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FAQ – Your Questions Answered.

Q. What does the system do?

The XVC-O Weld Camera system is intended for monitoring all open arc welding processes such as GMAW, GTAW, Plasma, laser or stick welding while they are in operation.

Q. What does XVC-O stand for?

XVC-O stands for Xiris View Camera – Open Arc. While it is mainly intended for Open Arc Applications, it can also be used in Sub Arc Applications.

Q. Which welding applications are intended to use the camera?

The XVC-O system is designed to monitor all welding applications including:

  • Pipe Cladding
  • Pressure Vessel Welding/Overlay
  • Orbital Welding
  • Tailor Blank Welding
  • Robotic Welding
  • Tube and Pipe Mills
  • General Fabrication
  • Education/Training

Q. What are the benefits of using the XVC-O Weld Camera?

A. Monitor and Control of the Welding Process:

  • Quality control and quality assurance purposes
  • Ensure a sound weld with full fusion has been created
  • Increased accuracy of welding
  • Mechanized (buggy/track) system welding
  • Seam tracking applications
  • Orbital welding of pipe
  • Assist pipe cladding where bead placement is detrimental
  • Hard-facing applications for increased accuracy in bead placement
  • Welding applications with more than one welding head/torch
  • Autogenously welding of thin materials
  • ll welding/manufacturing industries: automotive, aerospace, military, nuclear, pressure piping, etc.

 

B. Removal of Operators from Extremely Dangerous or Inaccessible Areas:

  • Dangerous welding environments such as pressure vessels in high radiation environments
  • Inaccessible welding environments such as cladding the ID of small diameter pipe
  • Welding of narrow groove, thick wall pipe applications where precision and accuracy are necessary

 

C. Ability to monitor Fully Automated Welding:

  • Improve Productivity through increased monitoring of almost any automatic welding process
  • Monitor shielding gas, weld pool, keyhole, other parameters
  • Ensure weld placement is correct and accurate relative to the seam

 

D. Research and Development:

  • Gain further understanding of welding and the science behind it
  • R&D projects to help improve welding technology
  • Observe the characteristics of the weld zone and develop welding parameters accordingly
  • Observe how manipulation of welding variables will affect the outcome of the finished weld
  • Observe welding discontinuities as they occur and develop methods and technologies to avoid them

 

E. Educational and Demonstration:

  • Universities and Colleges to teach and demonstrate welding processes
  • Demonstrate correct welding technique
  • Teach and demonstrate the visual differences between welding processes

Q. How does the XVC-O system work?

The XVC-O system incorporates a novel camera technology which can handle extremely high dynamic range light conditions of more than 140 dB, meaning that scenes can be imaged with brightness variations as much as 10,000,000:1. As a result, details of the weld arc as well as the weld pool, keyhole, weld seam, weld bead, and many other details of the welding environment can be clearly observed using the XVC-O camera.

Q. What are the main system components?

The system consists of the camera module, HMI Console, and interconnecting main cable. The camera module has an extremely high dynamic range sensor combined with sophisticated electronics. The HMI Console includes a computer that acquires images from the camera module and processes them to get images suitable for the operator. The HMI Console includes a touch-screen monitor to provide control and communications to the camera module and display the processed images from the camera. (Insert Open Arc View Pic)

Q. Does the system require cooling?

Yes, the XVC-O camera requires cooling to be applied while it is in operation. The camera can be cooled either by air or liquid. The HMI Console is cooled by fan out to the ambient air, or optionally by Vortex cooling.

Q. How much air is required for the camera and HMI cooling?

4 bar / 60 psi shop air is recommended for ambient temperature that is below 45°C (110°F). The regular cooling system uses 225 l/min (8 CFM).

Q. What is the difference between regular camera air cooling and the high temperature cooling kit?

The regular air cooling is sufficient enough to maintain the internal temperature of the camera housing below 45°C (110°F) with a maximum ambient temperature of 80°C (175°F) as the main cable is rated up to 80°C. The regular air cooling package includes an air regulator and Vortex Cooler with tubing to run the air to the camera.

The high temperature cooling kit contains an Air regulator, Vortex Cooler (675 l/min or 25 CFM rated), 10m air cooling line, and custom fitted high temperature heat reflective wrap to isolate the camera, regulator, vortex cooler, air cooling line, and main cable from the ambient heat up to 300°C (570°F).

Q. What is the difference between the XVC-O and XVC-S Weld Cameras?

The XVC-O is for Open Arc Welding, the XVC-S is for Submerged Arc Welding. The XVC-S uses a high fidelity color camera with a standard image sensor with an automatic gain control that allows for imaging in regular, room-like lighting. The XVC-O is a much more advanced camera that is specifically designed for High Dynamic Range imaging where the operator wants to view both the detail in a bright open arc as well as the dark work environment around it. As well, the standard XVC-O has a number of additional system features not present in the XVC-S (see datasheets for more detail).

Q. Does the XVC-O system record and playback welding videos?

Yes. The basic XVC-O and XVC-S+ systems can both record videos up to 55 hours. The videos can be played back via the HMI console, or exported to an external device using a USB key.

Q. What Service and Support is available?

Xiris’ Standard Warranty on the XVC-O weld camera system is 1 year, during which time Xiris will replace, free of charge, any defective components that failed for reasons other than environmental or operational misuse. The light sources and optical components are not included in the warranty. Support beyond the warranty period could be arranged by either subscribing to the XVC-O Maintenance Programs, or by contacting Xiris Customer Service department.

Q. What are the consumables required?

The XVC-O system consumables are: Protective Windows, HMI Console Fan Filter, and Camera Cooling Air regulator Filter. Please refer to the Operator Manual for the recommended maintenance procedures and intervals, and for ordering the right part numbers.

Q. How do you protect the camera against weld splatter?

A piece of protective window is equipped on the camera to protect from weld splatter. The protective window is affordable and easy to change and it is secured by two clamp springs.

Q. How robust is the system?

The XVC-O system is designed to work in a harsh industrial welding environment. Our production technicians conduct systematic procedures to test and ensure each system will sustain real welding environment before shipping the product to our customers. As long as appropriate cooling is applied onto the camera, the system will maintain its functionality.

Q. What does the system measure?

The WI2000/3000 systems measure the geometry of the weld bead and adjacent area on a tube or pipe, looking for weld quality and process related defects.

Q. How does the system work?

The WI2000/3000 system uses Laser Triangulation as the measurement principle for determining the weld profile – a laser line is projected across the tube/pipe, and a Camera images the laser line reflection from a direction different than the projection. This principle allows for accurate weld profile measurement independent of the base material surface conditions, the weld seam image being displayed as a profile line in real time. Specialized software processes the image from the camera, applying values to the laser line reflection. All calculated weld seam parameters are displayed graphically on the HMI screen, and are also logged to files on the Computer hard drive for off line reference.

Q. What are the main system components?

The system consists of the Sensor Head, Head Mount, Light Tower, Cables, PLIM and HMI Console. The Sensor Head contains the high-speed camera and laser lighting optics. The HMI Console includes a computer that: collects images from the Sensor Head and processes them to get and evaluate parametric values; communicates the results to external devices (e.g. PLCs) via the PLIM (Production Line Interface Module). The HMI Console includes a touch-screen monitor to provide data input and display of the GUI and measurements.

Q. What tube size can the system inspect?

  • The WI2000/3000 system family includes seven different optical resolutions, being capable of inspecting tubes/pipes from about 8-200 mm in diameter and a range of weld bead widths, from 0.25-10 mm
  • The WI3000 system includes three different optical resolutions being capable of inspecting larger tubes/pipes from about 150-3000 mm in diameter with weld bead widths of 5-30 mm in width.

The System model and optical resolution must be specified at the time of placing the order.

Q. Can the WI systems measure the tube diameter?

No. The WI2000/3000 system uses a high resolution sensor that only looks at the weld bead and its immediate vicinity of the tube or pipe.

Q. Can it detect if a tube is oval?

No. The WI2000/3000 software is designed to inspect profiles where the zone around the weld is flat (such as square profiles, butt welds, or welded blanks), circular (such as round, or elliptical/oval tubes) or V shaped (such as special tube or profile shapes). Future versions may include algorithms that measure other weld zone profiles, such as the corners on a square profile.

Q. Can the system measure the weld inside the tube?

No. The WI2000/3000 system in its present configuration is designed to inspect only the outer surface of the tube/pipe, so it would see and analyze the defects visible on the outside. It is not capable of seeing any metallurgical welding defects inside the material. Custom versions of the WI2000/3000 can be built to look at the weld bead profile from the inner diameter, however.

Q. What kind of welding is the system most suitable for?

  • The standard WI2000/3000 system is designed to work on Laser, TIG, Plasma and HF/ERW welding lines where the environmental conditions around the Sensor Head are not too hostile
  • The system is NOT suitable for extremely harsh environments where excessive amounts of coolant, steam and smoke cannot be controlled using standard protection methods (e.g. air knives, splash guards, ventilation, etc.).

Q. What type of materials will it work on?

The standard WI2000/3000 system is designed to work on most materials, including Carbon or Stainless steels, as well as other materials such as aluminum, copper and exotic metals. Some non-metallic materials that are opaque such as certain plastics could also be used – check factory for details.

Q. Can the system detect the material (wall) thickness?

No. The WI2000/3000 system is designed as an optical measuring device that uses reflections from the top surface. The laser light does not penetrate through the metal material and cannot look inside the wall.

Q. What are some of the advantages of using the WI2000/3000 system over traditional testing techniques such as Ultrasonic Testing (UT) or Eddy Current Testing (ECT)?

  • The WI2000/3000 offers a complete, absolute inspection of the contour of the weld that does not rely on comparison of one measurement with a previous measurement.  In contrast, the UT or ECT systems detect something only if there is a sudden difference; therefore, those defects that gradually move out of tolerance are best detected with the WI2000/3000.
  • The WI2000/3000 is able to keep operating if the weld seam location moves (i.e. Weld Roll).  Often, there is some roll in the weld seam from side to side as the material is fed into the mill.  The movement of the weld seam means that the point of inspection such as a UT or ECT system must also move to track it.  The WI2000/3000 does not need this as it is able to detect weld quality anywhere in its field of view.
  • Certain defects that are very difficult to measure in anything but a contour measurement technique, such as Mismatch, can be easily detected by the WI2000/3000, but cannot be reliably detected by other methods.
  • Other specific weld defects such as Undercut versus Sunken welds are often lumped together into one classification known as “Sunken welds” as traditional UT or ECT tools are unable to distinguish between these defect types.  However, the WI2000/3000 can differentiate and provide distinct measurements for these defects.

Q. Where on the line would the system be installed?

The WI2000/3000 is best installed immediately after the weld head where the most information about the weld bead and tube profile can be measured before the bead is scarfed/ground away. However, a second choice on a tube mill can be after the scarfing/grinding station where measurements can be made to detect the quality of the scarfing process as well as some welding and forming related issues that are still visible outside the scarf/grinding area.

Q. Are there any safety concerns with the equipment?

The WI2000/3000 system is designed to comply with CE Design Standards for CE Marking (Machinery (98/37/EEC), EMC (89/336/EEC) and Low Voltage (73/23/EEC) Directive for Electrical Safety. In addition, due to the fact that the Sensor Head is using a Class 3B laser for illumination, the system is designed to follow the regulations of IEC 60825-1:2007 standard, and in compliance with 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11 except for deviations pursuant to Laser Notice No. 50, dated June 24, 2007. Users and maintainers must always obey the Warning and Caution indications displayed on the Safety Labels attached to the unit, and depicted in the Operations and Service Manuals.

Q. What is a Class 3B laser?

A Class 3B laser classification implies that the laser output power is greater than 5 mW and less than 500 mW. Lasers in this category are normally hazardous when intrabeam ocular exposure occurs (i.e. within the Nominal Optical Hazard Distance) including accidental short time exposure. These lasers may also cause skin damage with prolonged exposure. However, the laser beam on the WI2000/3000 is diffused significantly by the time it comes out of the camera head to form a laser line. It is further diffused when reflecting off the tube. Viewing diffuse reflections is normally safe as is short term skin exposure.

Q. How is the system cooled?

The WI2000/3000 Sensor Head electronics, optics, laser and camera are housed in a completely sealed metal enclosure. Cooling is required for dissipating the heat generated by the electronics and the laser itself, so the laser and camera could operate within the prescribed operating temperature range, especially if the sensor is placed in a hot environment (e.g. near the welding box). Keeping the laser at a lower temperature (<25 °C) helps to prolong its operating life span. The WI2000 requires air cooling; the WI3000 requires liquid cooling.

Q. How much air is required for cooling the WI2000?

The WI2000 Sensor Head uses 10 CFM (280 l/min) @ 60-80 psi (4-6 bar) of plant air.

Q. How accurate is the system?

Horizontal and Vertical accuracy varies between 7 µm for the High resolution Sensor models, to 20 µm for the Standard resolution Sensor models of the WI2000. The WI3000 is a little less accurate due to its larger field of view.

Q. Can the system be integrated with a marking or alarm system?

Yes. The WI2000/3000 system has 4 configurable digital outputs that can be connected to external marking or alarm systems via the PLIM (Production Line Interface Module) unit that is supplied with the system. The PLIM facilitates connection of the WI system to standard encoders and other equipment used on tube or pipe mills.

Q. How does the system alarm?

Individual tolerance limits can be set for the various inspection measurements. Outputs from the system can then be configured to raise an alarm if any of the tolerance limits are exceeded by measurement results.

Q. Does the system provide a closed loop feedback?

No. The system has an open-loop design so that results of inspection are reported to the external control system and/or to the operator for the purpose of quality control. There are no back-loop signals except the inspection Start/Stop.

Q. What is the size of the sensor?

The WI2000/3000 Sensor Head dimensions are 128 x 59 x 244 mm (Length x Width x Height).

Q. Does the system record the tube data?

Yes. The WI2000/3000 system logs measurement results, and optionally, images and profiles, onto the Computer hard drive for off-line Audit or Failure Analysis purposes. In addition, interval data recorded can be made to record average values over an interval for Statistical Process Control.

Q. Can the recorded data be played back?

Yes. The WI2000/3000 system allows the use of pre-recorded images as input instead of the live camera. A Player exists to use the logged information in order to replicate inspection results together with metric limits set at the time of logging.

Q. Low long does it take to install a system?

A typical installation including basic system training is usually done within one work day. Typically, additional time is provided during an installation to provide additional system training.

Q. What is the life expectancy of the laser?

Under normal operating conditions the laser life expectancy is rated at 2500 hours of operation, longer if it is kept below 30 °C. Xiris recommends that all systems undergo an annual re-certification done by Xiris to qualify each sensor head for laser power level, optical alignment, focus and overall system cleanliness.

Q. What environment limitations or operating conditions exist?

The WI2000/3000 system Storage Temperature is 0 to 50 °C, and the HMI Console Operating Temperature is 10 to 40 °C. The ideal Sensor Head Operating Temperature (internal) has to be maintained below 25 °C (using the Air Cooling assembly) for optimum operating life. The system needs to be cooled using an air based cooling.

Q. How much tube movement can the system tolerate?

The Standard Resolution (SR5, SR12) sensor can tolerate up to 2mm vertical movement and 3 mm horizontal movement. The High Resolution version (HR9. HR22) is limited to 0.6 x 1 mm accordingly; the Large Field of View sensor (SR26) has 16 x 24 mm tolerance for displacement.

Q. Can the system be used on welded blanks? Or on spirally welded pipes?

The WI system has a special mode to work on flat welded blanks and inspect the characteristics that exist on a weld between two pieces of similar or dissimilar thickness. The system would have to be fixed such that the material would move under the camera head. The system can also be used on spirally welded pipes, if operated in a pipe mill: the weld head would be mounted in a fixed position straddling the weld bead as the two sides of the parent material are fed underneath it.

Q. What Service and Support is available?

Xiris Standard Warranty on the WI2000/3000 Weld Inspection System is 2 years, during which time Xiris will replace, free of charge, any defective components that failed for reasons other than environmental or operational misuse. Support beyond the warranty period could be arranged by either subscribing to the WI2000/3000 Maintenance Programs, or by contacting Xiris Customer Service department.

Q. What consumables are required?

The WI2000/3000 system consumables are: Protective Windows, Filter Media – HMI Monitor Fan, Filter Media – Computer Fan, Filter Element – Sensor Cooling, and Laser Safety Warning labels (Complete Replacement Set). Please refer to the Service Manual for the recommended maintenance procedures and intervals, and for ordering the right part numbers.