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Journal of Computer Networks and Communications
Volume 2013, Article ID 392056, 19 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/392056
Research Article

Wireless Sensing Based on RFID and Capacitive Technologies for Safety in Marble Industry Process Control

Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Caruso 16, 56122 Pisa, Italy

Received 29 July 2012; Accepted 19 October 2012

Academic Editor: Agusti Solanas

Copyright © 2013 Fabrizio Iacopetti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This paper presents wireless sensing systems to increase safety and robustness in industrial process control, particularly in industrial machines for marble slab working. The process is performed by abrasive or cutting heads activated independently by the machine controller when the slab, transported on a conveyer belt, is under them. Current slab detection systems are based on electromechanical or optical devices at the machine entrance stage, suffering from deterioration and from the harsh environment. Slab displacement or break inside the machine due to the working stress may result in safety issues and damages to the conveyer belt due to incorrect driving of the working tools. The experimented contactless sensing techniques are based on four RFID and two capacitive sensing technologies and on customized hardware/software. The proposed solutions aim at overcoming some limitations of current state-of-the-art detection systems, allowing for reliable slab detection, outside and/or inside the machine, while maintaining low complexity and at the same time robustness to industrial harsh conditions. The proposed sensing devices may implement a wireless or wired sensor network feeding detection data to the machine controller. Data integrity check and process control algorithms have to be implemented for the safety and reliability of the overall industrial process.