The objective of this project is to develop a real time automatic system (STILE) for detection of decoration defects in ceramic tiles to provide the manufacturing SMEs with an efficient, cost-effective in-line tool for monitoring of the tiles production. The proposed system will reduce the scraps and will reduce the production cost up to 30 per cent in the short term. The surface control of tiles is presently performed by human operators. This solution is expensive and not reliable. Attempts have been made to develop automatic systems for the control of the surface quality of tiles, but the computing time required to analyze the image was too long and therefore not compatible with the production rate. STILE is based on the technology of the smart optical sensors. This patented innovative technology, which was originally developed for space applications, is based on the combination of optical sensor and digital processor on the same semiconductor chip. The architecture of the chip offers the possibility to perform image operations (including digitalization, filtering, edge detection, thresholding, thinning, etc.) directly on the chip, allowing a very effective time saving in comparison with conventional image data processing. The smart optical sensors will be further developed and integrated in an inline control system which will include ad-hoc image analysis software and illumination devices. The STILE system will be: much faster than existing systems; cheap and therefore particularly suited to SMEs; very reliable. The effect of this development on the core group of SMEs will be to significantly increase their markets in the supply of ceramic tiles and of control equipment, depending on their position in the supply chain. It will also have a positive social impact because it will reduce the need for the distressing work of human operators in charge of the quality control, and create better job opportunities in the same field. The proposed project complies with the scientific and technological objectives of Industrial & Materials Technologies and in particular with Research Tasks 1.1.1.S (adaptation and application of new technologies), 1.1.4.S (application of automation), 1.1.2.S (implementation of computer assisted technologies), 2.3.2.S (development of sensors and equipment).
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
28880 Alcala De Henares
42019 Scandiano Reggio Emilia