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Lisa Colling

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Notes from Fabtech 2013

Posted by Lisa Colling on Thursday, December 12, 2013 @ 04:32 PM

The Fabtech show, held this year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, is the largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event in North America and we were pleased to be an exhibitor!

The show had 1,573 exhibitors and a total of 40,667 attendees from all over the world visiting the 650,000 square feet of exhibits.  Xiris had more than 180 companies from 22 countries stop by our booth to see our weld camera system and learn how it could be integrated into their equipment or processes.  In addition we were fortunate to have our cameras demonstrated in a variety of other exhibitor booths including: Airgas/Red-D-Arc, Koike, Praxair and Magnetic Analysis Corporation.

A predominate opinion from the Xiris staff attending the show was the high number of decision makers in attendance this year, which meant concrete conversations took place sounding advancement in the welding industry, including that of weld camera tecXiris Booth at Fabtech 2013hnology and the need for automated weld monitoring systems in their welding processes.

Similar to our experience at the Schweissen & Schneiden show in Essen, a main theme discussed was the trend of the industry towards automating welding processes and in particular ways the inclusion of weld cameras in an automated process can improve safety and productivity. 

 

Observations from the show:

  • New more powerful laser systems growing their market share of the welding and cutting markets by being able to match more and more traditional welding processes’ performance.

  • An increased number, from previous years, of discussions with people who have a definite interest in including weld camera technology in forthcoming projects.

  • Strengthened optimism and excitement about future opportunities and technologies for manufacturing and welding activities.

  • Attendees appreciated being able to experience firsthand any demonstrations of new technologies.  There were numerous automation displays throughout the show demonstrating process enhancement ideas. Automation seems to be one of the major developments in welding with more choices for manufacturers than ever before.

  • Considerable interest in automation’s role in enhancing health and safety conditions in the welding environment.  Particular interest in using cameras to remotely monitor the welding process and thereby improving the work environment for the operators.

  • Fabricators are more aware of, and committed to, improving productivity and safety in the welding environment and are actively seeking new technologies to support these initiatives.

 

Conclusion

We returned from Fabtech encouraged by the quality of attendees and size of the show and reassured that our role as a camera technology provider for automated and semi-automated welding systems is gaining widespread and positive acceptance.  We are excited to see that the welding industry is accelerating its move towards automation and that we are well positioned to meet the new requirements.

Topics: remote monitoring, weld camera, welding automation, Machine Vision

Expanding Weld Camera Reach

Posted by Lisa Colling on Friday, December 06, 2013 @ 02:17 PM

Having valuable and knowledgeable partners is a key component to Xiris’ success and where ever potential customers live we want to be able to assist them as efficiently as possible.

Therefore, Xiris has once again extended our reach into the global market place by signing Harbin Jinlifeng Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd (“Jinlifeng”) to be the exclusive Chinese distributor of Xiris productransparent globe 3 resized 600ts for the Welding Industry.

Xiris Automation Inc. specializes in developing Optical Metrology equipment for leading manufacturers around the world, including the XVC-O Weld Camera for open arc welding applications.

The XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging technology allows operators greater real-time visibility of the weld process than previously possible—significantly improving operator health and safety, weld quality, and productivity

Lin Li, President of Jinlifeng in Harbin, China, adds that “Xiris’ XVC-O camera technology is an important productivity and quality tool for many critical welding processes across China.  China represents the largest market for welding equipment in the world, so this is a very good product to introduce to China at this time”.

Jinlifeng aligns with our core focus on product quality, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement of technology; we welcome this great addition to our sales team and look forward to serving the Welding Industry in China.

Xiris has already delivered more than 2,000 vision systems to customers in over 30 countries around the world and we work with various representatives and agents to help us provide local sales and service.

To contact us for your personal demonstration, please call +1.905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email sales@xiris.com


Topics: camera selection, weld camera, welding automation, Machine Vision

Spreading Weld Camera Innovation Worldwide

Posted by Lisa Colling on Friday, November 22, 2013 @ 05:08 PM

Xiris is based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, near Toronto, but we’re a global company. No matter where you are in the world, we can provide you with the most-advanced Weld Cameras available.

Xiris offers its Weld Cameras with High Dynamic Range imaging across the globe.

Xiris’ XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging technology allows operators greater real-time visibility of the weld process than previously possible—significantly improving operator health and safety, weld quality, and productivity. We think this new technology has tremendous value for fabricators, and we want to spread it far and wide.

We work with machine builders and integrators all over the world in customizing the Xiris XVC-O Weld Camera to meet their needs for open arc welding applications, or the XVC-S for submerged arc welding applications.

We also work with various representatives and agents around the world to help us provide local sales and service in key regions.

As an example of our reach, we just signed Monitech Co., Ltd. in Korea to be the exclusive Korean distributor of Xiris Weld Cameras. Monitech’s president, David Hwang, called our Weld Cameras a “superior technology” for customers and expressed optimism that it will “contribute toward the field of welding.”

Monitech lives up to the high standards we look for in sales partners—experienced in weld quality monitoring and focused on continuous improvement.

Xiris has already delivered more than 2,000 vision systems to customers in over 30 countries around the world.

Technology knows no boundaries, and neither does Xiris.

To contact us for your personal demonstration, please call +1.905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email sales@xiris.com.

 

Image courtesy of shaire productions, Creative Commons

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, welding automation, Machine Vision

Using Weld Cameras to Monitor Pipe Cladding

Posted by Lisa Colling on Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 10:10 AM

Thanks to new developments in electronics and sensor technology, fabricators can now use specially designed Weld Cameras to monitor the pipe or pressure-vessel cladding process with better clarity than ever before. 

The higher-quality images of these Weld Cameras can provide numerous productivity, quality, and health and safety benefits to fabricators—as Xiris’ president, Cameron Serles, will explain at Fabtech 2013 on Tuesday, Nov.19, 2013.

Serles and Rob Stewart of LJ Welding Automation will be discussing the use of Weld Cameras for pipe cladding as part of Fabtech’s “Inspecting and Troubleshooting Welded Tube” education session. Several images and video clips of challenging pipe cladding applications will be shown, highlighting features of interest in the welding process and how they were successfully monitored using Xiris’ advanced Weld Cameras, the Xiris XVC-O and XVC-S.

 

ID pipe cladding shown using Xiris Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging.

XVC-O Image of TIG Pipe Cladding

 

While Weld Cameras are highly valuable in many applications, pipe cladding stands out as an application where a Weld Camera is essential. Often performed in difficult or hazardous working conditions, the cladding process benefits greatly from an operator being able to remotely monitor it using a Weld Camera. The environment of the cladding process is often complicated by:

  • Restricted operating sizes, such as small-diameter pipe or pressure vessels.
  • Elevated working temperatures that could reach as high as 700°F.
  • The need to not only see the definition of the welding arc, but also the detail, position, and quality of the weld bead that is generated during the cladding process, as well as its position relative to a previous clad layer.

However, Weld Cameras have traditionally produced poor-quality images that hampered their effectiveness. Fortunately, that technological limitation has been overcome with better technology so that the best Weld Cameras can now provide images with a degree of quality that enables operators to make in-process adjustments that enhance productivity and quality.

As to be discussed in a case study as part of the Fabtech presentation, LJ Automation has used both the XVC-O and XVC-S in creating a high-volume, heavy wall double-jointing pipe system for offshore riser pipe fabrication.

For the pulsed MIG root pass, LJ used the XVC-O Weld Camera, which features High Dynamic Range imaging. This technology allows operators to clearly see all the details of the weld scene, including both the extremely bright region of the open arc and the much-darker background region, without saturation.

 

LJ Automation system process shown in weld image captured by Xiris' XVC-O Weld Camera.

LJ System Seen Via XVC-O Weld Camera

 

For the Submerged Arc Weld fill, LJ used the XVC-S, a specially designed low-light Weld Camera that provides high-quality, color images of the dim environment of the SAW process.

LJ reports that its system tripled productivity on the case-study project, reducing cycle times from eight hours to less than three hours!

Conclusion

Weld Cameras with the latest technology can provide fabricators with numerous benefits in pipe cladding, including:

  • Greater visibility of the seam and other weld details.
  • Early detection of defects.
  • The capability for “on the fly” adjustments.
  • Increased arc “on-time.”
  • Faster weld head set-up.
  • Improved safety and health.
  • A video record for troubleshooting, training, and process improvement.  

Xiris is pleased to join LJ to discuss these benefits at Fabtech. If you’re attending, we hope you’ll attend the education session on Nov. 19 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in room S405B, as well as stop by the Xiris exhibit at booth #N2217.

If you’re not going to be at Fabtech, please call 905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email us at sales@xiris.com to set up a personal demonstration of a Xiris Weld Camera.

Topics: remote monitoring, weld camera, weld environment, Tube and Pipe welding

Don't Miss the Latest Weld Camera Technology at Fabtech 2013

Posted by Lisa Colling on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 @ 12:54 PM

At Xiris, we love new technology. As engineers, we get excited when we see new, better ways of doing things.

Fabtech 2013 will feature the latest in automated welding technology.

That’s why we’re so eagerly awaiting Fabtech 2013, which is being held Nov. 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. More than 35,000 attendees and 1,500 exhibiting companies are expected at this year’s Fabtech, making it North America’s largest event for the metal forming,  fabricating, welding and finishing industry. 

Fabtech is an annual highlight for us—not only because it’s a chance to share Xiris’ innovations, but also because we get to check out all the other new technologies on display. We learn and get inspired.

You can find Xiris at booth #N2217, where we’ll be demonstrating our XVC-O Weld Camera with High Dynamic Range imaging, which allows operators to monitor the entire weld process in real time, with a clear view of both the super-bright arc and the dark background. This video previews what you can learn about this valuable emerging technology at our booth.

Xiris will exhibit its Weld Cameras for remote weld monitoring at Fabtech 2013.The XVC-O will also be featured in the booths of Magnetic Analysis Corp. (#S3503), and Praxair (#N1432). Meanwhile, Xiris’s XVC-S Weld Camera for Sub Arc Welding will be shown at the booths of Airgas/Red-D-Arc (#N1174) and Koike (#N806).

Both the XVC-O and XVC-S can increase output, lower costs, and improve quality for fabricators. On Tuesday (Nov. 19), from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Room S405B, our president, Cameron Serles, will be discussing these benefits in relation to pipe cladding applications.More details on the presentation are here.  

If you’re planning to be at Fabtech, we know that it means you care about leading-edge technology just as we do. We look forward to seeing you there and sharing in the enthusiasm!

If you’d like to set up a personal demonstration of our Weld Cameras, please call 905.331.6660 ext. 258 or email us at sales@xiris.com.


Images courtesy of Fabtech.

Topics: camera selection, weld camera, High Dynamic Range, Tube and Pipe welding

Automated Inspection Systems Used In Optical Disc Manufacturing

Posted by Lisa Colling on Friday, June 14, 2013 @ 05:15 PM

CD/DVD manufacturers are finding that today’s customers demand blemish-free discs, picture-perfect disc image quality, and shipments with no mix-ups such as discs with the wrong image or in the wrong packaging.

Cd replicationAutomated inspections systems play a crucial role in enabling optical disc manufacturers to meet these expectations. Using a camera to acquire an image and a computer to process the image, these systems determine if an object in the image meets acceptance criteria.

This allows optical disc manufacturers to ensure that:

  • Discs have no defects such as warping and surface-related defects resulting from the printing process.
  • Discs have the right images on them.
  • Images have no color variation.
  • Images adhere to original specifications.
  • Discs are in the right packaging.
  • Discs are correctly oriented in the packaging.

Several types of automated inspection systems—surface inspection, Ident code verification, print inspection, and disc orientation—are being used to achieve the quality control standards necessary to be competitive in today’s market.

Surface Inspection

This system detects defects that appear on the read-side surface. It includes applications such as:

  • Detecting birefringence, tilt, and warp across the disc.
  • Detecting surface defects such as dents, cuts, and scratches on large surface areas.
  • Inspecting the metallization area for pinholes, blemishes, or color variation.

Ident Code Verification

This system reads and verifies the bar code or alphanumeric code etched into the hub on the back of a prerecorded disc. By verifying the Ident code, you can:

  • Verify that the correct disc is in place prior to printing a label on it.
  • Verify that the correct disc is inserted into the appropriate package.
  • Sort discs into categories based on their Ident code.
  • Verify readability of printed codes and characters etched into the disc.

Print Inspection 

Print inspection involves performing a pixel-by-pixel comparison between a learned good image and running discs. The task is to look for a variation from the expected or ideal image quality. With a single inspection system, defects can be detected in print image quality, surface quality, and other defect types, including the detection of:

  • Pinholes, color shifts, ghosting/feathering, missing/excessive ink, and watermarks in print image quality.
  • Squeegee marks, scratches/dust, raised print, print thickness variations, and dents/bumps in surface quality.
  • CD-R spectral ink, CMYK comparison, center-hub print defects, and metal-area defects.

Disc Orientation

Determination of a disc’s orientation prior to adding value to the disc in printing or packaging. Applications for this system include:

  • Detecting disc orientation prior to printing to ensure that special molded or laser-etched features are visible after printing.
  • Detecting disc orientation prior to packaging to ensure that the disc is correctly oriented relative to the graphics and packaging.

Conclusion

An automated inspection solution that includes all of these systems—using the most-advanced camera and imaging technology—can not only help optical disc manufacturers survive, it can help them increase output rates, reduce waste costs, and earn customer confidence that leads to repeat business.

 

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.

Topics: quality control, image processing, optical disc manufacturing

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