GB2454232A - Welding Support System - Google Patents

Welding Support System Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2454232A
GB2454232A GB0721486A GB0721486A GB2454232A GB 2454232 A GB2454232 A GB 2454232A GB 0721486 A GB0721486 A GB 0721486A GB 0721486 A GB0721486 A GB 0721486A GB 2454232 A GB2454232 A GB 2454232A
Authority
GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
welding
display
heat input
arc
data
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB0721486A
Other versions
GB2454232B (en
GB0721486D0 (en
Inventor
Kim Peter Hastings
Chris John Cathles
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
VALIDATION CENTRE
VALIDATION CT
Original Assignee
Validation Ct
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Validation Ct filed Critical Validation Ct
Priority to GB0721486A priority Critical patent/GB2454232B/en
Publication of GB0721486D0 publication Critical patent/GB0721486D0/en
Publication of GB2454232A publication Critical patent/GB2454232A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2454232B publication Critical patent/GB2454232B/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F9/00Methods or devices for treatment of the eyes; Devices for putting-in contact lenses; Devices to correct squinting; Apparatus to guide the blind; Protective devices for the eyes, carried on the body or in the hand
    • A61F9/02Goggles
    • A61F9/029Additional functions or features, e.g. protection for other parts of the face such as ears, nose or mouth; Screen wipers or cleaning devices
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F9/00Methods or devices for treatment of the eyes; Devices for putting-in contact lenses; Devices to correct squinting; Apparatus to guide the blind; Protective devices for the eyes, carried on the body or in the hand
    • A61F9/04Eye-masks ; Devices to be worn on the face, not intended for looking through; Eye-pads for sunbathing
    • A61F9/06Masks, shields or hoods for welders
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23KSOLDERING OR UNSOLDERING; WELDING; CLADDING OR PLATING BY SOLDERING OR WELDING; CUTTING BY APPLYING HEAT LOCALLY, e.g. FLAME CUTTING; WORKING BY LASER BEAM
    • B23K9/00Arc welding or cutting
    • B23K9/095Monitoring or automatic control of welding parameters
    • B23K9/0953Monitoring or automatic control of welding parameters using computing means
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23KSOLDERING OR UNSOLDERING; WELDING; CLADDING OR PLATING BY SOLDERING OR WELDING; CUTTING BY APPLYING HEAT LOCALLY, e.g. FLAME CUTTING; WORKING BY LASER BEAM
    • B23K9/00Arc welding or cutting
    • B23K9/32Accessories
    • B23K9/321Protecting means
    • B23K9/322Head protecting means
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B17/00Systems involving the use of models or simulators of said systems
    • G05B17/02Systems involving the use of models or simulators of said systems electric
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05DSYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING OR REGULATING NON-ELECTRIC VARIABLES
    • G05D3/00Control of position or direction
    • G05D3/12Control of position or direction using feedback
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06GANALOGUE COMPUTERS
    • G06G7/00Devices in which the computing operation is performed by varying electric or magnetic quantities
    • G06G7/48Analogue computers for specific processes, systems or devices, e.g. simulators
    • G06G7/56Analogue computers for specific processes, systems or devices, e.g. simulators for heat flow

Abstract

An arc welding support system comprises a data receiving unit to receive data from a welding apparatus, or simulator thereof, said data comprises: arc voltage; arc current; welding electrode position or velocity with respect to a work piece; a parameter receiving unit to receive a desired welding heat input (or simulations thereof); processing means, to: calculate achieved heat input, or a simulation thereof, from said received data; and to compare said achieved heat input with said desired heat input; and preferably wireless communication to a display means 11 to display to a user an indication of the results of said comparison; and wherein said display means is locatable within a welding mask 16 or welding goggles. Preferably audio display 18 and/or a display screen such as a liquid crystal display (fig.5, 17), and/or light indicators are used to provide information to the welder.

Description

WELDING SUPPORT SYSTEM

Field of the Invention

The invention relates to systems to provide feedback and support to an operator of an aic welding process.

Background and Prior Art Known to the Applicant

The process of electric arc welding has been known for many years and plays a central role in many manufacturing industries. As new metal alloys are developed and ever more *:::: challenging applications are encountered, the need to produce high quality welds becomes ever more important and technically demanding. :4 25

: In brief, the process of arc welding involves bringing an electrode, in the form of a welding rod or wire, into momentary contact with a metal workpiece to be welded whilst : a voltage is applied between the electrode and the workpiece. An arc is thereby struck between the electrode and the workpiece and the resulting increase in temperature causes a portion of the workpiece to melt. In some processes, the electrode itself also fuses and material is deposited from the electrode onto the workpiece. Whatever the details of the process, one of the most important parameters is the amount of energy, in the form of heat, that is transferred to the workpiece. For any given welding situation, theoretical considerations can be used to determine the ideal energy input per unit length of weld using information about the weld geometry, weld thickness, nature of the metals etc. The actual energy input to a weld during the welding process depends primarily on three parameters: the arc voltage, the arc current and the velocity at which the end of the electrode is moved across the workpiece. Arc welding equipment may be loosely categorised into two types: those that provide a constant current, and those that provide a constant voltage. Whatever the type, the second electrical parameter (i.e. voltage or current respectively) is controlled by moving the tip of the electrode towards or away from the workpiece as the weld proceeds, thereby changing the arc resistance.

It will be evident that manual arc welding is an immensely skilled activity and it is very difficult to judge energy input being applied to a weld during the welding process. The problem is further compounded by differing requirements for energy input resulting from differences in joint geometry and the composition of the workpiece. There is a need, therefore to provide improved apparatus for training welders, and for instrumentation to improve the performance of welders.

Summary of the Invention

Accordingly, the invention provides an arc welding support system comprising: a data receiving unit to receive data from a welding apparatus, or simulator thereof, said data comprising: arc voltage; arc current; welding electrode position or velocity with respect to ::::* a workpiece; a parameter receiving unit to receive a desired welding heat input (or simulations thereof); processing means, to: calculate achieved heat input, or a simulation : 25 thereof, from said received data; and to compare said achieved heat input with said * * desired heat input; and display means to display to a user an mdication of the results of said comparison; and wherein said display means is locatable within a welding mask or ** * welding goggles.

Preferably, the system is configured to display the results to a user during a welding operation, or simulation thereof. Whilst such a system, in its broadest aspect, could be configured to display information concerning the heat input at, e.g. the end of a welding process, it is particularly advantageous that the system provides a continuous flow of information to the user, so that the progress of the welding operation may be adjusted, as required.

In either such aspect of the invention it is also particularly preferred that said display means is adapted to display a visual indication of the results on the optical glass of a welding mask or goggles. By providing the information in this form (commonly referred to as a "head-up display") the welding operator can focus his or her attention on the workpiece, without undue distraction from the job in hand.

Also in any aspect of the invention it is preferred that said display means comprises a visual indicator adapted to be located within a welding mask or goggles, and within the peripheral vision of a user, in use. Again, whether the indication is displayed on the optical glass of welding mask or goggles, if the indication is located within the peripheral vision of a user when they are directing their gaze towards a workpiece, any distraction is further reduced.

In any aspect of the invention, there are further advantages if said display means comprises an audible tone. In this case, there is no intrusion into the visual field at all.

Suitable audible tones would include a rhythmic clicking tone whose repetition rate varied depending on the deviation of the actual heat input from the required heat input.

Alternatively, a low frequency tone could be used to indicate a heat input below the ::::* requirement with a high frequency tone indicating excess heat input. Such an audible display may be used in isolation, or in combination with a visual display. S.... * 25

In any aspect of the invention it is also particularly preferred that the communication between said processing means and said display means is wireless. The use of a wireless *:. connection removes the risk of trailing cables causing a hazard in the workplace.

Also included within the scope of the invention is an arc welding support system substantially as described herein with reference to and as illustrated by any appropriate combination of the accompanying drawings.

Description of the Preferred Embodiments

Figure 1 illustrates, in schematic form, an arc welding support system, generally indicated by 1, according to the present invention. The system has a data-receiving unit 2 to receive data 3 from a welding apparatus 4. The data 3 comprises information on the arc voltage, the arc current and the position of the welding electrode or velocity with respect to a work piece being welded. Apparatus to measure the electrical parameters is known, an example being the TVC Arc Logger Ten (A.L.X.) available from The Validation Centre, Great Yarmouth, UK. In automated welding systems, the weld head travel speed may also be measured by such a unit. In the context of manual arc welding, a position sensor to sense the location of the welding rod relative to a work piece may readily be provided to determine the same information. Either positional or velocity information may be captured, because velocity data is readily calculated from the changing position data with * 15 time.

The support system I also has a parameter receiving unit 5 to receive a desired welding heat input (or acceptable tolerance band for heat input) for any particular job in hand. The welding support system I also has a processor 6 to calculate the instantaneous or cumulative heat input from the received data. Methods for undertaking these calculations are well known in the art. At a fundamental level, the heat input is typically calculated as the ratio of power input (i.e. arc voltage multiplied by arc current) to the velocity of the heat source (i.e. the arc as it travels along a work piece). (See e.g. Funderburk, R S, "Key S...

concepts in welding engineering", Welding Innovation, Vol. XVI, No.1, 1999). A * 25 commonly used equation is: *.... * .

H 60V1 .* .

S

* where: H = heat input (kJ/mm) V = arc voltage (volts) I = current (amps) s = travel speed (mm per minute) In practical embodiments, the data receiving unit 2, the parameter receiving unit 5, and the processor 6 may be conveniently implemented in the form of a microcomputer with appropriate analogue and/or digital interfaces and a user interface such as a keyboard.

Given the data input at any stage of the welding process, the processor 6 can therefore calculate the instantaneous or cumulative heat input and compare it to the desired heat input captured by the parameter receiving unit 5. An indication can then be sent to a user display 7 to indicate whether the heat input is either within a desired tolerance band, or is too high or too low.

In order to provide immediate feedback to a welding operator, the display 7 is locatable or located within a welding mask, visor or welding goggles. Preferred embodiments of such a display unit will be described below.

As well as providing support for welding processes, such a welding support system may also be used in conjunction with a welding simulator to aid the training of welders. In any such welding simulator which determines an arc voltage, arc current and position or velocity of a weld electrode the simulator itself can also feed data into the data receiving unit 2 and thereby provide feedback to a user of the simulator on whether they have taken to correct actions to achieve a desired simulated welding process.

::::* Figure 2 illustrates one form of display device to provide an indication to a user of achieved heat input by comparison to a desired heat input. The device, generally :1 25 indicated by II, has a central light 12 that is illuminated when the heat input is within the desired range. In preferred embodiments this might be, for example, a light emitting diode (LED) emitting a green light. To the left of this green LED 12 is a series of further * S * lights 13 illuminate sequentially when the heat input is below the desired level. In a preferred embodiment these may be provided as red LEDs. On the right hand side of the green LED 12 is a second series 14 of lights that might again comprise red LEDs. These may be progressively illuminated when the actual heat input is above the desired level.

The display unit 11 is configured to be able to be fitted within a welding mask, visor or goggles to provide continuous feedback to a user on the progress of the welding operation, by means e.g. of self-adhesive pads, hook-and-loop connectors or a plastics connector configured to engage with a corresponding portion on a visor, or goggles. In this embodiment, the display device 11 is also equipped with a radio antenna 15 to allow communication between the display device 11 and the processor 6.

Figure 3 illustrates the interior of a welding mask 16 equipped with a display unit 11 according to the present invention. The welding mask is typical of one sort in use in the industry, having an optical window 17 of darkened glass to protect a user's eyes from ultraviolet radiation emitted from the arc. In this embodiment, the display device 11 is fitted within the interior of the mask 16 so as to be in the user's peripheral vision to enable them to gain information about the state of the welding process without interfering with their direct line of sight through the optical window 17.

In this embodiment, the display device 11 is also equipped with an audio output device 18 such as a small loudspeaker. In this way, an audio signal can be provided, in addition to or as an alternative to the optical means described above, so that, for example a high pitched tone could indicate too much heat input and a low pitched tone could indicate too little heat input. The use of such an audio display removes any distraction from the field of view of the user.

S. Figure 4 illustrates the interior of a pair of welding goggles 19 equipped with a display :::* unit 11 according to the present invention. The specific features of the display unit 11 are numbered as in figures 2 and 3. * 25

Figure 5 illustrates yet a further embodiment of the invention, wherein the display unit ::* projects, or otherwise displays, information relating to the progress of the welding : operation, directly on the optical window 17 of the welding mask 16. In the embodiment illustrated, values of current 19, voltage 20 and energy input 21 are displayed numerically.

A graphical indication of the relationship between the desired and achieved energy input is also provided in the form of a scale 22 marked with a moving pointer 23. The pointer 23 can be displayed for example above a line 24 indicating a desired heat input when the heat input is too high, and below such a line when the heat input is too low.

Such a "head up" display may be created by projecting an image onto the optical window s 17, or alternatively by the provision of a liquid crystal display mounted over the optical window 17, or incorporated into the optical window itself. * ***

S 55.5

S

* 5* 5 * S

S * S S. * S *.. S

S

S

Claims (8)

  1. I. An arc welding support system comprising: a data receiving unit to receive data from a welding apparatus, or simulator thereof, said data comprising: arc voltage; arc current; welding electrode position or velocity with respect to a workpiece; io a parameter receiving unit to receive a desired welding heat input (or simulations thereof); processing means, to: calculate achieved heat input, or a simulation thereof, from said received data; and to compare said achieved heat input with said desired heat input; and display means to display to a user an indication of the results of said comparison; and wherein said display means is locatable within a welding mask or welding goggles.
  2. 2. A system according to claim I configured to display the results to a user during a welding operation, or simulation thereof.
  3. 3. A system according to any preceding claim wherein said display means is adapted to :* display a visual indication of the results on the optical glass of a welding mask or goggles.
    S S....
    *
  4. 4. A system according to any preceding claim wherein said display means comprises a S....
    * visual indicator adapted to be located within a welding mask or goggles, and within the peripheral vision of a user, in use. S. * *
  5. 5. A system according to claim I or 2 wherein said display means comprises an audible tone. t
  6. 6. A system according to any preceding claim wherein communication between said processing means and said display means is wireless.
  7. 7. An arc welding support system substantially as described herein with reference to and as illustrated by any appropriate combination of the accompanying drawings.
    S
  8. S.. S...
    S S... S.... * S
    S *SISS * . S. * S S* *
    S S..
    S
GB0721486A 2007-11-01 2007-11-01 Welding support system Active GB2454232B (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
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GB2454232A true GB2454232A (en) 2009-05-06
GB2454232B GB2454232B (en) 2012-04-25

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WO2009146359A1 (en) * 2008-05-28 2009-12-03 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Welding training system
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US20140013478A1 (en) * 2009-10-13 2014-01-16 Lincoln Global, Inc. Welding helmet with integral user interface
US8747116B2 (en) 2008-08-21 2014-06-10 Lincoln Global, Inc. System and method providing arc welding training in a real-time simulated virtual reality environment using real-time weld puddle feedback
US8834168B2 (en) 2008-08-21 2014-09-16 Lincoln Global, Inc. System and method providing combined virtual reality arc welding and three-dimensional (3D) viewing
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US8851896B2 (en) 2008-08-21 2014-10-07 Lincoln Global, Inc. Virtual reality GTAW and pipe welding simulator and setup
US8884177B2 (en) 2009-11-13 2014-11-11 Lincoln Global, Inc. Systems, methods, and apparatuses for monitoring weld quality
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GB2471963B (en) * 2008-05-09 2012-11-14 Illinois Tool Works Weld characteristic communication system for a welding mask
GB2493298A (en) * 2008-05-09 2013-01-30 Illinois Tool Works Welding helmet
GB2493298B (en) * 2008-05-09 2013-03-27 Illinois Tool Works Weld characteristic communication system for a welding mask
WO2009146359A1 (en) * 2008-05-28 2009-12-03 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Welding training system
US9352411B2 (en) 2008-05-28 2016-05-31 Illinois Tool Works Inc. Welding training system
US8911237B2 (en) 2008-08-21 2014-12-16 Lincoln Global, Inc. Virtual reality pipe welding simulator and setup
US8834168B2 (en) 2008-08-21 2014-09-16 Lincoln Global, Inc. System and method providing combined virtual reality arc welding and three-dimensional (3D) viewing
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