All Posts By

Tim Mouw

Manufacturing, Packaging

Effective ways to measure reflective surfaces

No matter what you’re manufacturing, taking spectral measurements will help ensure your color remains accurate and consistent throughout your production run. When choosing the best spectro for your needs, your first consideration should be the type of surface you’ll be measuring.

Measuring reflective surfaces poses a challenge because the effect of gloss can actually change the color appearance of a sample. The surface reflection of light is what causes the gloss effect. Since a 0°/45° spectrophotometer doesn’t include gloss in the measurement, it can’t provide a true representation of how the human eye will perceive the color.

So how can you measure reflective or shiny surfaces? Today we’ll take a closer look at how to use an 8° diffuse sphere instrument to measure both spectral included (SPIN) and spectral excluded (SPEX).

Ci7800 spectrophotometer measurement

Measuring a shiny plastic part with the Ci7800 benchtop sphere instrument.

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Color 101

What’s Sabotaging YOUR Sustainability Efforts?

Today is Earth Day. You know the buzz phrase – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – but do you know what it means for your manufacturing process?

Designed by Freepik

Designed by Freepik

Here are the top three places in a color workflow that can sabotage a company’s sustainability efforts.

  1. Not monitoring color throughout production, which leads to expensive rework and wasted raw materials.
  2. Incorrect colorant formulation. Are you using too much? Are you wasting the leftovers?
  3. Sending color samples back and forth and long approval cycles, which can have a big impact on a company’s carbon footprint.

Read the full story to learn how color management technology can help you address these crucial areas. Not only will our earth benefit from your greener manufacturing processes, but your budget will too.

Color Meets Tech Help

Achieving Accurate Paint Matches

In the world of retail paint, getting to the best color match quickly is key to keeping your customers happy and coming back for more. Today we’ll review ways to get the most from your color measurement tools so your associates can be color experts, and you can enjoy fewer corrections and improved profitability.

Paint Chips on Quilt

Do any of these swatches match the customer’s quilt? Not really. Gain customer’s trust by creating a perfectly matched paint color.

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Color Management, Device How-To

5 Color Evaluation Pitfalls to Avoid

If you work in an industry where color accuracy is important, you know that lighting plays a huge role in how you perceive color.

A light booth is a crucial part of any visual evaluation program. It can help you verify whether the color of your product is acceptable, plus ensure it will remain accurate in every lighting condition after purchase. When parts are manufactured at different factories, a light booth should also be used to make sure they continue to match under any lighting condition once assembled.

Four Lightbooths

This image shows how different colors look under four different lighting conditions: D65, D50, Store and Home.

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Color Measurement 101

Why does it take so long to produce new car colors?

Detroit recently hosted The North American International Auto Show. It’s an exciting event for consumers who want a sneak peek at what’s on the horizon in the automotive industry. Energy efficiency, new gadgets, enhanced comfort, and of course, the latest paint colors and special effect finishes.

For years, white has been the most popular car color, but more varied colors are starting to emerge. USA Today’s Chris Woodyard wrote that blue is a new color trend at this year’s auto show. It’s also rumored that automotive paint suppliers are including brighter colors in their 2019 automotive color collections.

It’s only 2016. Why such a long wait for new colors?

Believe it or not, producing a new auto color can take up to five years from inspiration to the showroom floor. It’s a long, tedious process for designers, paint companies, and auto manufacturers; but innovative color measurement technology is changing the game and speeding up time to market.

blue becomes a hot automotive color in 2016

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Color 101, Events

What is the FOCA Seminar?

The Fundamentals of Color and Appearance – FOCA for short – is a very popular one-day seminar for anyone who deals with color. From the best way to communicate color so everyone is speaking the same language, to tips for judging the smallest color differences, you’ll learn everything you need to know to measure, view, and understand color data in any industry.

Whether you’re dealing with plastics, textiles or paints, or using dyes, inks or other colorants, the basics of color are very similar. But in color science, the basics aren’t always very easy to understand. FOCA brings all of the complicated scientific terms and color management processes into everyday language you can actually understand and use.

FOCA trainers are industry leaders who have accumulated years of hands-on practical experience and expertise in their respective fields. You may also recognize them as contributing authors for our blog.

CIELAB Exercise Chips

CIELAB Exercise Chips

Today we’ll share some of what you’ll learn if you’re lucky enough to attend one of our nationwide seminars.


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Color Measurement 201

Why is controlling color so hard?

As an Applications Engineer and Technical Support Specialist at X-Rite, I get a lot of calls from frustrated customers who don’t understand why they can’t get their color right. They’re tired of the trial and error, rework, and wasted materials that are impacting their bottom line and credibility with customers. They just want their color workflow to WORK and FLOW.

Why is it so hard?

Today we’ll walk through the top 8 reasons color control programs fail, so you can evaluate and improve yours.

xrite; x-rite benchtop; color control

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Color Resources and Learning

X-Rite eXact Scan Receives 2015 InterTech Award

Each year the Printing Industries of America selects the most innovative graphics arts solutions to receive the 2015 InterTech™ Technology Awards. This year, the X-Rite eXactTM spectrophotometer with Scan Option was among the recipients of this prestigious award.

Today we’ll take a look at the top features that make the eXact with Scan Option a star with offset litho, flexo, and digital printers.

X-Rite eXactTM Scan; InterTech Award

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Calibration and Profiling, Print

Benefits of Automated Chart Reading

Color management has caused an explosion of opportunities for new and interesting inks and a variety of paper and substrates. Color profiles help ensure that you can maintain accurate color when running jobs with these new applications, but measuring test charts to create these profiles can be difficult to manage in a high-volume production environment.

Automated chart readers take on the burden of measuring all of those test charts, which can have hundreds – even thousands – of patches. Not only do they remove user error from the equation, they allow the operator to work on other tasks while the chart reader is busy at work. They’re consistent and reliable, and make it faster and easier to meet the creative demands of your customers.

Today we’ll look at some of the options for implementing automation into your color-managed prepress workflow.

xrite i1iO automated chart reader

The i1iO can make quick work of this stack of test charts.

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Device How-To

Caring for your Spectrophotometer

X-Rite manufactures and supports color measurement solutions for global markets where color and appearance matter. We build and service each product in an environment that adheres to the highest standards and strictest tolerances. Our lean manufacturing process, Six Sigma mentality, and ISO 9001 and 17025 certifications provide confidence that every device you receive from X-Rite will work exactly as designed.

Today we’ll take a look at what you need to do to protect your investment, from regular cleaning to annual device calibration.

cleaning xrite ivue lenses

Cleaning the lenses of the iVue with an approved cotton swab.

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