All Posts By

Tim Mouw

How to Deploy Consistent Color in a Manufacturing Workflow

Whether you manufacture plastics, coatings, or textiles, the reality is the same: If you don’t achieve consistent color, your product won’t sell. In fact, at the shelf, most people decide whether they’re going to purchase a product within 90 seconds, and much of that decision is based on color.

We know it can feel overwhelming to make changes to your production workflow, especially if you think it’s “good enough.” But the industry is changing. Brands are demanding more accurate color, faster. To stay competitive, you need to continue moving up the continuum of color control.

Consistent Color Measuring Colorants

Luckily there is a growing range of color tools available to achieve accuracy and consistency. Today we’re sharing what’s available to help you deploy more consistent color in your manufacturing workflow.

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Common Pitfalls That Cause Conflicting Measurements

Have you ever sent out a job that passed your inspection, only to have the customer reject it for out-of-tolerance color? You recheck the data and the instrument says the color passed the agreed tolerance… why is the customer saying it doesn’t? We get a LOT of these conflicting measurement calls in technical support.

The solution is simple – document a color control program that clearly defines how to assess color, then make sure everyone (including your customer) follows it. Today we’re sharing what you need to include in your program so you can begin working with confidence.

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Colorimeter or Spectrophotometer: Which is best for you?

Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging.

when color goes wrong; xrite blog; pantone blog

There are basically two types of color measurement instruments: colorimeters and spectrophotometers.

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Are you using the right device for digital standards?

Whether you’re producing textiles, automotive parts, or plastic pieces, color needs to remain consistent or the final product will be rejected. Unfortunately, there are many ways for color errors to creep in during manufacturing.

Creating and using digital standards is one way to combat these errors. They can be used to accurately specify and communicate color, design layouts, and formulate colorants and raw materials. Digital standards give brand owners peace of mind that the color they communicate is the color that will be produced, and manufacturers the confidence to work faster and more efficiently.

To create digital standards, you need an accurate, repeatable master spectrophotometer. But with so many instruments on the market, how can you choose? Today we’re highlighting some of the features of our new Ci7860 so you can judge for yourself whether it’s the right instrument for you.

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Unleashing Xtreme Color

Looking forward to the X Games? Kicking off next week in Aspen, the annual sporting competition draws thrill seekers from around the world to participate in Xtreme events, such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

Image courtesy of www.bleacherreport.com.

Of course, this living-on-the-edge lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Luckily, with X-Rite you don’t have to be a daredevil to enjoy Xtreme color! Here’s a list of our most innovative solutions to help you achieve the greatest possible results… from the safety of your office, shop, or lab.

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A Few of the Unusual Things Our Customers Measure

Our color measurement devices are used by designers, brand owners, formulators, printers, and manufacturers around the world. Ranging from portable handheld devices, to large benchtop instruments, to spectrophotometers mounted inline, they can measure just about anything to help formulate and maintain a perfect color match.

Many of our customers, especially those in the paint industry, are asked to color match some pretty interesting things, and we love to hear about them. We recently asked 40 people the following question:

What is the most unusual thing you or one of your customers has measured? 

Read on for snippets from the interesting, funny, and sometimes gross responses!

Want to measure the color of splattered baby food? No problem with the CAPSURE device! See the rest of the video here.

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2016’s Top Color Management Concerns

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A time to reminisce… to celebrate our successes, and to explore areas that may need a little more attention in 2017.

If color accuracy is on your list of things to improve, this article is for you. We’ve compiled a list of the blogs our readers found most helpful and interesting in 2016, so you can start working toward your goal of more accurate color in the New Year.

Did your favorite blog make the list?

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No Treats, just Tricks! 5 Fun Optical Illusions

FoamGhostThere are many things that affect what we see. Optical illusions aren’t just fascinating; they teach us about how we visually perceive our surroundings. In our color perception series, we shared some of the factors that affect how we see color and the impact it has on manufacturing.

Today we’ll take a closer look at some of the ways our brains, eyes, and the environment can influence what we see… we’ll call it adult Trick or Treat! Continue Reading

The Secret Life of Colorful Food

There’s been a lot of research around the role color plays in how we expect food to taste. The fact is, we judge flavor by the color of the food or drink, even before the first taste. We expect red foods to taste sweet like strawberries or cherries. White should taste like vanilla, and green is probably limey and tart or minty. Color cues can even determine whether we take that first bite. On the wrong food, like mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie, most of us won’t try green at all!

Green Pumpkin Pie

In the heat of summer – when a sweet, refreshing treat is all that’s on your mind – would you buy a brand of ice cream if the cartons on the shelf are off-color? The Algida ice cream factory in Corlu, northwestern Turkey, knows the likely answer is no. That’s why they came to us for help tightening their process control, so that each batch not only tastes great, but has uniform color.

As you can imagine, the color of ice cream – or any food for that matter – is not the easiest thing to measure. Here are the top four things manufacturers must consider when measuring food, and how X-Rite solutions can help.

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Are You Using the Right Tolerancing Method

When visually evaluating color, everyone accepts or rejects color matches based on their color perception skills. In manufacturing, this subjectivity can lead to confusion and frustration between customers, suppliers, vendors, production, and management.

Are these acceptable color differences?

Are these acceptable color differences?

This is why color measurement devices are important in so many industries. By measuring colors using a spectrophotometer, you can communicate and compare spectral data for exact results.

To aid in color decisions, color acceptability limits called tolerances can be set as guidelines for how much perceived color difference is acceptable. Tolerances are used to control color, ensure consistency within a production run, and to minimize lot-to-lot variability. But even when using spectral data and tolerances to quantify color, customers and suppliers still find themselves disagreeing.

Why does this happen?

Through the years, different numerical ordering systems have been developed. If customer and supplier are using different ones, the tolerance – and acceptable color – will be different. Today we’ll look at the most common tolerancing methods so you can be prepared, no matter which method you are expected to use.

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