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1. WO2021005499 - APPARATUS FOR VERIFYING THE PRESENCE, OR THE ABSENCE, OF AN ABRASIVE ELEMENT IN A MACHINE FOR WORKING SURFACES

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. An apparatus (100) to verify the presence, or the absence, of an abrasive element (20) in a machine (1) for finishing surfaces, said machine (1) comprising:

- a support body (10) configured to removably engage said abrasive element (20), said support body (10) and said abrasive element (20) being, respectively, provided, at respective engagement surfaces (15,25) with first and second engagement elements (13,23) configured to move from an engagement configuration to a disengagement configuration, and vice versa;

- a displacement device (40) configured to move said support body (10) in the space according to at least 1 degree of freedom;

said apparatus (100) being characterized in that at least a control station (250) is provided to verify the presence, or the absence, of said abrasive element (20) at said support body (10) and in that in said control station (250) a control device (70) is provided comprising:

- a control element (75) having a control surface

(76) provided with third engagement elements (73) configured to engage with said first engagement elements (13) of said support body (10), said displacement device (40) being arranged to bring said support body (10), or the abrasive element (20) constrained to the same, if present, into contact with said control surface (76) of said control element (75) and to cause a movement of said support body (10); and - a detection device (80) configured to detect if an engagement between said control element (75) and said support body (10) has taken place, during said movement of said support body (10) by said displacement device (40) .

2. Apparatus (100) according to claim 1, wherein said detection device (80) is configured to detect the force applied by said displacement device (40) on said support body (10), or said control element (75), to move said support body (10) with respect to said control element (75), after having brought said support body (10), or the abrasive element (20) constrained to the same, if present, into contact with said control element (75) .

3. Apparatus (100) according to claim 1, wherein said control element (75) is operatively connected free to move to a fixed base body (71), and wherein said detection device (80) is configured to detect lo displacement of said control element (75) with respect to said fixed base body (71) caused by said movement of said support body (10) with respect to said control element (75), after having brought said support body (10), or the abrasive element (20) constrained to the same, if present, into contact with said control element (75) .

4. Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein said detection device (80) is selected from the group comprising:

- at least a force sensor;

- at least a movement sensor;

- at least an accelerometer;

- at least a rotation sensor;

- at least an encoder;

- at least a limit position sensor;

or a combination thereof.

5 . Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein a stop element (78) is, furthermore, provided configured to stop said movement of said control element (75) with respect to said fixed base body (71), and to cause said first engagement elements (13) to be disengaged from said third engagement elements (73) .

6. Apparatus (100) according to claim 5, wherein said stop element (78) is configured to move said control element (75) back to a starting position with respect to said fixed base body (71) .

7 . Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein said control element (75) is configured to translate with respect to said fixed base body (71), and wherein said displacement device (40) is arranged to cause said support body (10) to translate along a predetermined translation direction.

8. Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein said control element (75) is configured to rotate about a first predetermined rotation axis (175) with respect to said fixed base body (71), and wherein said displacement device (40) is arranged to cause said support body (10) to rotate about a second predetermined rotation axis (110) of.

9 . Apparatus (100) according to claim 3, wherein said fixed base body (71) is hollow and is a stem (72) is provided having an end (72a) slidingly mounted within said fixed hollow base body (71) and another end (72b) fixed to said control element (75), said detection device (80) being arranged to detect the displacement of said control element (75) by detecting of the displacement of said stem (72) .

10. Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein said first and second engagement elements (13,23) are arranged to snap engage one with the other.

11. Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein said first and second engagement elements (13,23) comprise, respectively, first and second portions of Velcro arranged to reversibly mutually engage with each other.

12. Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein said displacement device (40) is a anthropomorphic robot having a number of degrees of freedom set between 2 and 6.

13. Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein said control device (70) comprises a plurality of control elements (75a-75d), wherein each control element (75a-75d) is provided with a respective control surface (76a-76d) provided with respective third engagement elements (73a-73d), and wherein each third engagement element (73a-73d) is configured to engage said first engagement elements (13) of said support body (10), or a predetermined portion of the same.

14. Apparatus (100) according to claim 13 wherein each control element (75a-75d) of said plurality is associated to a respective detection device (80a-80d), each of which configured to detect if an engagement of the respective control element (75a-75d) with a respective portion of said support body (10) has taken place, during the movement of said support body (10) by said displacement device (40) .

15. Apparatus (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein a processing unit (300) is, furthermore, provided configured to receive and elaborate the data detected by said detection device (80) .

16. Apparatus (100) according to claim 15, comprising, furthermore, at least a removal station configured to remove said worn abrasive element (20) by said support body (10), said processing unit (300) being configured to command said displacement device (40) to position again at said control station (250) to verify again the presence, or the absence, of said abrasive element (20) at said support body (10), or, after having verified at said control station (250) the presence of said support element (20) on said support body (10), to go back to said removal station and to carry out a removal operation of said abrasive element (20) from said support body (10) .

17. Apparatus (100) according to claim 15, o 16, comprising, furthermore, at least an application station configured to apply a new abrasive element (20) to said support body (10), said processing unit (300) being configured to command said displacement device (40), to position again at said control station (250) to verify again the presence, or the absence, of said abrasive element (20) at said support body (10), or after having verified in said control station (250) the absence of said abrasive element (20) at said support body (10) to go back to said removal station and carry out an application operation of said new abrasive element (20) at said support body (10) .

18 . Apparatus (100) according to claim 17, wherein said control station (250) is positioned between said removal station and said application station.

19 . A method for verifying the presence, or absence, of an abrasive element (20) in a machine (1) for finishing surfaces provides the steps of:

- providing a support body (10) configured to removably engage said abrasive element (20), said support body (10) and said abrasive element (20) being provided, at respective engagement surfaces (15,25), respectively of first and second engagement elements (13,23) configured to move from an engagement configuration to a disengagement configuration;

- providing a displacement device (40) configured to move said support body (10) in the space according to at least 1 degree of freedom;

said method being characterized in that the steps are, furthermore, provided of:

- providing a control element (75) having a control surface (76) provided with third engagement elements (73) configured to engage with said first engagement elements (13) of said engagement surface of said support body (10);

- bringing said support body (10), or said abrasive element (20) engaged to said support body (10), if present, into contact with said control surface (76);

- displacing said support body (10) by said displacement device (40); and

- detecting if any engagement between said control element (75) and said support body (10) have taken place, by a detection device (80), during said movement of said support body (10) by said displacement device (40) .

20 . Method, according to claim 19, wherein said detection step is repeated at least two times.