How many trial and error steps does it take you to formulate a color? If you answered more than three, it might be time to enlist the help of a computerized solution.
Computer-aided color formulation can bring huge benefits to your business. Out of the gate, even beginners can hit color targets faster, saving time, money and expensive colorants. Once you’ve established an accurate process, you can expect to match 95% of your color requirements within a reasonable color distance on the first try! When you consider manual mixing takes an average of 12 tries to get it right, formulation software saves labs a lot of time and money during the development and production phases.
To learn more about the benefits, check out our blog “Fast Formulation is Key to Producing Color of the Year.” Today we’re demonstrating how a portable or benchtop spectrophotometer and Color iMatch software can help you formulate paint, plastic, and textile colors faster and with less waste.
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).
Measuring a shiny plastic part with the Ci7800 benchtop sphere instrument.
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.
This image shows how different colors look under four different lighting conditions: D65, D50, Store and Home.
X-Rite’s inline color measurement solutions help industries manage color as the product is being made. Inline systems monitor products as they are produced and alert operators as soon as color begins to move out-of-spec so corrections can be made before the product is wasted.
The TeleFlash445 spectrophotometer mounted on a traversing beam is automatically measuring the left, middle and right side of this sheet during production.
Each X-Rite inline color measurement system uses a non-contact spectrophotometer and ESWin software. Depending on the application and needs, a system may include a moving frame or robotic arm to position the spectro. Although they work as standalone units, X-Rite’s inline solutions can communicate with process control systems to provide color measurement data, or dye pump controls for real time Closed Loop Color Corrections. A system may also receive signals about events such as reel/sheet changes, machine stops or meter counts. Networked data allows you to share color standards and measurements among systems and at different locations.
Today we’ll look at how industries such as paper, textiles, plastics, glass and automotive are using X-Rite’s inline measurement solutions.
Using a spectrophotometer to measure color doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to capture accurate data. The most common reason for incorrect measurements and inconsistent readings among instruments is using the wrong device settings. Today we’ll look at five things you must consider when setting up your device and taking measurements.
Color measurement devices have been around since the 1940s, but they’ve come a long way since then.
Built by Jules Duboscq in France in 1870, the Duboscq colorimeter was one of the first color measurement devices.
The earliest instruments were colorimeters, which used red, green and blue filters to simulate the tristimulus response of the human eye. Back in the ‘40s, they were pretty expensive so few people had access to them. Even more expensive were spectrophotometers, which measure color by sampling light at very narrow intervals across the visible spectrum.
Modern technology has paved the path for specialty devices for every kind of industry, and lower prices make color measurement devices accessible to everyone, from hobby photographers to car manufacturers.
Today we’ll look at the difference between colorimetry and spectrophotometry and the geometries that define each.
For the most part, today’s color measurement instruments are 100% digital. In fact, there are very few analog components inside, except for the light bulbs. Although they’re more stable than their analog predecessors, their tolerances are much narrower, and they need regular calibration to stay within these tight specs.
Spectrophotometers are excellent tools for measuring samples versus standards to compare color differences, but what do you do if you have an irregular sample that isn’t flat or uniform in size and shape?
Achieving color accuracy can be a challenge for irregularly shaped products like liquids, plastics, cans and powders. X-Rite offers specially designed accessories for many of our instruments to help measure these hard-to-hold samples. We call them “rigs and jigs,” and they enable handheld and benchtop spectrophotometers to measure many of those odd shaped and hard-to-hold samples.
Today we’ll look at how X-Rite helps many customers, including the Algida Ice Cream Company, effectively measure their non-standard products.
A benchtop spectrophotometer fitted with a test tube holder to measure the color of orange juice.
Whether you’re printing on press or replicating a brand’s colors on the web, PANTONE’s Color Systems are the gold standard for communicating color specification and quality control. They provide a common language for color so specifiers and manufacturers can be sure they understand the customer’s expectations and reproduce those colors, even if they’re a world away.
The PANTONE PLUS SERIES COLOR BRIDGE Set provides process color simulations of all solid PANTONE Colors as a side-by-side comparison.
Does your quality control program include visual evaluation?
If not, it should.
Using the SpectraLight QC as part of a color evaluation workflow.
No matter your industry, judging color is more than just measuring samples with a color measurement device. Just because a spectrophotometer says your color is within tolerance, doesn’t necessarily mean it will look right to the human eye.
To minimize customer rejects, your color control process needs to include visual evaluation in a light booth. This is especially important if you’re producing different parts for the same product, because they need to match in the factory, as well as outside, in a fluorescent-lit store, and wherever else they’ll be seen once they enter the world.
Today we’ll review visual evaluation best practices to ensure your quality control program is the best it can be.