Sustainability

Four Ways Color Management Can Help Save the Earth

April 22nd is Earth Day. Have you stopped to think about your manufacturing impact on our planet?

To stay profitable in any industry, you must be willing and able to change. Green manufacturing with a focus on sustainability is a growing trend that can influence your bottom line while having a meaningful impact on our planet.

Being sustainable means you consider your business needs as well as those of our environment and future generations. It’s a socially responsible way of doing business, and customers are considering it when making their purchasing decisions. Brands that want to stay ahead of the competition need to assure customers that they are making impactful changes.

Color management can help.

  1. Color measurement devices

    Quality control shouldn’t be the last step in the process. Measuring color throughout production is the easiest way to make sure color is on target before a production run is wasted or products are rejected, saving energy and natural resources.

    Handheld spectrophotometers, like the X-Rite eXact or Ci64 can be carried around for spot checks. Devices like the X-Rite VS450 can measure wet samples of paint, dyed fabrics, ink, or liquefied resins, so you know if color is on track without wasting electricity and time associated with drying these samples before measurement.

    Ci6x
    Handheld devices like the X-Rite Ci64 can be carried around the factory for spot color checks.

    Check out X-Rite’s inline systems, which manage color as products are being made. Since they alert the operator as soon as color begins to drift out of spec, corrections can be made before any product is wasted, often automatically.

  2. Ink, dye, and colorant formulation software

    Formulation software provides so many benefits toward a sustainable manufacturing process…

    By measuring your incoming materials, you can formulate how to compensate to achieve target colors with recycled and natural products, meaning fewer dyes and chemicals.

    It can tell you how much of each ink, colorant, or dye to use so you’re not using more than you need to achieve a certain color. It can even calculate how to use the colorants you already have on hand, reducing inventories and waste.

    If your color isn’t quite right, formulation software can attempt to calculate a recipe to fix it so the lot is not wasted. It’s also handy for mixing small batches in pre-production so you can test recipes in small quantities before large production runs.

  3. Digital ecosystems

    In the past, the only way to quality control color was by comparing physical standards with samples or production output (and lots of trial and error, transportation costs, and waste). Digital color communication changes everything.

    Digital PANTONE Color libraries can be imported into X-Rite devices and software, making it much easier to specify, measure, and analyze color. When everyone is looking at the same spectral data and speaking the same color language, human error is drastically reduced.

    For the print and packaging industry, PantoneLIVE takes it one step further by housing Pantone digital standards in a cloud-based ecosystem, so anyone involved in the color workflow can access the same color data for their substrate and ink system. Look for X-Rite’s digital ecosystems to expand into other industries in the near future.

  4. Color and appearance technology

    Sending samples back and forth to get approval on color isn’t just time consuming, it can cause a lot of waste in materials, fossil fuels consumed during transport, and rework if the sample is rejected. What if you could actually see how color will look, on the actual surface, before it’s even produced?

    Software like X-Rite’s Total Appearance Capture allows samples to be examined virtually during the design and formulation stage. By accurately portraying both color and appearance, designers, brand owners and manufacturers can experience the final product without producing a physical sample, and make changes without wasting raw materials.

    TAC
    X-Rite's Total Appearance Capture shows how special effect finishes will look on uneven surfaces, so you can evaluate color choices without having to prepare and shipping expensive samples.

    The ability to manage both color and appearance digitally is big on X-Rite's innovation list. Watch for more 3D appearance prototyping solutions in the near future.

Continue looking for ways to improve

Sustainability means monitoring your operation and continually looking for areas to improve. This Earth Day, April 22nd, consider your manufacturing impact on our globe, and start looking for ways you can take action.

Not sure where to start? X-Rite can visit your site to help evaluate your processes and identify potential areas of improvement.

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