The Xiris Blog

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

LASIMM project goes live with Xiris Automation

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Lasimm Machine

 

The Large Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM) project is now live and ready to build large 3D printed metal structures for construction. The machine is the first of its kind and is predicted to keep Europe's manufacturing industry as a leading competitor in the global market. The project highlights a milling robot – the first for additive manufacturing of aluminum and steel - to integrate seamlessly additive, subtractive, metrology and cold work applications into a single machine. 

LASIMM will enable the creation of mixed-material structures by using similar and incompatible substances along with  software to generate tool paths and machine sequences. The machine will ensure the component's structural integrity by allowing in-process, non-destructive testing and restoration of defects. 

Xiris partnered with Cranfield University, a defining member of the project, and delivered the XVC-1000 HDR Weld Camera as an inspection solution for LASIMM. We are honoured to contribute to this project and are excited to see the results of the project and the impact LASIMM will have on Europe's additive manufacturing industry. 

Topics: weld camera, Education, High Dynamic Range, manufacturing, applications, XVC Weld Camera, HDR, weld camera system, consistent, inspection

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Relies on XVC 1000

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 @ 01:00 AM

Recently, Xiris had the pleasure of working with the Additive Manufacturing Laboratory (AML) team at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.   AML has been using the XVC 1000 camera to assist with its metal additive manufacturing automation process.  AML has used CCD cameras in the past, but according to Joshua Hammell, Research Scientist and AML Lab Manager, “the high dynamic range of the XVC-1000, provides orders of magnitude more information about the process, while removing the need for different optical filters during cold alignment and high temperature processing. This is a major advantage for process automation.” 

The XVC 1000 has been an essential tool for machine and process development, saving the team at AML a great deal of time and money.  The initial plan for the camera was for laboratory use only; however, AML has since decided that the cameras will be integrated into all of its metal additive manufacturing systems for process monitoring during production. 

Details of the current AML process are very confidential but AML has granted us permission to show an older process development video taken with the XVC 1000…

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help with your manufacturing processes, please visit Xiris.com 

Sign up to receive our Weld Video of the Month

Topics: weld camera, welding automation, Education, welding, laser additive manufacturing, additive manufacturing

Weld.com Partners with Xiris Automation

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 @ 10:42 AM

Weld.com_Partners_with_Xiris.png

 

Weld.com is a one of the welding industry’s fastest growing online resources.  Their new weekly series entitled MIG Mondays aims to educate welders on all aspects of MIG welding.  Weld.com approached Xiris Automation when they wanted to replace their existing weld camera with one of much higher quality and they were amazed by the clarity and precision of the XVC-1000.  In order to understand exactly what is happening during the welding process, professional welders are embracing High Dynamic Range camera technology to see their processes in great detail.

Visit Weld.com to see the latest episode of MIG Mondays, as Paul and Justin discuss the applications, benefits and more of the XVC-1000 series HDR cameras.

http://weld.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9qpqKdvH6o

Topics: weld camera, Laser welding, Education, High Dynamic Range, mig welding

Bring Welding Education into the 21st Century with Weld Cameras!

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, August 05, 2014 @ 04:28 PM

One of the biggest problems instructors face when teaching welding students is demonstrating proper welding techniques in a way that all students can see them.  The traditional solution has been to repeat the demonstration over and over to small groups of students so that everyone can see and understand what is going on.  This causes instructors to battle time pressure to perform all the required welding demonstrations within the limited number of class hours available.  Another problem with this solution is that students may not all see the same issues, or get the same level of explanation.  But that was with the traditional solution, and the 21st century brings better solutions for such issues.

NAIT Installed side

An example of the Xiris XVC-O View Camera, installed at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

Today, progressive welding educators do not need to face these century old issues.  By implementing a weld camera that can view the huge range of brightness present in an open arc welding environment (including the weld arc and its darker surrounding background), welding schools and colleges can provide their students with a clear view of the weld process. This allows instructors to explain and demonstrate what is really happening with the weld arc, as well as its immediate environment (such as the weld seam, weld pool, shielding gas, wire feed and other inputs).  Furthermore, this allows students to receive the same demonstrations and explanations of one weld, and provides a more consistent teaching method for welding educators.

By using a camera that can generate a clear view of the weld parameters, educators can get better use of their facilities as they can train more students in less time. They can also eliminate space restrictions of larger classes, enhance students’ basic understanding of the welding process, and enhance their school’s reputation amongst prospective students with the addition of small but evolutionary camera.

For the students, the implementation of a welding camera can create a more enjoyable learning experience, requiring less time to gain the skills needed, and raise the perception of welding as an advanced trade and skill. 

By using a weld camera, educators can create new ways to deliver education, such as recording videos of good quality welds for off-line review by students. These videos can also be used for marking or testing purposes, and the implementation of 21st century learning technique: online learning of welding processes!

For more information about our educator packages, prices and offers, please visit our website or contact us directly at sales@xiris.com

Topics: weld camera, weld environment, welding instruction, Education

How to Get the Best View of an Open Arc Weld

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, July 17, 2014 @ 06:00 PM

Attaining a good image of a weld and the surrounding background has been a struggle ever since video cameras for welding became available.  The problem has always been the range of brightness that occurs during welding: the ratio between the maximum and minimum light intensity is usually too great for a standard camera to measure properly.  Standard cameras on the market today can typically measure about 1,000 levels of brightness between the maximum and minimum light levels in an image.  However, in a typical open arc welding environment, there is a brightness range that can exceed 10,000,000 levels of brightness between the brightest portion of the welding arc, and the darker areas surrounding the weld.  Using a standard camera to image such a weld will create an image similar to the image below on the left, where the camera sensor will image the scene up to a point and then saturate when it gets too bright. This causes the bright areas of the image to appear as a white blur.

 

To solve this problem, Xiris Automation has developed the XVC-O View Camera that uses advanced electronics with logarithmic sensitivity to be able to see more than 10,000,000 levels of brightness in an image.  As a result, more image detail is visible than ever seen before. The detail of the weld arc, the shielding gas, weld pool, torch tip, and weld seam can all clearly be seen.  The image below on the right is an image taken from the XVC-O camera of an open arc welding process. The weld arc is no longer saturated and is clearly visible as is the detail of the background, providing better quality information for the weld operator.

 

GOOOOOOD resized 600       Standard Camera Image of a Weld                      Xiris XVC-O Camera Image of a Weld

With the ability to see more detail of the weld arc and the surrounding environment, welding technicians are able to use the XVC-O to better control their welding processes through better quality assurance and process feedback. 

To see examples of the video quality possible with the XVC-O across a variety of welding processes and materials, please see our Weld Video Library here.

 

Topics: weld camera, weld inspection, Laser welding, welding automation, weld environment, Machine Vision, image processing, Education, Welding Process, weld video, Xiris, image contrast

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