The Xiris Blog

How Weld Inspection Helps Tube Producers Meet Weight Reduction for Automotive Sector

Posted by Emily Blackborow on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

The Automotive Sector is constantly trying to reduce the weight of cars. Part of that effort is to approach their suppliers to see what they can do to reduce the weight of their components. Fabricators of tubes for the automotive sector are constantly being asked to meet more difficult weight limitations of their tubes.   

In order to achieve the desired weight reduction of a tube, tube fabricators need to use:

  • Lighter materials;
  • Thinner Wall Thicknesses; and
  • Higher Yield strength materials.

These are only possible if tighter manufacturing specifications and process tolerances are established.

Tubes fabricated from higher yield strength material are more susceptible to mismatch during fabrication. Traditionally; fabricators used a common practice of allowing mismatch on a longitudinal welded tubes of up to 5% of the wall thickness. 5% becomes a very small number very quickly when wall thickness is reduced. 

Experience has shown that for higher yield strength materials a mismatch of 5% will result in a higher weld split failure. In these applications tube producers need to maintain a mismatch tolerance in the 2% to 3% range, well below common practice on milder materials. These tight tolerances make it difficult for mill operators to see or detect using traditional means of looking at the scarf material, the finger nail scratch without stopping the mill interrupting production.

High resolution geometrical measurements are required in the weld zone making this an ideal application for laser based technologies such as Xiris’ Weld Inspection Solutions. The WI2000 or WI3000 makes continuous measurements providing the operator with a clear visual of the weld zone form process while also being able to set tolerance limits to alarm when an unexpected variation occurs.

WI2000 SystemWI2000

WI3000 System

 WI3000

Better Images. Better Decisions. Better Process Control.

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Topics: quality control, weld inspection, High Dynamic Range, pipe, tube, HDR, weld seam, tubedefects, consistent, WI-2000, inspection system, WI-3000

Checking Tube Welds Before and After Scarfing

Posted by Cameron Serles on Wednesday, December 07, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

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The process of tube welding requires several variables to be in check for efficient and stable production and to meet the quality demands of the industry.  Mill dynamics, from setup to production, have an impact on the stability of these variables.  Measuring and monitoring these variables is the first step in controlling them and improving weld quality for tube fabricators.

In response, tube fabricators employ laser based weld inspection systems to monitor a variety of geometrical features around the weld area of the tube and to provide early warning of quality issues related to the welding and forming process.  Traditionally placed right after the weld box on a tube mill, where the majority of tube forming and weld bead measurements can be made, such systems provide the operator with an early warning of weld related process variations that could lead to quality defects.  

While most tube mill customers use the system right after the weld box where the most as-weld related information is available, some fabricators use it after scarfing to check for quality issues related to the scarfing process: does the scarfing tool cut too deeply, or not enough?  Is the tool damaged?  Is the scarf cut a consistent amount?  All these questions can be addressed by installing a weld system after scarfing.

Now, Xiris has developed a double head laser based weld inspection system that allows for one head to be placed immediately after the weld box and one head immediately after scarfing.  In this way, tube fabricators can monitor their tube production before scarfing for weld related defects; and after scarfing for potential scarf related issues.

 

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WI2000 Double Head Configuration: One Head Post Weld, One Head Post Scarf

 With a double head configuration, tube fabricators can better control their process and improve quality by monitoring the tube profile, weld bead geometry and final scarf cut, all controlled from a single system. 

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can help monitor your weld processes, visit Xiris.com or sign up to receive the Weld Video of the Month 

Topics: quality control, weld camera, weld inspection, Xiris, Tube and Pipe welding, scarfing, weld seam

Using Weld Cameras For Torch Alignment

Posted by Catherine Cline on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 @ 11:09 AM

When Xiris demonstrates its weld camera systems, one of the unexpected benefits an operator notices right away is the ability to quickly align the torch and seam.   Xiris weld cameras have integrated LED’s that provide a nice bright image of the seam and torch prior to starting the weld process.  Before we begin our demonstration, we ask the operator to align the torch and the seam which is usually done manually with a visual check.  Once we are told the system is aligned, we ask the operator to look at the computer screen and, 90% of the time, the torch and seam are misaligned.  The operator then begins to use the weld camera system right away to achieve perfect alignment on a consistent basis.

Here are three videos that demonstrate the alignment process.  In these examples the manufacturer has installed a positioning sensor on the robotic arm which is meant to ensure perfect torch alignment during each weld and the operator simply verifies the alignment prior to welding.

Operator Alignment:

The positioning sensor and the operator have misaligned the torch, resulting in a bad weld.

 

 

Weld Camera Assisted Alignment:

The operator has used the weld camera system to verify the alignment and you will see the adjustments that were made after the robot had been aligned.  Not only do the cameras ensure accuracy, the operator can perform the alignment quickly, right from the console rather than bending, stretching or climbing up on to the equipment to achieve proper alignment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on how Xiris Weld Cameras can ensure accurate alignment of your torch and weld seam, visit Xiris.com

Topics: quality control, weld camera, welding, High Dynamic Range, productivity, color weld camera, weld seam, weld seam alignment

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