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The Warsaw Voice » Other » December 3, 2008
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Industrial Processes in 3D
December 3, 2008   
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Researchers at the Technical University of £ód¼ have found a way to obtain three-dimensional images of industrial processes such as the flow of oil through a pipeline or the passage of grain through a silo-without resorting to invasive methods.

The scientists, led by Prof. Dominik Sankowski, work at the Computer Engineering Department of the Technical University of £ód¼. They have developed a three-dimensional tomography method to analyze the gravitational flow of industrial particulates. The method makes it possible to obtain detailed information on various industrial processes.

In the project, Sankowski has worked with researchers including Prof. Richard A. Williams, Dr. Robert Banasiak, Dr. Zbigniew Chaniecki, Dr. Rados³aw Wajman, Dr. Krzysztof Grudzieñ, and Dr. Andrzej Romanowski.

"Tomography imaging not only provides information that makes it possible to show the course of industrial processes, but, above all, to control them," says Sankowski. That involves highly developed data processing algorithms.

In classic tomography, physical and chemical phenomena occurring in industrial systems are examined with the use of sensors that only permit two-dimensional measurements. The £ód¼ researchers have developed a new tomographic sensor that permits three-dimensional imaging. The system consists of a measuring unit, or a tomograph, a multi-electrode sensor with flexible electrodes adapted to application needs, a special measurement protocol, and dedicated software.

The new technology makes it possible to obtain more information about industrial processes from cumulative measurements. The data is processed into a 3D display on the screen. "We use fast dedicated software or 3D image reconstruction algorithms that recreate the interior of a given vessel or a process, and fast multiprocessor computing stations," says Sankowski.

This kind of tomography is used in other countries as well, but the Polish scientists are among the world's leaders in this field, Sankowski says.

The department's research focuses on the development of new Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT) designs involving twin-plane systems and 3D sensors, with new image reconstruction algorithms that make it possible to increase spatial resolution, combine different modalities of tomography, and allow 3D measurements.

Producers need more information about optimum material storage and dosage methods to be applied in production in order to improve product quality, and to effectively control the production process.

The new technology won awards at a number of international exhibitions last year, including a silver medal at the International Warsaw Invention Show, a special award at the Taipei International Invention Show, and a gold medal at the 56th Brussels Innova International Eureka Contest in Brussels.

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