Managing Color in Your Plastics Workflow

Posted October 18, 2016 by Arne Kuhlmann

K 2016 begins today in Düsseldorf and runs through October 26th. As the #1 trade fair for the plastics and rubber industries, it’s a huge event featuring industry news, product demos, and networking.

We’ll be in Hall 8b / Stand H65 showcasing our end-to-end X-Rite Pantone workflow solutions to help rubber manufacturers, compounders, masterbatchers, and converters get consistent color in a plastics workflow. Don’t miss your chance to speak with our color experts! (Here’s the best way to request a demo.)

From the North Entrance, simply turn left, head down the escalators, and Hall 8b will be on your right. We’ll be in Stand H65, waiting to meet you!

From the North Entrance, simply turn left, head down the escalators, and Hall 8b will be on your right. We’ll be in Stand H65, waiting to meet you!

Whether you’ll be at K 2016 in person or staying abreast via social media, today’s blog is dedicated to showing how a complete X-Rite Pantone solution, including the ability to digitally communicate color based on spectral values, makes it faster, easier, and less expensive to more consistently manage color in your plastics workflow.

Take the emotion out of color evaluation

We all know how hard it can be to get customers to agree on color upon delivery.

From color specification through inspection of incoming materials, manufacturing, and final quality inspection, the color has to stay true. And if does stray, it must be caught before too much time and money is wasted.

Color evaluation can be subjective, but today’s color measurement systems take the emotion out of the equation so everyone is speaking the same language and working to the same color metrics. There’s no arguing with fact-based analysis and spectral data. By staying current with your tools, techniques and technologies, it’s much easier to maintain color accuracy, even with multiple suppliers and across different sites and geographies.

Color-proof your plastics workflow

At K 2016, we’ve organized our exhibit into four Innovation Zones so visitors can spend their time where they’ll get the most value. Zones are also perfect for those who want a birds-eye view of a complete and effective color managed workflow. Here’s how it looks.

Design

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and designers are at their best when they can be creative. Our tools for design and specification allow designers to harness inspiration with the latest color trends and brand guidelines to stay ahead of the pack.

At K 2016, we’ll be demonstrating the CAPSURE handheld color measurement device for capturing inspiration colors, PANTONE® PLASTIC STANDARD CHIPS for precise color specification of plastics, and the SpectraLight QC for accurate visual evaluation.

Polypropylene PANTONE Plastic Chip Standards facilitate matching on all other plastic substrates.

Polypropylene PANTONE Plastic Chip Standards facilitate matching on all other plastic substrates.

Formulation

Functional color formulation lays the groundwork for good color. Once the design has been approved, it’s up to the lab to develop the best formulations and deliver achievable specifications for manufacturing. Our industrial formulation solutions make this a snap.

Visitors to K 2016 will see some of the most accurate devices available, including the Ci7860 benchtop sphere spectrophotometer, the MA96 multi-angle spectrophotometer for accurate measurement of special-effect coatings, and the Ci64 UV handheld sphere spectrophotometer with switchable 4mm and 8mm measurement apertures and both Tungsten and UV LED illumination. We’ll also be demonstrating Color iMatch software for fast, accurate color analysis, quality control and colorant formulation.

Be sure to stop by and see our new Ci7860, offering the tightest inter-instrument agreement available!

Be sure to stop by and see our new Ci7860, offering the tightest inter-instrument agreement available!

Production

Once your colors are specified and your colorants are formulated, you need to make sure everything stays on track during production. The best way to do this is with constant measuring and monitoring. Our inline systems keep color on target, shorten transition times, and help operators react to color changes faster by monitoring products as they are produced and alerting operators as soon as color begins to move out-of-spec.

At K 2016, we’ll be featuring two inline spectros – the affordable, compact and durable VeriColor, and the ERX 130 for reflectance measurements. Color iQC brings it together with real-time quality control and the ability for all stakeholders to see data across the color workflow.

Each X-Rite inline color measurement system uses a non-contact spectrophotometer that often includes a moving frame or robotic arm to position the spectro over the production line.

Each X-Rite inline color measurement system uses a non-contact spectrophotometer that often includes a moving frame or robotic arm to position the spectro over the production line.

Quality Control

During manufacturing, the risk of color error becomes much greater. Color drift and batch-to-batch variations can create havoc in the supply chain and lead to rejection at the end. We have the tools to help you optimize your QC processes.

Visitors to K 2016 will see how the same tools used in other workflow steps can also be used for quality control. We’ll also be demonstrating NetProfiler, a cloud-based blend of software and color standards for verifying and optimizing performance of color measurement devices and reducing variance among instruments.

Using spectral matching, Color iMatch automatically determines the best colorant formula based on selected parameters, increasing formulation control and overall productivity and profitability.

Using spectral matching, Color iMatch automatically determines the best colorant formula based on selected parameters, increasing formulation control and overall productivity and profitability.

When you put it all together…

Communication is clear, expectations are realistic, and color remains within tolerance from beginning to end.

If you’re lucky enough to attend K 2016, be sure to stop by our booth. Our color experts will be on hand to answer all of your questions. If not, we’re only a phone call away. Get in touch for help developing the perfect solution for your plastics workflow.

Questions? Need a Quote? Contact Us.  1.888.800.9580