A considerable amount of research has recently been performed on automated die and mold finishing systems. The research has tended to focus on the development of the finishing tool, the means of positioning and controlling the tool or efficient algorithms for moving the tool to achieve desired degrees of surface roughness. However, there has been relatively less effort to develop sensors suitable for providing the critical surface finish data necessary for any closed loop system. This paper presents two algorithms that, when coupled with machine vision hardware, are capable of providing surface texture information. The algorithms are developed and the results calibrated against a stylus profilometer. Tests have been conducted on mold cavity surfaces and the results evaluated against standard tactile means. The hardware has been incorporated with a computer controlled coordinate machine.

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