The Xiris Blog

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.

Xiris_Oct19_090


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

What Does Welding Sound Like? SMAW

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, December 03, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

“Most welding shop foremen who interview welders give them a weld test and know from halfway across the shop by the sound of the weld if that welder will pass the test.”1 This quote from GoWelding.org highlights how important sound is in welding. This is why our team at Xiris has added audio monitoring to our popular weld cameras.
SMAW- Audio in Welding

Since launching our audio package, we have been diving into audio monitoring in more detail, talking about how monitoring audio can benefit operators and what to listen for in GMAW and GTAW. Today, we’re looking—and listening—in more detail to SMAW, or stick welding.

Like GMAW, SMAW should sound like cooking bacon.2 If the arc sounds overly loud, your amperage might be set too high.3

To set up your welder, strike an arc and listen to the crackle of the rod. Adjust the power setting (amperage) until you hear the sound of bacon or eggs frying.2

It may take years for welders to amass the experience necessary to recognize what quality welds sound like. As you are welding, it is important to pay attention to the sound of your stick welds. Soon, you will be able to determine if you have a quality weld.

This video shows SMAW in action and shares what it sounds like in a variety of situations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akvv4ApYMVE.

 

 

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Sources: 

1http://gowelding.org/welding/stick-smaw/

2https://quizlet.com/125850644/welding-smaw-shielded-metal-arc-welding-flash-cards/

3https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/five-steps-to-improving-your-stick-welding-technique

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

Using Pseudo Color to Highlight Features in Welding

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 @ 11:45 AM

Weld cameras can produce color and monochrome images. Often monochrome images are selected as they provide the best resolution for a wide variety of applications. The monochrome images generated by the camera are often further processed to make the informational detail of the weld process more useful and interesting to the observer.

Usually, a tone mapping process is applied to the weld camera images to provide an enhanced image with maximum contrast for the user, such as what is done with images from the Xiris XVC-1000 weld camera. However, sometimes an additional technique called pseudo coloring can be done on the tone mapped image to provide additional visibility of key features to the user.

 

Pseudo coloring is when each grey level (or intensity value) in a monochrome image is assigned a color. The resulting image can make the identification of certain features easier for the observer, as the perceived difference in color space for the operator is bigger than between successive grey levels alone. Details such as the leading edge of a melt pool, the boundary between a torch and weld arc, the interface between the weld arc and the melt pool, or the texture of the melt pool can all be made more visible to the operator using pseudo coloring.


Monochrome Image from a TIG Weld

TIG Weld with Pseudo Coloring
Monochrome Image from a TIG Weld Same Image, with Pseudo Coloring

 

Why bother with pseudo coloring? You might think that your images look just fine in black and white, right? And they probably do. However, in some welding applications, adding color to an image can make it much easier to distinguish between different objects especially when they are almost the same level of intensity such as in the images above. Try it in WeldStudio™, Xiris’ software utility for weld cameras, to see if it helps.

 

 

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Topics: quality control, weld camera, High Dynamic Range, HDR, pseudo color

What Does Welding Sound Like? GTAW

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

To accompany the launch of Xiris’ new audio monitoring technology, we are continuing our series about sound in welding. So far, we have covered the announcement of our audio monitoring equipment, benefits of adding audio to your weld camera, and sound in GMAW

Today we are investigating sound in GTAW, or TIG welding.
GTAWGTAW is typically characterized by a high-pitched hum or buzz.1

The polarity of the electrical current—whether it’s AC or DC—affects sound in TIG. AC TIG is much louder than DC. As amperage increases, welding noise will also increase.2

At lower frequencies, you will hear a slow pulse sound as you weld. One operator described it as “Braaap, Braaap, Braaap.” As the power frequency increases, such as to 80-90 hz, the sound becomes “sharper:” “BRAP, BRAP.” With the frequency between 100-120 hz, the “brap” sound becomes a whine. At this point, the arc is moving much more quickly, going from positive to negative hundreds of times a second.2

As in GMAW, sound in GTAW can alert operators to mistakes or faults in their welding.

For example, a torch-to-workpiece angle greater than 20-25 degrees may cause a popping sound as well as poor weld quality.3 A high pitched buzzing sound can signify lower penetration of the heat into the parent material.4

An important consideration in monitoring sound in welding is the environment that you’re working in. Each shop or factory has its own unique acoustics. Some frequencies may echo and welding machines can seem very loud or sound different depending on where they’re located.

For this reason, it is important to spend time assessing your welds, monitoring your equipment and learning what a good weld sounds like in your facility.

Watch a video of welding aluminum with GTAW, and how the frequency settings change the sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzsfBV6_vNY

 

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Sources: 

1https://weldtalk.hobartwelders.com/forum/weld-talk-topic-archive/welding-processes/12469-a-few-questions-on-tig

2https://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?23153-AC-TIG-Aluminum-Noise

3https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/welding-discussions/3973-sound-of-tig-welding

4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzsfBV6_vNY

 

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

Using Weld Cameras to Reduce Health Risks

Posted by Robin Montgomery on Thursday, October 03, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

High Dynamic Range (HDR) weld cameras provide clear images of a welding process including detail of the weld arc as well as the darker surrounding background environment, making it easy to monitor and control precise welding processes. Not only do weld cameras enable operators to see more detail of the welding process, by allowing them to see it remotely, they can improve the health and safety of operators on the job and reduce workplace costs associated with safety.

 

Common on-the-job risks that can be eliminated by removing the operator from the immediate welding environment include:

·         electrical shock 

·         "welding eye" (direct exposure of the weld arc to the human eye)

·         contact with weld spatter

·         injuries from moving or falling objects 

·         welding fume inhalation

 

Many of these risks can cause serious damage to a weld operator. It is proven that workers exposed to welding fumes are more likely to develop lung cancer than those who are not1. Adding a weld camera eliminates the need to be close to the welding process, significantly reducing operators’ risk. Using a high dynamic range weld camera can also reduce fatigue and stress, making the job safer, more enjoyable, and more appealing to existing and prospective operators.
Introducing a weld camera will also reduce costs that are associated with health and safety, such as:

·        workers' compensation insurance rates

·        employee health insurance rates

·        costs due to lost productivity

·      possible litigation

There are many other benefits to using a weld camera, but health and safety is such an important factor that cannot be overlooked. When operators are able to view the welding process in a safe, remote location, there are a multitude of positive results.

For more information visit our website or contact us!

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Sources:

1https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/more-evidence-welding-fumes-raise-lung-cancer-risk-11553186

Topics: quality control, weld environment, High Dynamic Range, safety, health, HDR, weld camera system, consistent

What Does Welding Sound Like? GMAW

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, October 02, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Each type of welding has a unique sound. Sometimes that sound can signify problems. Other times it tells the operator that everything is going exactly right. Xiris has now added audio monitoring to our industry-leading weld cameras. This innovative system gives welders a new tool to monitor and improve their operations.

However, it often takes years of experience to be able to distinguish the slight differences in sound that separate a good weld from a bad one. And if you’re new to welding or you’ve not been monitoring by sound before, how do you know what to listen for?
GMAW

Today, we’re looking at GMAW, or MIG welding, and sharing the various sounds you may hear and what they mean.

  1. Frying Bacon: This is the most common description for what GMAW sounds like. The torch will sizzle, with the occasional pop. This usually means that your welder is set up properly and you are laying a quality bead.
  2. Popcorn Popping: If your welding sounds more like popcorn than bacon, with lots of snapping and popping, this may signify that your wire speed is too fast. “The wire is hitting the surface and not melting into the metal fully, creating a weak and dangerous weld.”1
  3. Hissing, as though gas is leaking: Often means too slow of a wire speed. This is also a weak, unsafe weld.1
  4. -  Popping and Hissing: This usually signifies a problem with the shielding gas. You will also see excessive sparks and slag, and pores in the finished weld. Check that the gas is on, there is gas in the tank and the tank pressure is correct.1
  5. Irregular: Another issue that can be identified by sound is wire stickout. If your stickout is too long, the arc may sound irregular – constantly changing in pitch and/or volume.2

The voltage and current setting on your welder, as well as the metal that you are welding, all affect the sound of the arc in GMAW.3 For example, stainless steel welding uses three different approaches: dip transfer, globular transfer or spray arc. Each of these techniques has a different sound, as the arc moves from low power to high through the metal transfer cycle.4

In dip transfer (low amperage welding, which is ideal for thinner materials), you hear a fast crackling—the coveted bacon sound. Globular transfer, which is not often used, makes an uneven, splattering sound, with occasional hisses. Spray transfer has a consistent hissing sound as the hot metal transfers to the parent material in a steady stream.

It is important to learn your equipment, understand your materials and experiment with different settings. Monitor the sound and appearance of the arc and critically evaluate the quality of your welds. Soon you will know what to listen for.

Watch a video that shows how varying the wire feed speed and voltage changes the sound of MIG welding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmcO0lFfn1k.

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Sources: 

1https://garage.eastwood.com/eastwood-chatter/listen-to-your-mig/

2https://www.millerwelds.com/resources/article-library/mig-welding-the-basics-for-mild-steel

3https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/welding-discussions/4179-mig-welding-sound

4https://www.theshedmag.co.nz/home/2018/7/8/tackling-stainless-a-guide-to-stainless-steel-welding

 

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

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