Title of Invention

"DEVICE FOR MONITORING A CONVEYOR"

Abstract Device for monitoring a conveyor comprising: a conveyor belt (1) made of elastomer material, having a carrying side for the goods to be conveyed, and a running side, whereby the conveyor belt has, in particular, an embedded strength support; an optoelectronic system (3) that optically detects the belt surface, particularly the carrying side, in that it recognizes damage during operation, and when a critical state of the conveyor belt is reached, shuts the system down, so that repair measures are initiated in timely manner; a process computer (7) with which the optoelectronic system (3) is coupled, for the purpose of evaluating all of the data, whereby the processor is particularly connected with a drive control; an encoder (5) which is in communication with a moving part of the conveyor; and other system parts, namely a non-driven drum (2), support rollers, support scaffolding, characterized in that at an interval from 10 m to 500 m in length the entire conveyor belt (1) is subdivided into endless segment (X), each segment being provided with a unique address so that a segment mark is formed, the address of the respective segment mark being detected without contact by means of a first scanning unit; the segment (X) are each bounded by a start mark (6) the respective start mark again being detected without contact by means of a second scanning unit; and in that the first and second scanning units and the encoder (5) are coupled to the process computer (7)
Full Text The invention relates to a device for monitoring a conveyor, comprising:
a conveyor belt made of elastomer material, having a carrying side for the goods to be conveyed, and a running side, whereby the conveyor belt has, in particular, an embedded strength support (e.g. steel, ropes, woven fabric);
an optoelectronic system that optically detects the belt surface, particularly the carrying side, in that it recognizes damage during operation, and if a critical state of the conveyor belt is reached, shuts the system down, so that repair measures can be initiated in timely manner;
a process computer with which the optoelectronic system is coupled, for the purpose of evaluating all of the data, whereby the processor is particularly connected with a drive control; as well as
other system parts, namely a non-driven drum, support rollers, support scaffolding, as well as any other components that might be necessary.
Since conveyor belts are often the most important part in mine systems, and their failure can frequently result in a complete shut-down of production, methods for automatic, continuous monitoring of the conveyor belts are required. Aside from the known methods of slit monitoring (DE 44 44 264 C2) and connection monitoring (EP 1 053 447 Bl), methods for monitoring the entire belt surface are also in demand, in order to recognize wear damage or surface impact damage or its further development during operation, and to shut the belt down if a critical state is reached, or to initiate repair measures in timely manner.
To achieve this goal, the use of optoelectronic systems, particularly in the form of electronic camera systems (line camera or surface camera), was proposed, and reference is made, in particular, to the following state of the art:
DE 100 29 545 Al
DE 101 00 813 Al DE 101 29 091 Al DE 101 40 920 Al EP 1 187 781 Bl EP 1 222 126 Bl
These optoelectronic systems generate images of the belt surface to be monitored. However, automatic assessment and evaluation of the image information obtained in this manner is very difficult, particularly if the change over time of discrete zones of the conveyor belt surface is supposed to be detected. It is true that methods have been described that can be used to identify certain structures of the belt surface, for example splices (connections), with a certain degree of probability. But in order to be able to carry out effective automatic monitoring of the belt as a whole,
localization of any desired point of the belt with millimeter
accuracy is required, since only in this way is it possible
to follow up the development of damage over a certain period of time, using automatic image processing software.
The task of the invention now consists in making a device of this type available, in which it is possible to locate any

desired point of the conveyor belts with millimeter accuracy, whereby the detectable accuracy is supposed to be better than ± 1 mm.
This task is accomplished according to the characterizing feature of claim 1, in that
the entire conveyor belt is divided into finite segments, whereby each segment is provided with a distinct address, so that segment marking occurs, whereby the detection of the address of the segment marking, in each instance, takes place without contact, by means of a first scanning unit;
the segments are delimited by a start marking, in each instance, whereby the detection of the start marking, in each instance, also takes place without contact, by means of a second scanning unit;
a movable part of. the conveyor is provided with an encoder, and that

the first and the second scanning unit as well as the encoder are coupled with the process computer.
Practical embodiments of the device according to the invention are indicated in claims 2 to 14.
The invention will now be explained using two exemplary embodiment$, making reference to schematic drawings. These show:
Fig. 1 a device having an encoder, which is driven by the conveyor belt itself, by means of a friction wheel coupling;
Fig. 2 a device having an encoder, which is driven directly, by way of the axle of a non-driven drum.
According to Fig. 1, the optoelectronic system 3 in the form
of a line camera detects the entire width of the carrying side of the conveyor belt 1, specifically using a lighting device 9. With regard to details of such optoelectronic systems, reference is made to the state of the art cited initially.

Two start markings 6 comprise, i.e. delimit a finite segment X of the conveyor belt 1. The length of each segment is 10 m to 500 m, particularly under the aspect of equal lengths, in each instance.
With regard to the start marking 6, the following variants are used:
The start marking is formed by at least one notch, color strip, reflection zone, metal particle, or permanent magnet.
The start marking is a code, particularly under the aspect of mechanical, optical, magnetic, electrically conductive, or radioactive detection. The code, in turn,
is a bar code or is structured similar to a bar code.
Also, the code can consist of small permanent magnets,
particularly in the form of a serial arrangement.
Detection of the start marking 6, in each instance, takes place by means of a scanning unit, particularly in the form of a reader head 4, without contact. In this connection, it

is sufficient if a single scanning unit detects all of the start markings.
Every segment X is provided with a distinct address, so that a segment marking is formed. The distinctness is produced by means of segment numbering (e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.).
Here, the address of the segment marking is a transponder 11. The scanning unit, which also performs the detection without contact, comprises an antenna 12 and a transponder reader 13. For the remainder, reference is made here to the general state of transponder technology.
The address of the segment marking can also detect those variants that were already mentioned in connection with the start markings, whereby then the scanning unit is also a read
head, preferably within the framework of a common detection
system of start marking and segment marking.
The address of the segment marking as well as the start marking are located within the carrying side of the conveyor belt 1, in its edge region. In this connection, it is advantageous if the transponder, in particular, is completely

embedded in elastomer material. This also holds true when using a code, specifically in the form of a coded matrix (DE 100 17 473 Al).
Here, the address of the segment marking and the start marking 6 are separate marking systems, whereby the address of the segment marking is advantageously located in the vicinity of the start marking. In this connection, it is unimportant whether the address is situated in front of or behind the start marking, with reference to the running direction of the conveyor belt.
The precise location determination between the markings takes place using an encoder 5 that is driven by the conveyor belt 1 itself, for example by means of friction wheel coupling 15. The encoder produces a certain number of electrical pulses
for a certain path distance. These pulses are acquired in

the process computer 7 by means of a counter, and, together
with the segment marking and the address of the belt segment, yield precise location data for every point of the conveyor belt to be monitored. The precision of the location determination depends on the selection of the encoder (number of pulses for a certain path distance) and the precision of

the determination of the segment marking, and can be very high. Precision values of a few tenths of a millimeter can easily be achieved.
The location data obtained in this manner are linked with the image data of the optoelectronic system 3 by software, in a process computer 7, and thereby form the basis for automated image assessment, which can be used to detect any change in composition of every point of the belt surface. In this way, a significant data reduction becomes possible, since only those data that describe a significant change in the belt state have to be processed further.
In the case of monitoring of the conveyor belt 1 in ongoing conveyor operation, it is also possible to connect the process computer 7 with the drive control by means of an RDT line 14 (remote data transmission) , and to shut the system down when serious defects are detected. Furthermore, it is possible to transmit the result of the belt inspection to any desired location anywhere in the world where the required receiving devices are present, using remote data transmission (e.g. the Internet).

According to the exemplary embodiment according to Fig. 2, the address of the segment marking and the start marking 6 form a uniform marking system, for example in the form of a code in stripe form. The common scanning unit is a read head 4. Here, the encoder 5 is driven by way of the axle of a non-driven drum 2. With regard to further details of the device, reference is made to the exemplary embodiment according to Fig. 1.
The encoder can be, for example, a multi-pole encoder (DE 203 12 806 Ul) or an optoelectronic encoder. In this regard, reference is made to the general state of encoder technology.
Although optoelectronic detection of the carrying side of the conveyor belt is shown in Fig. 1 and 2, this concept can also be applied to observation of the running side (DE 101 00 813
Al) .

Reference Symbol List
1 conveyor belt
2 non-driven drum (reversing or deflection drum)
3 optoelectronic system
4 read head for start marking and address, if applicable
5 encoder
6 start marking (trigger mark) and address of the segment
marking, if applicable
7 process computer
8 monitor
9 lighting device
10 data collection
11 transponder
12 antenna
13 transponder reader
14 RDT line

15 friction wheel for encoder drive
X segment of the conveyor belt



We Claim
1. Device for monitoring a conveyor comprising:
a conveyor belt (1) made of elastomer material, having a carrying side for the goods to be
conveyed, and a running side, whereby the conveyor belt has, in particular, an embedded
strength support;
an optoelectronic system (3) that optically detects the belt surface, particularly the carrying
side, in that it recognizes damage during operation, and when a critical state of the conveyor
belt is reached, shuts the system down, so that repair measures are initiated in timely manner;
a process computer (7) with which the optoelectronic system (3) is coupled, for the purpose
of evaluating all of the data, whereby the processor is particularly connected with a drive
control;
an encoder (5) which is in communication with a moving part of the conveyor; and
other system parts, namely a non-driven drum (2), support rollers, support scaffolding
characterized in that
at an interval from 10 m to 500 m in length the entire conveyor belt (1) is subdivided into
endless segment (X), each segment being provided with a unique address so that a segment
mark is formed, the address of the respective segment mark being detected without contact
by means of a first scanning unit;
the segment (X) are each bounded by a start mark (6) the respective start mark again being
detected without contact by means of a second scanning unit; and in that
the first and second scanning units and the encoder (5) are coupled to the process computer
(7).
2. Device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the address of the portion mark and the start mark (6) are located within the surface of the belt in particular within the carrying side, In the region of its edge.
3. Device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the address of the portion mark and the start mark (6) are separate marking systems.
4. Device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the address of the portion mark is located in the vicinity of the start mark (6).
5. Device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the address of the portion mark and the start mark (6) form a unified marking system.
6. Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 5, in particular in conjunction with claim 3 or 4, wherein the address of the portion mark is transponder, the first scanning unit comprising an antenna (12) and transponder reading device (13).
7. Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the address of the portion mark and/or the start mark (6) is/are formed by at least a notch, a coloured stripe, a reflective zone, a small piece of metal or a permanent magnet.
8. Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the address of the portion mark and/or the start mark (6) is a code, particular from the viewpoint of mechanical, optical, magnetic, electrically conductive or radioactive detection.
9. Device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the code is a bar code or structured like a bar code.
10. Device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the code consist of small permanent magnets, in particular in the form of a serial arrangement.
11. Device as claimed in one of claims 7 to 10, wherein the first and second scanning units are a common detection system, in particular in the form of a reading head (4).
12. Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the encoder (5) is driven by the conveyor belt (1) itself.
13. Device as claimed in one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the encoder (5) is driven by way of the axle of non-driven drum (2).

Documents:

5617-DELNP-2005-Abstract-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Abstract-(18-03-2011).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-abstract.pdf

5617-delnp-2005-Assignment-(26-06-2012).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Claims-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Claims-(18-03-2011).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-claims.pdf

5617-delnp-2005-Correspondence Others-(26-06-2012).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-Correspondence-Others (18-11-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Correspondence-Others (27-10-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Correspondence-Others-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Correspondence-Others-(18-03-2011).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-correspondence-others.pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Description (Complete)-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Description (Complete)-(18-03-2011).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-description (complete).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Drawings-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-drawings.pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Form-1-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Form-1-(18-03-2011).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-form-1.pdf

5617-delnp-2005-Form-16-(26-06-2012).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-form-18.pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Form-2-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Form-2-(18-03-2011).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-form-2.pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Form-3-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-form-3.pdf

5617-delnp-2005-form-5.pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-GPA-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-GPA-(26-06-2012).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-gpa.pdf

5617-DELNP-2005-Others-Documents-(08-07-2009).pdf

5617-delnp-2005-pct-210.pdf

abstract.jpg


Patent Number 247723
Indian Patent Application Number 5617/DELNP/2005
PG Journal Number 19/2011
Publication Date 13-May-2011
Grant Date 06-May-2011
Date of Filing 05-Dec-2005
Name of Patentee PHOENIX AG
Applicant Address HANNOVERSCHE STRASSE 88, 21079 HAMBURG, GERMANY
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 WOLFGANG SCHNELL ROTBERGKAMP 10D, 21079 HAMBURG, GERMANY
PCT International Classification Number B65G 43/02
PCT International Application Number PCT/DE2004/001899
PCT International Filing date 2004-08-28
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 103 41 038.4 2003-09-03 Germany