SWITZERLAND: New hand-held spectrocolorimeter to help manage colour
By Leonie Barrie | 19 September 2012
A new hand-held spectrocolorimeter has been introduced by X-Rite Inc to help companies better communicate colour differences during manufacture, sourcing and supply.
The RM200QC simplifies the way industries, including textiles, can compare the colours of lab samples or parts in production with reference standards, then create reports that can be shared with supply chain partners.
The new instrument is said to offer advanced features that identify colour differences between samples and standards, opacity, and gray-scale assessment, as well as highlighting how colours may change in appearance under D65 daylight and Illuminant A household tungsten-filament lighting.
X-Rite introduces RM200QC spectrocolorimeter to help companies manage color of textiles, plastic parts, and coatings accurately and affordably
New spectrocolorimeter to aid manufacturers that want to raise the bar in how they communicate color differences during manufacture, sourcing and supply
REGENSDORF, SWITZERLAND – X-Rite, Incorporated has introduced the RM200QC handheld spectrocolorimeter to give companies an inexpensive yet powerful way to record and communicate color differences to speed introduction of new products and reduce instances of scrap.
The hand-held RM200QC simplifies how textile, coatings, chemicals, plastic molding and other industries can compare the colors of lab samples or parts in production with reference standards, then create reports that can be shared with supply chain partners.
The RM200QC has proven useful for setting color standards and enhancing productivity for Poppin, Inc., a New York City-based company that differentiates itself in the office products industry by designing desk sets, pens and pencils, and paper products in-house for manufacture in China. "We set ourselves apart from the big-box competition partly through the use of vibrant, eye-catching colors defined by Pantone," Poppin Vice President Roger Cole said. "We've built a loyal customer base because we present stylish colors in an office setting at the right price point. So having colors match properly is critical for our business."
Cole said Poppin manufacturing personnel use the RM200QC as a quality control device to monitor color deviation between items in production and the Pantone standard color. Using Lab* data generated by the RM200QC, Poppin has been able to reduce the difference between what New York designers stipulate and what is manufactured in China. Further, Poppin personnel like the fact that the pocket-sized RM200QC can be carried easily on international trips and that it measures colors accurately and quickly.
"It's the perfect tool for our application," said Ernest Lapornik, production engineer for Diversified Mining Services, a Brisbane-based manufacturer of mining equipment and provider of operation, maintenance and support services for open-cut and underground mines in Australia and New Zealand. DMS intends to use the RM200QC to make sure components arriving from various manufacturers worldwide for its Coaltram® LHD (Load , Haul, Dump) vehicles all match his company's specified colours of yellow, grey and red.
"With the high cost of production for these types of machines and the quality benchmarks we have set, we are very particular that they don't look like patchwork quilts when they are assembled," Lapornik said. "For instance, our yellow is a proprietary colour that we use to promote our brand in the industry. Additionally, the RM200QC’s ability to generate a report and give us a pass / fail result removes any disputes regarding the machine’s colour due to human interpretation.”
He gave the RM200QC high marks as a handy, cost-effective solution for accurately identifying out-of-specification color components at work sites since their weights and bulk prevent them from being measured with benchtop equipment. Diversified Mining Services employs more than 840 people at its Brisbane headquarters, manufacturing facilities in Newcastle, and service workshops in Mackay, Emerald and Wollongong.
The new instrument goes well beyond the capabilities of existing colorimeters with advanced features that identify color differences between samples and standards, opacity, and grayscale assessment, as well as highlighting how colors may change in appearance under D65 daylight and Illuminant A household tungsten-filament lighting,
The RM200QC is inexpensive enough for companies to purchase multiple units that can be stationed at individual machines or at critical steps in a workflow to alert quality control personnel if a manufacturing process is out of control. The instrument is particularly suited to help companies that currently manage colors by comparing incoming raw materials or finished products with color swatches, fan decks or sample products.
X-Rite, the world's largest designer and manufacturer of color management and communication systems, employs a proprietary camera technology in the RM200QC that illuminates the surface being measured from three different directions while simultaneously recording 27 color-accurate images in 1.8 seconds, eliminating the shadows and interference inherent to patterned and textured materials and surfaces. With 8 different visible illuminations and 1 ultraviolet illumination, the RM200QC is able to more accurately define the location of a color in color space than traditional colorimeters that typically have only three illuminations of red, green and blue light.
Quality control or quality assurance personnel can be trained in a matter of minutes on the operation of the RM200QC. Operators can select between 4 mm and 8 mm apertures and preview the sample area on the instrument's full-color display, then take a measurement in less than 2 seconds with the press of a button. The instrument then gives results in the form of a simple pass/fail message or CIE Lab* values and delta E color differences. It also reports results in all of the standard color difference equations and tolerances, such as CIELAB, CMC, CIE 94, or CIE 2000.
The RM200QC memory holds 20 standards and up to 350 measurements automatically stamped with time and date and saved as PDF and CSV files that can be downloaded easily via USB cable so the information can be shared with other stakeholders in a supply chain. Any measurement can be linked with images of test surfaces, text notes, or voice messages and the reports can be output in multiple languages.
Companies involved in plastic injection molding and extrusion, cut-and-sew operations of textiles, master batch formulations, coating and painting processes and manufacture of building materials will find immediate applications for the RM200QC, said Matthew Adby, Product/Market Manager for X-Rite.
"X-Rite prides itself on offering the widest range of practical and affordable solutions to its customers, and the RM200QC is a perfect example of our fulfilling that mission," Adby said. "It's a simple and reliable solution that provides all the functions that manufacturers need for quality control, and it is inexpensive enough for them to station several units at critical points in their processes."
X-Rite, Incorporated, is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite’s expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical. For further information, please visit www.xrite.com.
Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, has been the world’s color authority for nearly 50 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers paint and designer-inspired products and services for consumers. More information is available at www.pantone.com.
©2012 X-Rite, Inc. All rights reserved. X-Rite is a registered trademark of X-Rite, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are the property of Pantone LLC. © 2012. All rights reserved.
Original source: X-Rite Inc
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SWITZERLAND: New hand-held spectrocolorimeter to help manage colour