Companies that build and service large infrastructure projects almost always face challenges processing their metal assemblies on such a large scale. An example of an industry that faces these problems is energy production. We have worked with various companies that provide services relating to the construction and maintenance of energy and transportation equipment, by providing them camera solutions to allow them to remotely view their cutting and welding processes.
One of our recent successes was with a European company who makes offshore platform involving a lot of metal fabrication and plasma cutting. During construction of a new type of offshore platform, the customer realized that they had a major health and safety issue when fabricating key components on the platform: during a plasma cutting process, their employees’ safety was at risk because they had to cut away a portion of the support structure that was used to hold up fabricated parts above the operator. In order to address this problem, the customer decided to automate the plasma cutting process with a robotic machine but ended up still facing a dilemma because their operators had to be near the cutting process to monitor that it was operating properly.
In an attempt to remove the operator entirely from the cutting platform and the dangerous area, the customer decided to implement a weld camera from Xiris. Xiris weld cameras can clearly see the detail of the plasma arc while being able to see the detail around the arc, providing key information for any operator involved in the cutting process.
The customer chose a rugged model that was designed to operate in harsh working environments while allowing the operator to clearly see the shape and size of the plasma cutting arc, the edge of the kerf and flow of molten material remotely. With this information, the operator could ensure that the cutting torch was properly aligned to the ideal cutting path and that enough heat was being transferred to the cut material.
The camera was mounted to a robotic plasma cutting machine allowing the operator to safely monitor the cutting process remotely. The automatic plasma cutting machine could then be used in various applications across the construction and maintenance of energy platforms to perform key material cutting operations without putting the safety of employees at risk. The end result? A rapid return on their investment of the Xiris weld camera.
This is a captured image of an automated plasma cut of a pipe using a Xiris weld camera.
This customer has been able to fundamentally change the way they perform dangerous plasma cutting processes on large energy platforms. Dangerous manual processes have been replaced with semi- or fully-automatic plasma cutting machines equipped with Xiris weld cameras allowing the operator to monitor the cutting process remotely.