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Justin Grahn

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Using a Camera for Welding R&D, Part 2: Filler Wire

Posted by Justin Grahn on Wednesday, September 09, 2015 @ 03:09 PM

Most non-Autogenous welding processes use an external filler wire that is added to the process to help fill a large weld gap or provide a wide cladding area. The type of wire, size, metallurgical properties, type of coring, feed speed and angle are just some of the process parameters fabricators want to monitor to ensure their welding process is proven. But how to do it? A number of welding researchers have turned to the Xiris XVC-1000 Weld camera to get better images of their welding process to understand exactly what is happening.

For example, using a Xiris XVC-1000 Weld camera can help researchers monitor key features of any filler wire feeding process:


1) Analyze how well the filler wire withstands its feeding process through a variety of welding processes such as high speed travel and side to side weaving processes:Sept_9_High_Speed_wire_feed_causes_an_inconsistent_start_throwing_pieces_of_wire_1.jpg

High speed wire feed causes an inconsistent start, throwing pieces of wire


2) Monitor how well the wire is positioned relative to the weld:

Wire feed walking off center



3) Monitor how well the wire is being fed and if there is any damage to the wire during feeding

Wire damage is clearly evident



4) Monitor the timing of the wire feeding. This is particularly important during welds of short duration such as laser welding where it is important to analyze the timing of the wire delivery relative to the weld process. In the example shown below, a frame-by-frame analysis was done to observe the timing and interactions between the laser, wire feed, and robot positioning:

The wire touches the plate early


The laser turns on at the proper time; the wire feed has not yet started


The wire feed finally catches up


The wire feed turns off and the head begins to rise with the laser still on


The above examples are just some of the areas where a weld camera can be used to help with the process and product development of what type of wire and what parameters to use for specific types of non-autogenous welding.

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can augment your R&D processes, visit 

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Topics: weld camera, XVC Weld Camera, R&D

Using a Camera for Welding R&D, Part 1: Powder Spray

Posted by Justin Grahn on Friday, August 21, 2015 @ 01:08 PM

Cladding processes that use powder spray incorporate a variety of technologies such as powder welding, plasma spray, PTA (plasma transferred arc) and laser cladding.  These processes have similar elements where a plasma or laser arc provides the heat source one or more nozzles around the arc that dispense the powder.

Using a Xiris Weld camera can help researchers monitor two key features of any powder spray operation:

  • Monitor the amount of powder that is wasted once it has left the nozzle(s), i.e. how much powder bounces off the weld puddle or work piece without becoming adhered; and
  • Monitor the distribution and flow of powder, during process, to ensure an even & consistent distribution.

Ensure your R&D process is providing you the most information by adding a weld camera!

 Laser Powder Spray Process Development


Would you like to see what the Xiris XVC-1000 has to offer?  Subscribe to the Weld Video of the Month Club to receive exclusive video content recorded by our own XVC-1000

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For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit 

Topics: weld camera, XVC Weld Camera, Powder Spray, R&D

Improving Tank Manufacturing Safety with Cameras

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 @ 02:00 PM

Large tank manufacturing can be a difficult process.  Welding together large pieces of formed metal to make round tanks and pressure vessels can be technically challenging.  Typically, manufacturers will implement automatic welding equipment that needs to be constantly monitored in order to ensure that it is operating as optimally as possible.  As automatic as most of the machines are on the market today, there still is a need for operators to monitor the weld process for a number of issues, namely:

  • Adjusting the rotational speed of the tank components being welded;
  • Adjusting the feed speed of the wire as it goes to the weld head;
  • Adjusting the weld head for seam alignment because the tank metal components are not perfectly round.


Automatic Tank Fabrication

Often, operators are used to physically monitor the welding process directly at the weld site.  This can be a significant safety hazard, especially when using large column and boom welding equipment inside the tanks as the operators can be confined to tight spaces when monitoring the weld and be exposed to multiple toxic fumes.  A simple solution can be implemented to solve this problem: a Xiris XVC Weld Camera. This camera can be mounted on to the weld head allowing the operator can to monitor the welding process remotely, from a safe location outside the tank.


This Weld Camera solution was recently installed at a large tank manufacturer.  Prior to implementing the camera, the manufacturer had their operators monitor the weld process directly inside the tank.  Forced to lie flat beside the welding boom to be able to see the welding process as the tank rotated under them, the operators could potentially slip or fall and hit the boom, hot weld seam or bead.  In addition, the operators had to wear extensive personal protection equipment (PPE) and a heavy duty ventilation system had to be installed in order to remove smoke and fumes from the weld process and bring fresh air into the tank in order to protect staff from exposure.  By installing the Weld camera, the manufacturer avoided health and safety issues and made the work of welding a much more comfortable and appealing experience for the operators.


The Result

The customer decided to implement a Xiris XVC Weld Camera as part of their overall automation equipment upgrade.  In the words of one of their technicians, the Xiris camera was “the most important part of the upgrade” as it allowed, for the first time, the operator to monitor the welding process remotely.  Now, ventilation equipment is no longer required and the operator can sit in a chair outside of the tank, wear no protective equipment or ventilation equipment, and view a monitor, which  provides better visibility of the weld; allowing for better   control of the weld process.

Would you like to see what the Xiris XVC-1000 has to offer?  Subscribe to the Weld Video of the Month Club to receive exclusive video content recorded by our own XVC-1000

Subscribe Now

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit 

Topics: weld camera, XVC Weld Camera, Tank Manufacturing

Seeing Detail in Plasma Cutting and Welding Processes

Posted by Justin Grahn on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 @ 03:25 PM

Using a Xiris high dynamic range Weld Camera to see the detail of a Plasma Cutting or Welding process can provide more information for the operator than was ever possible before. With a huge dynamic range of imaging possible, the camera can acquire a clear view of the super bright plasma arc as well as its immediate background. Details, such as the smoothness of the cutting line and the form of the melted material kerf left after the plasma, are easily observed. With this type of image available from a Xiris Weld Camera, operators are able to better control the plasma process with images generated such as the following:



View of the Plasma Arc, Cutting line and Melted Kerf


In addition to providing clearer details, the Weld Camera can also be used as a process research tool to study the plasma torch to determine how well the gas and electric charges are being transmitted from the electrode and nozzle to the workpiece.

To understand how the Xiris XVC-1000 Weld Camera can be used as a process research tool, first some background of the basic principle of how a plasma torch is used to superheat gas:

A plasma arc begins by initiating a high frequency electric charge in an electrode, negative in charge relative to the workpiece to be cut or welded. The electrode itself sits inside a head through which a mixture of gasses is injected around the electrode and out through a nozzle. The gas used is usually a mixture of common gasses such as oxygen, nitrogen and other trace elements. The gas becomes ionized and turns into plasma as it travels over the highly charged electrode, creating a conductive path between the electrode and the workpiece. This ionization allows an electric arc to jump between the electrode and workpiece, much like a bolt of lightning. The gas comes out of the orifice in a high speed vortex, swelling as it exits the orifice, which allows it to be very well controlled so that the flow can be tightly focused or confined on a particular spot. Once focused, the plasma melts or erodes the workpiece to perform the cutting or welding process of the material.


April_14__The_Plasma_ProcessThe Plasma Process

(courtesy of


When using the Xiris XVC-1000 weld camera, Area of Interest (AOI) imaging can be used to view only a portion of the screen, but at much higher frame rates. If the frame rate gets high enough, it is possible to see some of the flow of the electric arc and plasma/gas to and from the substrate. Such imaging capability can provide information about: how well the Plasma arc is controlled into a beam, the rate at which the gas is moving in a vortex as it exits the nozzle, the forming of the plasma, and other parameters.



The Xiris XVC Weld Camera is a powerful tool to image Plasma welding and cutting applications. Beyond monitoring the Plasma process for quality control, the XVC-1000 can also provide valuable process details; key for research into better Plasma cutting and welding techniques.

Topics: welding, Plasma, cutting

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