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1. WO2020110156 - MACHINERY AND PROCESS FOR SCANNING A SLAB OF ROCK MATERIAL

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

TITLE: "MACHINERY AND PROCESS FOR SCANNING A SLAB OF ROCK MATERIAL"

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DESCRIPTION

Technical field

The invention relates to a machinery and to a process for scanning a slab of rock material, for example marble, stone, granite.

Technological background

It is known Ii this field, to scan a slab of rock material, for example marble, in order to establish the following operations to be carried out on the slab, in particular cutting a portion of the slab, so as to obtain a manufactured article including said portion of rock material .

According to the prior art, said scanning takes place by projecting a light beam onto the slab, then a control unit creates an image of the slab by means of image capturing means .

However, this type of systems is affected by some drawbacks .

One drawback lies in the fact that a same light beam, having the same physical features, hardly adjusts to the different types of material making up the slab, as, for instance, there are marbles with different colors and patterns; furthermore, a light beam designed for a particular type of marble is hardly suited for a granite slab. This is due to the fact that the chemical and/or morphological composition of the slabs can vary in a significant manner. Hence, when the image of the slab is processed, some types of material generate images with a low chromatic fidelity. Summary of the invention

An object of the invention is to provide a machinery and a process, which are able to solve this and other drawbacks of the prior art and which, at the same time, can be implemented in a simple and economic fashion.

According to the invention, this and other objects are reached by means of a machinery and a process according to the appended independent claims .

The appended claims are an integral part of the technical teaches provided in the following detailed description concerning the invention. In particular, the appended dependent claims define some preferred embodiments of the invention and describe optional technical features. Brief description of the drawings

Further features and advantages of the invention will be best understood upon perusal of the following detailed description, which is provided by way of example and is not limiting, with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

figure 1 is a perspective view of a machinery according to a particular embodiment of the invention;

figure 2 is a block diagram concerning a process according to a particular embodiment of the invention.

Detailed description of the invention

The invention relates to a machinery for scanning a slab of rock material, comprising:

a support 2 to support slab 4 ,

a scanner 6 configured to capture an image of slab 4, a reader device configured to read an identifying element 8, in particular containing items of information or associated with items of information, applied on slab 4, a control unit adapted to produce, as an output, an image of slab 4.

The control unit is configured to receive from the reader device an input signal concerning identifying element 8 and, based on said input signal, to determine the parameters with which scanner 6 scans slab 4 and/or with which the control unit processes the output image of slab 4.

Support 2 preferably is adapted to support slab 4 in a substantially vertical position and, in the example shown herein, the slab is inclined by approximately 5° relative to a vertical plane. Support 2 preferably is a plane on which slab 4 is adapted to rest and, in particular, said plane is inclined (for example is inclined by 5° relative to the vertical) or vertical.

The machinery includes a support structure on which support 2 for slab 4 is fitted and said support structure is adapted to rest on a standing surface, for example the floor.

Scanner 6 preferably is mobile relative to support 2. Therefore, slab 4 is adapted to stand still on support 2 and the scanner moves relative to slab 4. Scanner 6 shown herein is adapted to slide relative to support 2, in particular horizontally. In the example shown herein, guide means, e.g. tracks, are fitted to support 2 so that scanner 6 can slide on them. According to a possible variant, scanner 6 is fixed and support 2 can optionally comprise means to move slab 4 relative to scanner 6. Scanner 6 preferably comprises linear video cameras (conveniently of the industrial type) . Scanner 6 includes lighting means, preferably LEDs. Scanner 6, in particular of the mobile type, is preferably configured so as to detect an image of slab 4 which is not affected by the lighting conditions of the surrounding environment; for instance, scanner 6 has a casing which protects the video cameras from external light and is located close to slab 4 (e.g. a few centimeters of millimeters away) , thus protecting it from the light of the surrounding environment.

Identifying element 8 conveniently is a barcode or a QR code and the reader device is adapted to read said barcode or QR code. Hence, in this case, the reader device is an optical reader. According to a possible variant of the invention, the reader device is an RFID reader adapted to read identifying element 8, which an RFID tag. In particular, identifying element 8 contains items of information on one or more among: the material of slab 4, the color of slab 4, the thickness of slab 4, the image scanning techniques, the post-scanning image processing techniques. Identifying element 8 contains or is associated with predefined items of information. Optionally, as an alternative, it 8 can be a sign or a graphic element.

Identifying element 8 is applied, for example through adhesive, on a face of slab 4, in particular on the face that is going to be analyzed by scanner 6. Optical references 12 are arranged, in the example, on the same face.

Therefore, the user places slab 4 on support 2 and the control unit, after the reader device has read identifying element 8, determines the parameters with which to emit the light beam on slab 4 and/or the image processing modes, so as to scan it through scanner 6 and produce, as an output, an image of slab 4. In this way, the process with which the images of slab 4 are captured and processed is quick, simple and allows users to obtain high-definition images, since, for every type of slab 4, the processing and the scanning are carried out according to ideal criteria.

The reader device is preferably portable, for example a "hand-held" scanner, in particular to read barcodes or QR codes, and it can be of a known type. The scanning of the image of slab 4 takes place after the reading of identifying element 8. According to a possible variant, the reader device is mounted on mobile scanner 6 or on support 2.

According to a possible embodiment, the parameters with which scanner 6 is adapted to capture the image of slab 4 include at least one between: intensity of a light beam emitted by a light source belonging to scanner 6, frequency of the light beam (e.g. white light, yellow light, red light, green light) . The light source belonging to scanner 6 can be known. In addition or as an alternative, after the reading of identifying element 8, the control unit processes the image (image editing) according to predetermined logics which can be configured by a user. For example, in accordance with predetermined logics and in some operating conditions, the control unit does not alter the image obtained by scanner 6. This can happen, for example, if the image has a sufficiently high quality or if slab 4 is made of a predefined material, as indicated by identifying element 8.

First optical references 10, which are configured to be read by scanner 6, are preferably applied on support 2, which, in the example shown herein, is a plane. The control unit, based on this detection, is configured to carry out a correction of the output image of slab 4. Hence, scanner 6 sends a signal to the control unit when it detects a first optical reference 10. For example, the first optical references 10 are placed in known positions; therefore, when the first optical references 10 are detected, the control unit deforms the output image of slab 4 in response to said detection. The optical references 10, 12 basically are "fiducial markers" or "fiducial points" . By means of the first optical references 10 it as advantageously possible to avoid or reduce distortions of the output image of slab 4, which, for example, can occur due to vibrations or anomalous movements of scanner 6, mechanical alignments, distortions caused by the lenses of scanner 6, etc.. Scanner 6 comprises means to detect the first optical references 10, which can be distinct from the scanning means used to obtain the image of slab 4.

Preferably, by means of second optical references 12 applied on slab 4 it is favorable possible to obtain a spatial positioning of slab 4 with reference to a reference system, for example a Cartesian system. Hence, the spatial orientation of slab 4 can be used in one or more following operations, such as for example the cutting of slab 4, in order to carry out these operations more precisely. Scanner 6 is adapted to detect the second optical references 12 applied on slab 4. The control unit is configured to determine the position of these second optical references 12 and, based on this position, to produce, as an output, the spatial positioning of slab 4 with reference to the reference system. The second optical references 12 are configured to be read by scanner 6 and can be applied on slab 4 by a user, for example through an adhesive. On slab 4 there preferably are three second optical references 12, which allow users to obtain a defined spatial orientation of slab 4 by placing references 12 on slab 4 in a causal manner. Hence, scanner 6 is adapted to obtain a first image of slab 4 and to detect the presence of optical references 10 and/or 12. The control unit, which is operatively connected to scanner 6, based on the items of information received, determines the position of optical references 10 and/or 12 and, hence, can act accordingly. The control unit is operatively connected to scanner 6 and to the reader device .

The first optical references 10 are conveniently aligned and are equally spaced apart from one another. In particular, they 10 can be aligned on a straight, broken or curved line. In particular, the first optical references 10 are located on (i.e. close to) at least part of the peripheral edges of support 2. For example, support 2 is a rectangular plane and the first optical references 10 can be located on a horizontal edge (in particular, the upper one) . Scanner 6 shown in figure 1 is adapted to move along a trajectory that is parallel to the horizontal edge on which the first optical references 10 are mounted. According to a preferred variant of the invention, the first optical references 10 are located on all the perimeter edges of support 2 and, in particular, on the four edges of the rectangle formed by support plane 2.

In particular, the control unit is adapted to produce, as output image of slab 4, an image, for example in BMP format, and a DXF vector image, for example with three reference points and a zero point. The reference points derive from the position of the three second optical references 12. The "zero point" is an origin of a reference system. The image (e.g. BMP) and the DXF image can both show the three reference points and the zero point. This is advantageous for the subsequent cutting step, during which a control unit of a cutting machine uses a DXF file containing the reference points to obtain the positioning of slab 4, so as to cut said slab 4 in a quick and precise manner. Alternatively, in the more common case of cutting machines with shooting of slab 4 by means of a camera arranged above the plane where slabs 4 are processed, the presence, in the BMP image, of the three reference points facilitates the alignment of slab 4 on the processing plane.

Optionally, there is a screen 14 capable of showing data or items of information processed by the control unit, for example the output image of slab 4.

The invention further relates to a process for scanning a slab of rock material, comprising the steps of:

providing a machinery according to any embodiment , applying 100 on slab 4 an identifying element 8 containing items of information,

placing 102 slab 4 on support 2,

reading 104 identifying element 8 and, based on said reading, determining 106 the parameters with which scanner 6 scans slab 4 and/or the parameters with which the control unit processes the output image of slab 4,

capturing 108 an image of slab 4 through scanner 6, producing 110, as an output, an image of slab 4.

If it is necessary to process the image obtained by the scanner 6, there is the step of processing 109 the image in order to produce the output image of slab 4. Otherwise the image obtained by scanner 6 does not require further processing .

Optionally the control unit is adapted to receive commands by a user in order to obtain items of information on the process being carried out on slab 4. The control unit is optionally adapted to receive commands from a user in order to carry out the scanning process. Conveniently the control unit is adapted to store the output image of slab 4, or further items of information on slab 4, for example in a memory unit of the machinery or in a remote server.

The process preferably comprises the steps of :

detecting first optical references 10 applied on support 2 ;

based on this detection, carrying out a correction of the output image of slab 4.

The machinery and the process of the invention are conveniently included in a process for the production of an article made of rock material. The process includes the step of cutting slab 4 in order to manufacture the article and, in particular, there are the steps of:

- obtaining the spatial positioning of slab 4 in a reference system, wherein the spatial positioning of slab 4 is obtained by the slab scanning machinery,

- defining a cutting outline in said reference system along which to carry out the cutting of slab 4,

- cutting slab 4 based on the cutting outline.

In this case, a control unit of a cutting machine is adapted to receive the positioning of slab 4 previously obtained by the machinery according to the invention and, based on this positioning, the cutting outline is defined and the cut is carried out.

The process described above is conveniently carried out by the machinery according to the invention, wherein the control unit controls and coordinates the different steps and the structural elements, in accordance with what described above with reference to the machinery.

The cutting machine, which can be known, is coordinated by a control unit, which can be distinct from the control unit of the scanning machinery or can be the same control unit. In case of two different control units, they can be operatively connected to one another, for example through a wireless connection; or the user can store the output data produced by the control unit of the machinery, including the position of slab 4, and insert it in the control unit of the cutting machine, for example using a memory support or further known means .

The invention also relates to a computer program configured to have the scanning machinery carry out the scanning process and also to carry out the subsequent cutting of slab 4.

Naturally, the principle of the invention being set forth, embodiments and implementation details can be widely changed relative to what described above and shown in the drawings as a mere way of non-limiting example, without in this way going beyond the scope of protection provided by the accompanying claims .

Barzano & Zanardo Milano S.p.A.

/LT