The Xiris Blog

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

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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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

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

How to Implement Audio Monitoring for your Welding Operation

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, September 03, 2019 @ 11:32 AM

Our team at Xiris has released an audio monitoring package for our weld cameras. Today, we’re sharing how you can set up audio monitoring capability with weld cameras for your operations.

Audio monitoring with weld cameras involves both hardware—the microphone and other equipment—and software—Xiris’ WeldStudio™ software.           

Audio Monitoring Hardware

Audio monitoring starts with the microphone. The welding environment is not very friendly for electronics and sensitive equipment, so Xiris has developed a rugged microphone capable of capturing the full spectrum of audio using a specialized sensor. This sensor captures sound frequency from 40hz up to 20khz. This means that you not only get the low rumbles at the bottom of the range, but you also get the sizzle and pop at the high end.

The microphone has been “ruggedized” so that it is suitable for the welding environment. A protective covering provides thermal, environmental and dust protection for the sensitive microphone elements. The microphone is also directional, meaning once it is pointed at the welding process, it will ignore some of the surrounding noises.

The microphone has been designed to be located near the welding camera, although it can be positioned elsewhere if needed.

Cables and wires connect the microphone and transmit the audio signals to the Xiris HMI computer, which contains Xiris’ specially developed audio processing card. It is here that the signal is processed and conditioned for integration with the video images.

Audio Monitoring Software

The audio feature is part of Xiris’ WeldStudio™ software utility, where operators are able to play back, record and adjust the audio that they’re hearing. The audio signal is synchronized with the video stream from the weld camera, so operators can see and hear what’s happening with their welding at the same time.

Audio 2 image

User Interface of WeldStudio™ with audio feature.

Using equalization controls, operators are able to reduce or eliminate certain frequencies, such as those caused by other mechanical noises or environmental noises unrelated to the welding. The software allows operators to completely control the equalization curve to meet their specific needs, suppressing or enhancing certain frequency ranges depending on what they want to listen to. Audio is a module in the WeldStudio™ software, so the touch and feel of the interface and the tools within the program will feel familiar to experienced users.

Summary

Video monitoring using weld cameras has brought many benefits to fabricators and their operations. However, there was something missing. Sound.

Experienced welders understand how sound can help to tune and monitor their welding processes. With this new audio monitoring package, Xiris is providing this capability as an option with the Xiris weld camera system.

 

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld monitoring, audio, hardware, software

Xiris Launches Audio Monitoring for Weld Cameras!

Posted by Cameron Serles on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 @ 11:25 AM

Xiris is proud to announce a revolutionary addition to our industry-leading cameras: SOUND!

At Xiris, we strive to be a world leader in developing sensors and inspection systems for welding processes. Our team of multidisciplinary experts have extended our weld camera product line with the addition of audio capture and monitoring capability. We are committed to continuously improving our products to meet the needs of our customers, and audio monitoring is something our clients have been asking for.

Adding audio capture and playback to Xiris’ weld cameras introduces a new dimension to welding quality control. Now fabricators can use two sensory inputs – sight AND sound – to help them determine if the welding process is functioning correctly or needs fine tuning to provide the best weld process possible. This enhancement gives operators another tool to assess, monitor and improve the consistency and effectiveness of their welding processes.

Xiris Launches Audio monitoring for welding camerasAn Audio Waveform Picture from the Xiris Audio Recorder

A study in the January 2017 edition of the Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing found that multisensory evaluation of seam welds was 97% more accurate recognizing defects. Various academic and anecdotal studies confirm that sound is key to real-time monitoring of welding quality and process control for intelligent manufacturing.

Welders draw on years of experience to recognize what quality welds sound like. Each type of welding can generate a unique sound signature when it is “in tune” and when it is “out of tune”. In upcoming blogs, we will be talking about the different types of welding and what to listen for. We will also share more details about the Xiris audio recording and playback option and how you can add it to your operations.

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Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

Follow Xiris on social media for regular updates and welding videos!

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

Color or Not? Five Questions to Consider When Choosing a Weld Camera

Posted by Cameron Serles on Thursday, May 02, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

Welding is not a very colorful operation. The metal, torch and other materials are usually varying shades of grey. The arc is bright white. The background is almost black. To accurately monitor and inspect welds, being able to see a massive tonal range, from the brightest to the darkest, is essential.

Color image of TIG WeldMonochrome Image of TIG welding process

 Color and Monochrome images of a TIG Welding Proces

Standard cameras, and even the human eye, are incapable of distinguishing all features when faced with such a range of brightness. However, Xiris’ high dynamic range weld cameras can, either in color (the 1100 and 1100e) or black and white (the 1000 and 1000e).
As humans, we often think that color is better. But in weld cameras, that is not always the case. Determining whether a color or monochrome weld camera will work best depends on a company’s operations. Here are five questions to consider when choosing between color and monochrome weld camera:


1. What kind of welding process are you using?
TIG (GTAW) or Plasma welding benefit most from being viewed in color, simply because there is more color present in those welding processes. Evaluating the color of the torch tip, shielding gas, melt pool and even the Heat Affected Zone can help operators to assess the quality of the weld.

2. What do you want to monitor during welding?
For example, do you want to see certain features, such as the boundary between the end of the torch and the shielding gas and arc? That might help you closely monitor the integrity of the torch tip and avoid contamination.

Or, are you concerned about the amount or type of shielding gas in the process? The shielding gas can sometimes take on a unique color as it is consumed by the welding arc. Changes in the color can signify a change in the gas chemistry and alert operators to the possibility of impurities.

Or is the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) of interest? The leading edge of the HAZ may become visible as the parent material colorizes at elevated temperatures. This can indicate the amount of heat penetration and energy transfer made during the welding process. Discoloration of the metal can signify the presence of excess heat.

3. Is color more important than resolution?
To generate a color image, the image sensor in the weld camera is “painted” with color filters. Each pixel becomes filtered with red, green or blue light in a standard pattern known as a Bayer pattern. The imaging software then mathematically recombines the pixels into a color image. One drawback of this process is that the resolution of a color image is decreased by approximately half compared to that of a monochrome image.

With higher resolution, monochrome cameras generate images with sharper detail than color cameras. In monochrome images, edges appear crisper and subtle details are more visible—important for assessing the texture of the melt pool, for example. However, the hues in a color image give the human eye the ability to better evaluate boundaries between various weld components, like the melt pool, torch tip and shielding gas.

4. Is camera speed important for your operation?
Despite being lower resolution, color image files are larger than monochrome because each pixel is described by 3 bytes of data, whereas in monochrome images, only 1 byte of data is required. As a result, a color camera often will transmit data slightly slower than a monochrome camera to its output device.

5. Does color provide additional information that can help your welding process?
Everyone’s welding operation is unique. You may have additional features such as guiding markers on your parent material, or wire being fed into the welding process that might be best suited to monochrome or color cameras. Our team can help you to assess your needs and advise whether color or monochrome will work best for your application.

Whatever the operational needs, Xiris’ weld cameras, in either monochrome or color, provide high contrast, clear images of the welding process, allowing manufacturers to quickly and easily monitor their welds for better process control.

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

Follow Xiris on social media for regular updates and welding videos!

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Topics: weld inspection, manufacturing, defects, weld monitoring, XVC Weld Camera, HDR, color weld camera, color imaging, weld camera system, welding education, consistent

April 2018: Looking Back

Posted by Margaret Montgomery on Friday, May 04, 2018 @ 04:24 PM

April was an extremely successful month for Xiris Automation! Read below for a recap of the month's events. 

Tube Dusseldorf 2018

Xiris exhibited at Tube Dusseldorf 2018 in Dusseldorf, Germany, from April 16-20. This was an important opportunity for those in the tube and tube processing industry to witness new technology and innovation in the field. We were thrilled to be an exhibitor at such a pre-eminent event! 

IMG-20180414-WA0007

Our team demonstrated how our innovative quality control solutions add value to tube and pipe welding activities, especially for detecting problems sooner in the tube manufacturing process using our WI2000 inspection system.Overall, it was an extremely successful event for Xiris and an excellent opportunity to engage with leaders in the tube processing and fabrication industries.

 

 

Rapid + TCT

Xiris exhibited at the Rapid + TCT conference in Forth Worth, Texas, USA from April 24-26. Rapid is a significant event for innovation in the additive manufacturing industry, and attracted leaders in 3D Manufacturing from around the world. 

rapid booth

Through demonstrations and interactions with these companies, the Xiris team showed how our HDR weld cameras can decrease building times, reduce operating and engineering costs, and lower materials costs in research and development for Metal Additive Manufacturing. When our High Dynamic Range (HDR) weld cameras are added into an Additive Manufacturing machine, operators can monitor every step of the welding process in real time to ensure quality outputs, detecting any material placement issues such as warping without having to stop the machine.

Japan International Welding Show

Xiris attended the 2018 Japan International Welding Show in Tokyo from April 25- 28, displaying our cameras in the Matsumoto Group booth. This was Japan's largest exhibition of welding technology, and was thus an extremely significant opportunity for Xiris. 

Our extremely durable, industrialized weld camera was on display at the show, as seen below. 

Japan Welding show

 

If you are interested in learning about or displaying one of our cameras, please contact us here.

 

 

Topics: Tube and Pipe welding, weld, Tube Dusseldorf, conference, weld monitoring, XVC Weld Camera, color weld camera

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