As you know, a good welder does not necessarily need to analyze all the characteristics that influence the weld to know if the result is in accordance with the customer's specifications or not. He knows his settings by heart and knows when an error occurs in the process.
However, the growing number of standards and restrictions has often made it compulsory to document the various processes. Many manufacturers of machines and, in our case, of welding power supplies, are tackling the issue with the aim of simplifying this tedious documentation process for welders. We will now show you a concrete example of data documentation.
Orbital welding and the developments
in data documentation
The world of orbital welding is no exception. By respecting the quality and preparation of the tubes, automating the welding cycles with orbital welding guarantees perfect repeatability. But it has always been important to be able to export the data in order to verify that the actual parameters are in accordance with those of the selected program.
From the very beginning of its entry into the market of orbital welding in the 2010s, AXXAIR has embraced digital technology and has ensured that the "SASL" machines can export data, even if it was nothing more than a simple listing in the beginning.
Since the recovery of programs and data that required the installation of third party software, the reporting possibilities have evolved significantly...
Weldreport and the SAXX power supplies
With the introduction of the SAXX power supplies, users were offered the possibility to access the programs, in addition to the consultation of the data acquisition which was the basic function.
The recovery of programs and data is now done with a software developed entirely by AXXAIR. It is compatible with the latest versions of Windows and facilitates the servicing of the power supply.
The welding data reporting software Weldreport offers the possibility to read and store the data of the power supply on a computer. Weldreport is delivered to you on a flash drive that is included in every purchase of an item from our range of welding power supplies: the SAXX 200, 210 and 300. It should be installed on a computer before the first use so you can operate Weldreport as soon as you start working with the power supply in your workshop or on site.
The flash drive contains the system files, the power supply calibration files, and an installation guide in form of a PDF.
After using the power supply, you can also view the alarm history. Welding programs created with the SAXX can be exported from the power supply to a flash drive.
What are the benefits of this software?
From storing programs over the weld history to the issuing of a WPS – the functionalities are numerous. We will now go into detail on the many advantages of Weldreport.
Storing welding programs
These days, Weldreport is mainly used for two of its features: storing programs and weld history.
Users can import the power supply data to their computer and thereby read, save, and edit the programs. Since 2018, the display of programs has been changed to the form of WPS/WPQR. The created programs are automatically presented in A4 format, saved as PDF, and can be accessed on a computer. This way, after sampling, the used program can be printed in a standard layout that is in accordance with approved organizations, so they can issue a weld qualification for example.
The welding programs, whether created manually or through the integrated auto calculation of the SAXX power supply, are stored in the power supply’s built-in memory. The program library is comprised of 200 lines, which means that up to 200 programs can be created and accessed through the power supply. To store more programs or simply access them on a computer, it is possible to export them onto the flash drive. The programs can then be read in Weldreport. Users are free to use as many flash drives as they like!
What if you don’t have Weldreport?
Without Weldreport, the user has to create a spreadsheet in Excel and insert the data manually in a certain format that can be read and validated by a welding inspector. With the AXXAIR software, the formatting is done automatically and no longer needs to be done by hand. With this new format, it is possible to attach the program to welding samples for example, which saves a considerable amount of time thanks to quick access and easy printing.
Auto calculation and accessing
As mentioned above, the SAXX power supply is equipped with an auto calculation system. It will calculate a welding program according to the following data the user enters:
- The machine used (open heads, closed heads, …)
- The tube parameters (diameter, thickness, …)
- The tube material and the preparation of the tubes and accessories to be welded.
The created program is written by the machine’s built-in memory and will then appear in Weldreport under “programs”. If necessary, the program can of course be modified directly on the SAXX so it meets the exact specifications of the company and/or the end customer.
The following data is included in the programs:
- The program number
- The name of the program
- The tube parameters (material, diameter, thickness, preparation)
- The different configurations (tube-tube, tube-elbow etc.)
- The passes made (with wire, without wire).
Quick reminder: the SAXX can store 200 lines, that means up to 200 programs. In each line, you can store up to 10 passes (from 0 to 9). For example, you could store 20 programs with 10 passes each or 200 programs with 1 pass each.
Let’s take a closer look at a tubular circuit consisting of a straight piece, an elbow and then again a straight piece and an elbow. It is possible to create a program for each configuration: a tube-tube program, a tube-elbow program, a tube-T program, etc.
When welding a thick tube in several passes (a root pass, a first filling pass, a second filling pass and a finishing pass), the passes will all be registered in one single program.
Why is it beneficial to report the programs?
A program will have several purposes, either internally or externally to your company.
Internally, within a team for example, the welding operator will select a program from several power supplies in operation. He then has two possibilities: he can choose to print the ticket on the unit and enter the setting parameters manually on other units or he can print the Weldreport directly and distribute it within the company or even to a group of companies.
Weldreport and the formatting of the programs also allow the easy sending of the data via email as a PDF to AXXAIR to request samples.
Accessing the weld history
Weldreport also offers the possibility to keep a history of the welds. "Welding Logs" saves all real parameters (production line follow-up, quality control, etc...) of the last 1000 welds. The history includes all the welds made, the tacks (if made with the power supply) as well as the welds stopped manually or by an alarm. All welds are organized by date (year-month-day) and time and can be traced to the second.
This feature can be used during a test phase in particular. The user can go back to a weld from a few days earlier if he judges that it was of better quality, or for a quality control follow-up.
It is important to note that the SAXX power supply stores the weld history directly on the flash drive, not in its built-in memory. If the flash drive is disconnected and welds are made, they will not be logged. The power supply is able to store the history of the last 1000 welds on the flash drive, any weld beyond that will result in the overwriting of existing lines. To avoid losing data, it is strongly recommended to regularly backup the history on your computer.
Moreover, the user has the option of creating folders for each customer in order to organize their history and facilitate data storage.
A software to assist in the development
of a WPS in the proper form
Another feature of Weldreport is the possibility to create a WPS (welding procedure specification). Quick recall: the WPS is a collection of information necessary to prepare the welding and allows companies to repeat welds in series, all of the same quality (provided that the welds are carried out under the same conditions, i. e. environment, quality of the raw material, preparation of the tubes and accessories, etc.).
The WPS is the document that will be sent to the official control body in order to qualify a weld. Just like a recipe, this sheet will allow you to reconstitute a program from A to Z since it contains all the parameters used by the operator.
Interpreting the WPS and following its instructions is a mandatory step towards the qualification of a weld.