Managing color throughout production is always a challenge, but advances in color technology, like the metallic, shimmer, and pearlescence effects designed to capture consumer attention, are taking the frustration to a whole new level for quality control managers. This is especially true when producing parts that must match at assembly, such as the metal panels for a home appliance or the painted side mirrors for a vehicle.
Special effects are tricky to control because our perception can change based on the type of light and angle of reflection. Just because each part visually matches the physical reference on the production line doesn’t mean it will match the rest of the product at assembly.
If special effect colorants or substrates are adding chaos to your color control program, you’ll be glad to know the solution could be as simple as the new MA-5 QC handheld multi-angle spectrophotometer. Built with quality control managers in mind, the MA-5 QC can identify a color or appearance defect early in the manufacturing process to reduce waste and rework
MA-5 QC: Efficient Control for Special Effects
The cost-effective MA-5 QC provides actionable data to drive process improvement and ensures color harmony across the supply chain. Here are the top six ways it stands out from other multi-angle devices on the market.
1. Ensures color and appearance are both within tolerance.
The MA-5 QC captures digital color data from five different angles to accurately describe and tolerance both color and special effect appearance. It also provides within 0.16 dE inter-instrument agreement when tested on 196 solid, metallic, and pearlescent effect paints. Learn why inter-instrument agreement is an important consideration in this blog.
2. Offers simple, fail-proof analysis.
The MA-5 QC has a touch screen display that makes data input and analysis easy. Simply enter the digital color specification and acceptable tolerance into the device and start measuring. Each measurement will display a green checkmark for a passing color or a red checkmark for a fail. It can even be programmed for automated jobs to guide location and collection of multiple data points for consistent quality control.
3. Measures more samples per shift.
Existing multi-angle devices are heavy and bulky, making them cumbersome to operate after an hour or two. Weighing in at less than 22 ounces, the MA-5 QC is the lightest and most compact multi-angle color measurement device available, which is great news if you suffer from fatigue during production line measurements. And, since it captures a measurement in less than 2.5 seconds – that’s 60% faster data collection than other devices – you can measure more samples per hour.
4. Captures color on tight intersections and flimsy surfaces.
With optics on the tip, the MA-5 QC is easy to align in tight intersections that other devices can’t touch. It won’t distort the shape of curved and flexible parts during measurements, and uses LED indicator lights as guidance and assurance that the instrument is correctly positioned on every sample.
5. Identifies whether sample temperature is impacting the measurement.
Did you know measurement data can change based on the temperature of the sample? Read our Thermochromaticity blog to learn why this is a big concern for quality control professionals who deal with samples hot off the line. The MA-5 QC is the first device on the market to offer an on-screen temperature preview so you can identify whether the temperature of the sample is affecting your measurements.
6. Integrates into existing workflows with ease.
When used with EFX QC software, the MA-5 QC can digitally communicate tolerances and measurement procedures for clear expectations as well as collect, track, and report color data to streamline approvals and identify areas for improvement. It’s compatible with existing X-Rite multi-angle solutions to fit seamlessly into your color quality control process with little or no downtime.
Together, X-Rite’s MA-5 QC multi-angle spectrophotometer and EFX QC software help manufacturers communicate clear expectations and suppliers quickly evaluate metallic and special effect finishes. Get in touch if you'd like to learn how this new device can change the way you evaluate special effect finishes.