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Sherwin Williams : Patent Issued for Digital Imaging for Determining Mix Ratio of a Coating (USPTO 9996765)

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06/21/2018 | 11:24pm CEST

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Health & Medicine Week -- From Alexandria, Virginia, NewsRx journalists report that a patent by the inventor Yajko, Michael Paul (Peninsula, OH), filed on January 13, 2017, was published online on June 12, 2018 (see also Sherwin-Williams Company).

The patent's assignee for patent number 9996765 is Sherwin-Williams Company (Cleveland, OH).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "In some applications, the resultant thickness of a coating (e.g., a paint) that is applied to a substrate (e.g., the surface of a metal substrate) by a user may be critical, or at least important, to provide desired performance (e.g., proper protection of the substrate). For example, achieving a specified thickness of an applied coating may be critical to preventing corrosion of a metal substrate used in marine applications. Self-inspecting coatings are used in applications such as, for example, marine applications and oil and gas pipeline applications. A self-inspecting coating often includes a coating (e.g. liquid or powder) that provides a visual indication (e.g., visible or invisible to naked eyes) of coating properties (such as thickness). As an example, the visual indication of the coating properties may be provided as the coating is applied or after the coating is applied. For example, a color of the coating can change as the applied thickness changes, in accordance with an embodiment. In this manner, a user is able to perform a certain level of self-inspecting as the user applies the coating. That is, the user may visually observe the color of the coating as it is applied to the substrate in an attempt to determine if the thickness is correct. However, the ability of a user to discern variations in color (and, therefore, variations in the coating film) by observing the coating with the naked eye is limited.

"Further limitations and disadvantages of conventional, traditional, and proposed approaches will become apparent to one of skill in the art, through comparison of such systems and methods with embodiments of the present invention as set forth in the remainder of the present application with reference to the drawings."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Systems and methods providing digitally enhanced imaging for the prediction, application, and inspection of coatings are disclosed. While many of the embodiments are described as occurring in 'real-time,' it should be understood that the systems and methods described herein can be used in real-time as well as with a delay in processing or analyzing an image. A real-time digital imaging and processing device provides real-time image acquisition, processing, and display of acquired digital imaging data to allow a user to discern variations (e.g., variations in the thickness of a self-inspecting coating being applied to the substrate) beyond that which can be discerned by observing with the naked eye. The real-time digital imaging and processing device may also provide pre-coating and post-coating inspection capabilities as well as coating prediction capabilities.

"Additionally various embodiments of systems and methods may provide real-time enhanced digital imaging methods including but not limited to the use of; calibration, optical lenses, controlled light source, stereoscopy, multi-spectral imaging (e.g., both real-time and still image coating inspection via multi-spectral analysis may be of interest), digital identification (e.g., using a QR code), location and orientation based services, coatings with designed chromism, stationary devices, portable devices, remote devices, and wearable devices. Functionality may include but is not limited to; recordability, non-recordable, point detection, mix ratio determination, non-contact color matching, metamerism prediction, light source calibration, substrate calibration, coating calibration, display calibration, quantification, definable deviation, definable tolerances, visual film thickness determination, profile recognition/determination, and non-contact film thickness metering (i.e., quantified film thickness).

"An embodiment of the present invention provides a method. The method includes acquiring real-time digital imaging data of a coating being applied to a substrate; performing real-time digital image processing on the real-time digital imaging data to generate enhanced real-time digital imaging data, wherein the enhanced real-time digital imaging data provides an enhanced differentiation between colors in the digital imaging data, and wherein each color in the enhanced real-time digital imaging data correlates to a thickness of the applied coating; and displaying a visual representation of the enhanced real-time digital imaging data.

"Another embodiment of the present invention provides a method. The method includes digitally imaging a substrate to be coated to acquire digital imaging data; digitally processing the digital imaging data to enhance the digital imaging data, thereby generating enhanced digital imaging data; digitally processing the enhanced digital imaging data to quantify a level of surface characteristics, such as contamination on the substrate or substrate variations; and displaying at least one of a visual representation of the level of surface contamination and a visual representation of the enhanced digital imaging data.

"An embodiment of the present invention provides a method. The method includes acquiring real-time digital imaging data of a coating that has been applied to a substrate; performing real-time digital image processing on the real-time digital imaging data to generate enhanced real-time digital imaging data, and display a visual representation of the enhanced real-time digital imaging data wherein the enhanced real-time digital imaging data provides an enhancement in visual appearance.

"An embodiment of the present invention provides a method. The method includes acquiring real-time digital imaging data of a coating before it has been applied to a substrate; performing real-time digital image processing on the real-time digital imaging data to generate enhanced real-time digital imaging data, and display a visual representation of the enhanced real-time digital imaging data wherein the enhanced real-time digital imaging data provides an enhancement in visual appearance (e.g., inspection of wet paint in production or in can).

"A further embodiment of the present invention provides a method. The method includes selecting at least one color on a digital imaging and processing device; digitally imaging an object (e.g., an interior of a room) to be painted to acquire digital imaging data using the digital imaging and processing device; digitally processing the digital imaging data using the digital imaging and processing device to: segment the different surfaces of the object to be painted from each other in the digital imaging data, and apply the at least one color to one or more of the surfaces in the digital imaging data to generate enhanced digital imaging data; and displaying a visual representation of the enhanced digital imaging data on a display screen of the digital imaging and processing device.

"In an embodiment, a processor-implemented system includes one or more processors. The processors are configured to acquire original image data from a coating material applied to a substrate surface, enhance a spectral response differentiation in the original image data to generate enhanced image data, acquire spectral response data associated with one or more light sources based at least in part on the enhanced image data, acquire coating thickness data of the coating material, and determine an interrelationship between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the coating thickness data of the coating material. One or more non-transitory machine-readable storage media are for storing the original image data, the enhanced image data, the spectral response data, the coating thickness data, and a data structure for the interrelationship between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the coating thickness data of the coating material.

"In different embodiments, the spectral response differentiation can be enhanced based at least in part on one or more spectral fingerprints of one or more non-visible components in the coating material. The processors can be further configured to apply one or more image processing filters to generate the enhanced image data. The image processing filters might include one or more infrared bandwidth spectral optical filters. The image processing filters might include one or more ultra-violet bandwidth spectral optical filters. The spectral response data might include infrared bandwidth spectral responses associated with one or more non-visible components in the coating material. The spectral response data might include ultra-violet bandwidth spectral responses associated with one or more non-visible components in the coating material. The processors might determine a formula associated with the interrelationship between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the coating thickness data of the coating material, and calculate the data structure for the interrelationship using the formula. The processors might determine the formula using a linear regression method based at least in part on the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the coating thickness data of the coating material. The formula might indicate that a coating thickness is a function of a spectral response, given the substrate surface and the one or more light sources.

"The processors might further perform a spectral response measurement to acquire the spectral response data, perform a thickness measurement to acquire the coating thickness data, and generate the data structure for the interrelationship between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the coating thickness data of the coating material, wherein the data structure includes one or more spectral response fields for storing the spectral response data and one or more coating thickness fields for storing the coating thickness data, the spectral response data being mapped to the coating thickness data in the data structure.

"The processors might acquire test image data from the coating material applied to a test surface, enhance a spectral response differentiation in the test image data to generate enhanced test image data, determine test spectral response data based at least in part on the enhanced test image data, process a database query that operates over the spectral response fields and the coating thickness fields based at least in part on the test spectral response data, and output a test thickness of the coating material according to the database query.

"The processors might acquire the original image data in real-time. The processors might perform one or more image processing operations to generate the enhanced image data in real-time. The enhanced image data might be used with coatings-related metadata for alerting and notification operations associated with out-of-tolerance conditions. The image processing operations might include one or more of color mapping, contrast manipulation, histogram equalization, brightness control, masking using spatial convolution kernels, filtering, compression, thresholding, convolution, correlation, segmentation, multi-spectral band ratioing, intensity-hue-saturation (IHS) transformation, spatial convolution filtering, directional filtering, image subtraction, image magnification, layering, focusing, de-focusing, mirroring, and spatial alignment. The processors might display the enhanced image data. The processors might be further configured to scan a code to identify the coating material and select one or more predetermined image processing operations and one or more predetermined parameters associated with the coating material for generating the enhanced image data. The one or more predetermined parameters associated with the coating material might include one or more calibration factors. The processors might perform a calibration process to correlate one or more substrate surfaces, one or more coating materials, or one or more light sources to a standard. The processors might be further configured to image the substrate surface to be coated to acquire substrate imaging data, enhance a spectral response differentiation in the substrate imaging data to generate enhanced substrate imaging data, and process the enhanced substrate imaging data to quantify a level of contamination on the substrate surface. The processors might display a visual representation of the level of contamination. The processors might display a visual representation of the enhanced substrate imaging data. The processors might process the enhanced substrate imaging data to identify one or more types of contamination on the substrate surface.

"The processors might select inspection presets associated with a particular type of contaminant before the substrate surface is imaged. The processors might be further configured to process the substrate imaging data to calculate an area of the substrate surface to be coated. The processors might be further configured to image an object which includes the substrate surface to be coated to acquire substrate imaging data, segment a plurality of original surfaces of the object from each other in the substrate imaging data, the original surfaces including the substrate surface, apply visually differentiated indications to the original surfaces in the substrate imaging data to generate enhanced substrate imaging data, and display a visual representation of the enhanced substrate imaging data.

"The processors might adjust one or more of filters, masks, and layers that get applied to the substrate imaging data to hone in on a particular visual indication that is acceptable to a user. The processors might perform real-time adjustment of the one or more of filters, masks, and layers based at least in part on the one or more light sources. The processors might select and apply a gloss type to the substrate imaging data. The processors might process the substrate imaging data to calculate an area of the original surfaces of the object to be painted. The processors might image the substrate surface to be coated to acquire substrate imaging data, enhance a spectral response differentiation in the substrate imaging data to generate enhanced substrate imaging data, and process the enhanced substrate imaging data to determine whether one or more surface preparation operations are to be performed on the substrate surface. The enhanced image data might be used with coatings-related metadata for alerting and notification operations associated with out-of-tolerance conditions.

"An example processor-implemented system for determining mix ratios includes one or more processors that acquire original image data from a coating material applied to a substrate surface. A spectral response differentiation is enhanced in the original image data to generate enhanced image data. Spectral response data associated with one or more light sources is acquired based at least in part on the enhanced image data. Mix ratio data of the coating material is acquired. An interrelationship is determined between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the mix ratio data of the coating material. One or more non-transitory machine-readable storage media store the original image data, the enhanced image data, the spectral response data, the mix ratio data, and a data structure for the interrelationship between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the mix ratio data of the coating material.

"The spectral response differentiation may be enhanced based at least in part on color pigmentation of one or more components in the coating material. The spectral response differentiation may be enhanced based on metamers associated with one or more components in the coating material. The spectral response differentiation may be enhanced based at least in part on one or more spectral fingerprints of one or more non-visible components in the coating material. The processors may apply one or more image processing filters to generate the enhanced image data. The one or more image processing filters include one or more infrared bandwidth spectral optical filters. The one or more image processing filters include one or more ultra-violet bandwidth spectral optical filters. The spectral response data may include infrared bandwidth spectral responses associated with one or more non-visible components in the coating material. The spectral response data might include ultra-violet bandwidth spectral responses associated with one or more non-visible components in the coating material. The one or more processors may determine a formula associated with the interrelationship between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the mix ratio data of the coating material, and calculate the data structure for the interrelationship using the formula. The one or more processors may determine the formula using a linear regression method based at least in part on the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the mix ratio data of the coating material. The formula might indicate that a mix ratio is a function of a spectral response, given the substrate surface and the one or more light sources. The processors might perform a spectral response measurement to acquire the spectral response data, perform a mix-ratio measurement to acquire the mix ratio data, and generate the data structure for the interrelationship between the spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the mix ratio data of the coating material, wherein the data structure includes one or more spectral response fields for storing the spectral response data and one or more mix-ratio fields for storing the mix ratio data, the spectral response data being mapped to the mix ratio data in the data structure. The processors might acquire test image data from the coating material applied to a test surface, enhance a spectral response differentiation in the test image data to generate enhanced test image data, determine test spectral response data based at least in part on the enhanced test image data, process a database query that operates over the spectral response fields and the mix-ratio fields based at least in part on the test spectral response data, and output a test mix ratio of the coating material according to the database query. The processors might acquire the original image data in real-time. The processors might perform one or more image processing operations to generate the enhanced image data in real-time, wherein the enhanced image data is used with coatings-related metadata for alerting and notification operations associated with out-of-tolerance conditions. The one or more image processing operations include one or more of color mapping, contrast manipulation, histogram equalization, brightness control, masking using spatial convolution kernels, filtering, compression, thresholding, convolution, correlation, segmentation, multi-spectral band ratioing, intensity-hue-saturation (IHS) transformation, spatial convolution filtering, directional filtering, image subtraction, image magnification, layering, focusing, de-focusing, mirroring, and spatial alignment. The processors might scan a code to identify the coating material and select one or more predetermined image processing operations and one or more predetermined parameters associated with the coating material for generating the enhanced image data. The one or more predetermined parameters might be associated with the coating material include one or more calibration factors. The processors might perform a calibration process to correlate one or more substrate surfaces, one or more coating materials, or one or more light sources to a standard.

"An example processor-implemented system includes one or more processors configured to acquire original image data from a self-inspecting coating material applied to a substrate surface, enhance a spectral response differentiation in the original image data to generate enhanced image data, acquire inherent spectral response data (or designed spectral response data) associated with one or more light sources based at least in part on the enhanced image data, quantify an inherent spectral response of the coating material, and determine an interrelationship between the inherent spectral response data (or designed spectral response data) associated with the one or more light sources and the quantified inherent spectral response of the coating material. One or more non-transitory machine-readable storage media might store the original image data, the enhanced image data and the inherent spectral response data (or designed spectral response data), and a data structure for the interrelationship between the inherent spectral response data associated with the one or more light sources and the quantified inherent spectral response of the coating material. The inherent response might corresponds to a thickness of the coating material, or to a mix ratio of the coating material, or to chromism associated with the coating material.

"These and other advantages and novel features of the present invention, as well as details of illustrated embodiments thereof, will be more fully understood from the following description and drawings."

For additional information on this patent, see: Yajko, Michael Paul. Digital Imaging for Determining Mix Ratio of a Coating. U.S. Patent Number 9996765, filed January 13, 2017, and published online on June 12, 2018. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9996765.PN.&OS=PN/9996765RS=PN/9996765

Keywords for this news article include: Business, Electronics, Data Structures, Digital Imaging, Health and Medicine, Information Technology, Digital Image Processing, Sherwin-Williams Company, Information and Data Architecture.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2018, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2018 NewsRx LLC, source Health Newsletters

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