High-productivity weld fit-up and alignment solutions showcased at AMFI workshop - InnoTech Alberta

InnoTech Alberta’s Welding Engineering Team hosted AMFI’s High Productivity Weld Fit-up and Alignment Solutions workshop on February 21st.   The one-day workshop, held at InnoTech Alberta’s research facility in Devon, showcased the latest in fit-up and alignment tools.  It was designed to expose manufacturers to productivity enhancing tools that allow for efficiency gains throughout the fabrication process. Equipment demonstrated included digitally enabled tools such as laser scanning and measurement systems, augmented reality laser projection system, weld inspection and monitoring cameras, in addition to clamps and positioners that allow for simpler and more accurate pipe alignment that also serve to reduce risks to workers. 

Classroom presentation by FARO.

On hand for live equipment demonstrations were FARO who showed off a variety of digitally enabled systems including the Quantum FaroArm and ScanArm, Vantage Laser Tracker + 6Probe, Tracer Laser Projection System in conjunction with the Visual Inspection Augmented Reality System, and the Focus LiDAR Scanner. These systems allow for the digital capture of measurements and quality control parameters for easy integration within the manufacturing digital thread.   

Xiris Inspection Solutions demonstrated their laser based WI2000p Weld Inspection System for tubular products, which makes identifying defects related to weld bead profile and misalignment in near real time straightforward.  Data is recorded for easy integration within a manufacturer’s QA/QC program.  Xiris also demonstrated their XVC-1000e Weld Camera in conjunction with the Bug-O Systems UNI-BUG programmable stitch welder.  The weld camera allows for remote monitoring of the weld arc and melt pool removing the operator from a potentially harmful environment.  The camera is ruggedized for industrial applications and enables detail recording of the welding process for future reference.

Cutting Edge Industrial Sales dual chain clamp pipe alignment demonstration.

Cutting Edge Industrial Sales (CEI) of Edmonton demonstrated a variety of pipe alignment solutions including the Stepped Wedge & Gauge system which proved very popular with companies in attendance.  A double chain clamp pipe alignment system from B&B Pipe & Industrial Tools, the Equalizer International Flange Alignment FA4TM tool, and the TAG Pipe Equipment Specialists Ltd.’s clamshell and EZ-Fab cold cutting and end-prepping solution was also demonstrated.

LJ Welding Automation 10TMR Pipe Alignment Cell in combination with FARO Vantage Laser Tracker.

Edmonton based Admiral Fabrication Ltd. demonstrated their pipe alignment solutions including their foster clamp and weld dog combo, as well as stand alone advanced weld-dogs.  InnoTech Alberta’s own Sean Watt, Senior Research Specialist with the Welding Engineering Team, led a demonstration combining the 10TMR Modular Pipe Alignment Cell from LJ Welding Automation with the FARO Vantage Laser Tracker system.  The demonstration illustrated how modern alignment tools used in combination can save fit-up time and simplify verifying the perfect alignment.

ProSolve Consulting, presented on manufacturing process considerations integrating Industry 4.0 concepts such as the digital twin and the digital thread.  The presentation stressed the importance of Canadian manufacturers transitioning towards digital manufacturing to keep pace with competition abroad.

The workshop was closed out by an industry expert panel discussion.  Matt Yarmuch, President of MattCo Engineeringand Terry Mueller, Senior Welding Engineer with TransCanada, discussed the merits of advanced welding technology adoption stressing the role that modern welding processes play in the quality, productivity, and safety aspects of manufacturing and pipeline construction.    

The Alberta Manufacturing and Fabrication Innovation (AMFI) Program aims to accelerate adoption of advanced manufacturing and fabrication solutions.  The program’s focus is on high productivity manufacturing technologies and processes that lead to reduced overall production costs in conjunction with increased quality.  The program supports the manufacturing sector across Canada by raising awareness of advanced manufacturing and fabrication methods, by de-risking technologies and processes, and by providing resources and expertise to support the technology adoption process.

The AMFI Program is offered through InnoTech Alberta and is funded by the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development and Trade’s Industry Growth Solutions and the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).