Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Improved Usage of Coated Leather by the Mapping of Sub-Surface Faults

This project provides a vision based fault mapping system which can be sited in the tannery. The information generated by the system is passed together with the leather to the cutter who can avoid cutting critical shoe parts from those areas identified. This enables shoe manufacturers to reduce waste and lower reject rates of footwear manufactured from coated leathers. Following the period of commercialization the results of the project will provide the footwear industry with improvements in quality, cutting process efficiency and the morale of the workforce.

Early in the project the key problem faults were identified as being scratch, wire mark damage and vein. Analysis of rejected shoes and cut pieces as a proportion of production showed that the cost of these faults to the average SME footwear manufacturer using coated leathers is of the order of 75k EURO per annum.

The key elements of the system are:-

- A high resolution vision system incorporating a linescan camera providing a resolution of around 800 microns.
- High speed processing hardware capable of processing the images in real time at the rate of production of the tannery.
- Software to analyze the images captured by the hardware and to identify their location together with the periphery of the leather.
- A method of passing the location of the faults to the cutter.

The key benefits of the system are:-

- Reduced rejection of cut upper leather pieces.
- Reduced reject rate of finished shoes.
- Overall improvement in the quality of footwear manufactured in the EU.
- Improvement in the working environment - the leather cutter is currently demoralized when he sees shoes and cut leather upper pieces being rejected through no fault of his own.


Tel.: 44-1536-410000
Record Number: 23988 / Last updated on: 2000-02-14
Information source:
Collaboration sought: Information exchange/Training
Stage of development: Other
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