitter.

Topics: weld camera, weld inspection, welding automation, Welding Process, Xiris, welding, Trade Show

See Xiris in Beijing June 10-13, 2014.

Posted by Dean Zhao on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 @ 03:00 PM

Since signing Harbin Jinlifeng Co. Ltd as our distributor for China in January this year, Xiris has established success in selling a few Xiris XVC-O weld camera systems to Chinese customers. To support our expanding business in China, Xiris will exhibit in the 2014 Beijing Essen Welding and Cutting Fair from June 10 – 13 alongside our local partner, Harbin Jinlifeng.

The Beijing Essen Welding and Cutting Fair is one of the world’s leading welding exhibitions, it is the largest and the most influential welding trade fair held in China each year.  In 2013 the fair had almost 25,000 visitors from over 50 countries, and over 1,000 exhibitors from 28 countries.  Anticipating an even bigger show this year, Xiris expects to be very busy!

Come visit us at Booth# E1710 in Hall E1 of the show, where we will be demonstrating the XVC-O weld camera for Open Arc welding, and the XVC-S weld camera for Submerged Arc welding. Using leading-edge technology our XVC-O weld camera has an extremely high dynamic range sensor, which allows the operator to see both the weld arc, and its surrounding background simultaneously.  Equipped with an HMI console and monitor, the XVC-O allows the operator to remotely view the weld information up to 40 m away. This means the operator can monitor, and record, the weld process for online or offline viewing.  The system is enclosed in a cooled, durable housing to allow the camera to work in extremely harsh environments.

We are looking forward to the show, and hope you will stop by to see what our weld cameras can do!

See you in Beijing!

 

beijing

Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld inspection, Machine Vision, Xiris, High Dynamic Range, Sub Arc welding, Trade Show, distributor

Xiris Goes to China!

Posted by Dean Zhao on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 @ 12:03 PM

Xiris has extended its salesforce into the world’s largest and fastest growing market – China.

After signing Harbin Jinlifeng Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd (Jinlifeng) to be the exclusive Chinese distributor of Xiris Products for the welding industry, Cameron Serles, President of Xiris, decided to visit our new Chinese partner in January 2014 along with Dean Zhao, Project Manager for the weld camera product line.

We arrived at Harbin, China, in early January to -25°C temperatures!  Dr. Sanbao Lin, the Vice Director of the State Key Laboratories for Advanced Welding and Joining (State Key Lab), met us at the airport.  Dr. Lin is well known in the Chinese welding community as a welding pioneer and consultant to many companies in different industries across China such as aerospace, nuclear, ship building, automotive, tube mills etc.  His research team is specialized in arc welding techniques and welding process monitoring and control.

Our trip began by visiting the State Key Lab of welding. This lab is part of Harbin Institute of Technology which is one of the top ranked universities in China. The lab was the first welding lab established in China, equipped with all kinds of welding related equipment available from all over the world.  Now, the lab will be equipped with one more piece of welding equipment – the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera System.  We installed and tested our XVC-O Weld Cameras on a number of welding setups: MIG, tandem MIG, TIG, Plasma on aluminum and MIG on aluminum. We demonstrated the system to various graduate students and trained them how the system works. They were able to see features previously not possible:  the wire feeds in a tandem MIG welding process, the keyhole in plasma welding, weld puddles and weld pools in both MIG and TIG welding. 

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L to R:  Cameron Serles – President, Xiris Automation Inc / Dr.Lin - Vice Director of the State Key Laboratories for Advanced Welding and Joining of Harbin China / Dean Zhao – Project Manager, Xiris Automaton Inc.

The following day, we visited Harbin Welding Institute (HWI), the largest welding research & development institute in China. HWI has two major subsidiaries: welding material development and welding automation equipment division, one of the largest welding automation companies in China. Headquarters of the China Welding Association, Chinese Welding Society, and Chinese Committee for Welding Standardization are all located in HWI. We met the general manager of HWI’s welding automation group, Mr. Zhang and the sales manager of both groups, Mr. Wu. We introduced Xiris and Xiris weld products to HWI. HWI also gave us an introduction of the institute and took us to their automation shop. They showed us various welding automation projects, including small diameter pipe cladding, underwater laser cutting for the nuclear industry, and multi-torch welding systems. Roughly they had about 30 projects on their floor to be shipped to their customers in the next few months.

Later in the day, we met the general manager of Jinlifeng, Ms. Li. Jinlifeng is specialized in reselling industrial computers and related equipment and will be our distributor for China.

Summary of our findings in our Harbin Trip:

  • Harbin is the centre for welding in China, with famous institutions like State Key Lab and HWI there.
  • China’s welding market is enormous with the huge amount of infrastructure being built.
  • There is a lot of semi-automated welding equipment be used in China. Some of these systems are now being slowly transformed into fully automated welding processes.
  • There is some good technology being developed and used in China for welding!

Topics: weld camera, Laser welding, welding automation, Sub Arc welding, labor market, Harbin

High Temperatures? No Problem for the XVC-O Weld Camera

Posted by Dean Zhao on Friday, November 08, 2013 @ 02:49 PM

Some specialized welding processes, such as Orbital Welding processes used at nuclear power generation facilities, are done in a high-temperature environment where the base metal is often preheated to over 260° C (500° F) to ensure proper welding occurs. To be able to properly monitor the process, a Weld Camera should be used, but it has to be able to operate in the high-temperature environment.

To make sure the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera could operate under such conditions, we put it to the test in our laboratory.

We placed the XVC-O in a high-temperature cooling kit that included a thermal blanket and air cooling, and then we subjected it to a temperature of 278° C (532° F) for four hours in a heat chamber.

 

The Xiris Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging is placed in a heat chamber for testing.

Cooking the XVC-O!

 

By applying cooling air into the cooling unit, we kept the interior of the XVC-O within a comfortable operating temperature of less than 40°C (104°F) through the entire four hours using only 0.275 m3/minute (roughly 9 CFM) of airflow —more air could have kept the camera even cooler.

 

The Xiris XVC-O stays cool in extreme heat using a cooling kit.

Our Cooling Kit kept the XVC-O at below 40° C.

 

The result of our experiment proves what we expected— that an XVC-O equipped with such a cooling kit will be able to function effectively over long periods of time, even in the excessively high temperatures of nuclear power generation facilities.

This is good news for the nuclear power industry because the harsh environment inside nuclear facilities calls for Weld Cameras to be used to monitor the welding process, so that operators can monitor welds from a safe, remote location, away from higher levels of radiation. 

If the weld camera has High Dynamic Range imaging capability (such as the XVC-O), operators can clearly view in real time the entire visual range of the weld scene, including both the super-bright arc and the much darker background. This enhanced weld visibility can facilitate substantial productivity and quality assurance improvements to the welding process.

The high-temperature testing we did in preparation for the XVC-O’s use in nuclear facilities is just one example of Xiris’s commitment to continually testing our products to ensure they work in the most extreme of welding conditions. You can also read our blog on how the XVC-O performed when we tested it in extreme cold.

Topics: remote monitoring, camera selection, weld camera, weld environment

10 Essential Elements of a Weld Camera

Posted by Dean Zhao on Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 04:18 PM

A Weld Camera is designed to help welding professionals monitor the welding process on the fly. Its ultimate goal is to provide the operator with a real-time image that provides at least as much visual guidance as direct monitoring using a welding helmet.

With the right Weld Camera system, the resulting images can actually provide more information to operators than they can get from direct monitoring. These high-detail images can not only be used for immediate process adjustments; the video record can be reviewed for continuous improvement and for instruction.

To gain these advantages, selecting the best Weld Camera technology is critical because there is a wide disparity of effectiveness among the options on the market.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but when evaluating Weld Cameras, these are 10 essential elements to consider:

  1. High Dynamic Range Sensor. Does the Camera have a High Dynamic Range that exceeds 140 dB? That range is roughly equal to 10,000,000: 1 contrast ratio, which is the minimum range often present between the arc and the surrounding background in normal welding applications. High Dynamic Range imaging capability allows a Weld Camera to provide high-quality images even when the arc isn’t on, helping operators to properly align the electrode/wire feed with the weld seam in pre-weld setup.
  2. Advanced image processing. Even with the best camera technology, a Weld Camera needs to feed into advanced image processing software to enhance the acquired images with additional clarity to make out the necessary detail in the weld process. The software’s capabilities should include image sharpening and the elimination of electrical noise.
  3. Global shutter.  Most welding processes incorporate an arc that pulsates in brightness. A global shutter is an image-acquisition process in which the entire image is exposed and read out at one time—providing consistent image brightness across the entire image and minimizing localized artifacts that could result from variations in movement or brightness while the frame is being exposed.
  4. Cooling. In normal welding situations, the ambient temperature can be high, requiring additional cooling to help the Weld Camera run within specification. To appeal to all types of manufacturing environments, the Weld Camera should be able to work with both air and liquid cooling processes.
  5. Mounting flexibility. Due to the limitation of the space and weld setup, a Weld Camera head should be easy to mount so that the operator is able to monitor the weld scene at various angles to obtain optimal weld view.
  6. Remote focus control. Even the best mechanical designs require a final adjustment.  Sometimes a Weld Camera gets installed in areas that are difficult to access and/or dangerous. In such cases, manually adjusting the camera focus is not practical, especially during the arc-on time. A remote focus feature can overcome this challenge, allowing the operator to adjust the focus from a remote screen.
  7. Video Recording. The ability to record the acquired video of the welding process and review it offline at a later time can provide numerous advantages to the fabricator, including the ability to audit a welding process for quality control, process improvement, customer retention, and operator education.
  8. Zoom Feature. A zoom image feature that is capable of generating a magnified field of view greatly helps users to identify small details in key areas of the weld environment, such as weld seam alignment and fit up, weld torch positioning, weld pool formation, keyhole formation, and even weldment or electrode contamination.
  9. Crosshairs/Targets. In many instances, production efficiency can be greatly enhanced with a graphical overlay on the video image, with a set of crosshairs or targets in a fixed position. In situations such as internal pipe cladding, for example, operators may use two sets of crosshairs to indicate the overlay distance of the weld and its minimum and maximum position.
  10. Auxiliary Light Source. To allow imaging of the weld environment when the arc is off, such as when setting up the position of the arc tip to the weld seam, a built-in light source is needed to provide additional lighting that can be remotely controlled. A built-in light source will help reduce the set-up times of the weld, eliminating extra effort an operator would otherwise have to make to change the lighting each time the arc is off.

To learn more about the Xiris View Camera for Open Arc Welding (XVC-O) please visit our website

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, welding automation

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