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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 c...

Posted January 14, 2020 by Tim Mouw

During this holiday season, let's pause to do more than give thanks. Let's also consider the role color plays on the food choices we make when we fill our Thanksgiving plates. Traditional holiday foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie always look the same... we know what to expect when we take our first bite. But what if the mashed potatoes were green this year? Would they taste different? Would you even try them? There has been a lot of research about the role color plays in how w...

Posted November 22, 2019 by X-Rite Color

Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging. There are basically two types of color measurement instruments:...

Posted October 07, 2019 by Tim Mouw

Inter-instrument agreement is a very important consideration when selecting color measurement devices for your workflow. Unfortunately, it’s such a technical topic that it leads to a lot of confusion about what it means and why it’s important. The Ci7860 sphere benchtop spectrophotomter is has an inter-instrument agreement specification of 0.06 average Delta E*, enabling brands to create the most precise master color standards. Today we’re making it as simple as possibl...

Posted October 03, 2019 by Mike Huda

Although plastics professionals have been managing color issues in the production workflow for many years, the dynamics are once again changing. From consumer electronics to automotive parts and flexible packaging, a growing number of brands are incorporating special effect finishes into their products. While metallics, pearlescents, and other complex finishes are beautiful and help brands stand out on the shelf, they also introduce new color management challenges into the manufacturing pro...

Posted October 03, 2019 by Thomas Meeker

Spectrophotometers are excellent tools for measuring samples against their color standards to compare differences, but it can be difficult to achieve color accuracy for irregularly shaped products like liquids, plastics, cans, and powders. We design a variety of parts and accessories - also called “rigs & jigs” - for many of our instruments to help measure odd shapes and sizes.  Parts & Accessories for Benchtop Spectrophotometers Liquids are notoriously difficult ...

Posted October 02, 2019 by Mike Huda

Spectrophotometers are color measurement devices that measure color to ensure it remains consistent from the time it’s specified until final quality check. They can be used to measure everything from liquids and plastics to paper, metal, and fabrics for just about every industry.   Here Are Our Top Spectrophotometer Picks for 2019.   Best Spectrophotometer to Create Digital Standards Using a digital standard is the most accurate way to specify and communicate color, des...

Posted August 16, 2019 by X-Rite Color

When choosing a food product, consumers demand consistency in both taste and appearance. While a lighter batch of oranges may still produce a delicious juice blend, a pale color can jeopardize USDA approval and leave consumers questioning the quality. Unfortunately for food and beverage manufacturers, the color of food – especially drinks like fruit juice and blended cocktails – is one of the most difficult things to control during production. Here’s why. 1. Liquid is hard to...

Posted August 15, 2019 by X-Rite Color

There’s been a lot of research around the role color plays in how we expect food to taste. The fact is, we judge flavor by the color of the food or drink, even before the first taste. We expect red foods to taste sweet like strawberries or cherries. White should taste like vanilla, and green is probably limey and tart or minty. Color cues can even determine whether we take that first bite. Most of us won’t even consider trying a food like mashed p...

Posted August 12, 2019 by Tim Mouw

With so many requests for innovative bases, transparency, and special effects, formulating color for paint, coating, and plastic applications can be a challenge. To keep up, formulation software needs to be innovative, too. We recently launched version 10 of our Color iMatch formulation software, and it is our smartest version yet. It allows you to select cost-reducing parameters, such as lowest cost or fewest colorants, and will determine the best formula for your application. It work...

Posted July 10, 2019 by Rich Knapp

It’s expensive to ship the wrong color. To make it right, you need to bring it back to the lab for reformulation, send someone to re-tint at the customer site, or dispose of it and start over. In addition to the expense of wasted time and materials, how do you quantify the loss of an unhappy customer? Five Steps to Efficient Formulation  With the right tools and processes, you can work fast and achieve precise matches.  1. Formulate Against an Accurate Standard. First, you ...

Posted May 29, 2019 by Rich Knapp

Hitting offset lithographic color targets isn’t always fast or easy. The manual process of measuring color bars and making ink key adjustments takes time and opens the door to operator error. Meanwhile, the press is running (and wasting) paper and ink. To achieve accurate and repeatable color, printers need to convert their printing operation to an efficient manufacturing process and drive efficiencies in all phases of their operation. For many, a closed-loop automated solution is the...

Posted April 03, 2019 by Ray Cheydleur

If you only measure color on opaque substrates and painted parts, the Ci7500 benchtop spectrophotometer might be a good choice for you. The newest member of our Ci7x family, this unit is a mid-range benchtop spectrophotometer that only measures in reflectance mode. Today we’ll explain the difference between transmission and reflectance measurements so you can determine if the new Ci7500 can meet your color measurement needs, or if you need a device that can also measure...

Posted February 26, 2019 by Mike Huda

When customers are just getting started with color management, they often ask, "What is the difference between a spectrometer and a spectrophotometer?". With such a minute spelling difference, it's easy to make a quick typo and get the wrong answer for this color question. So...what's the difference? Spectrometers vs. Spectrophotometers    What is a Spectrophotometer? A spectrophotometer is a color measurement device that is used to capture and evaluate color on just about anything, in...

Posted March 05, 2018 by X-Rite Color

The two most common spectrophotometers are the 0:45 and the sphere (aka diffuse/8°). We get a lot of questions about which is the best choice. Here’s the difference in how these two devices measure color, and guidelines for when to use each. 0:45 In a “fixed geometry” or “single angle” device, the first number is the starting point of the light, and the second number is where the light ends up after the reflection off the surface of the sample. In a 0:45 ...

Posted January 18, 2018 by Mike Huda

In a highly competitive marketplace, brands and packaging designers are looking for ways to differentiate their products on the shelf. This increasingly goes beyond color to include embellishment options such as foils, special varnishes, soft touch finishes and more. Designers are also using more intense solid colors, fluorescents and iridescents. And not just with conventional print – embellishment options and special colors and finishes are also available in digital solutions that allow ...

Posted December 08, 2017 by Ray Cheydleur

If you work behind a paint counter, you know customers can surprise you with interesting and unique objects to color match. Many samples are relatively easy to measure, but when a customer shows up with a curved baseboard panel, a square of shag carpet, or a plush toy, things can get a little tricky. A few years ago, we learned just how challenging it was for our retail paint customers to color match unique samples. We took in a bag with textured and multi-colored items and asked the person behi...

Posted December 04, 2017 by Tim O'Rourke

Whether purchasing a new car, consumer electronics, or household appliances, color consistency influences the perception of quality. If the color doesn’t match from front-to-back and side-to-side, customers will likely question the quality and move on. That’s where color measurement can help. In today’s competitive marketplace, manufacturers are going beyond color to utilize extreme effect finishes to differentiate their products. But, as manufacturers are quickly learning, me...

Posted October 25, 2017 by Thomas Meeker

The World Series starts next week. While players and fans are gearing up for the big event, stadium groundskeepers are preparing, too. You’ve surely seen those meticulous patterns in the grass – crisscross, spiral, plaid – but do you know how the groundskeepers create them? Thanks to a phenomenon called geometric metamerism (aka gonio-appearance), the grass really is greener on the other side. Read on to learn more about this optical illusion that can trick your eyes and wreak havoc on y...

Posted October 17, 2017 by Mike Huda

Color is our perception of reflected light across the visible spectrum. When light hits an object, it absorbs some rays and reflect others. The color of light that reflects back into our eyes is the color we perceive. The more light an object absorbs, the darker it appears. With black, very little light is reflected. Pure black in the presence of light wasn’t achieved until 2014 when Surrey NanoSystems announced the invention of Vantablack. This high-tech artificial substance absorbs 99....

Posted October 13, 2017 by Mike Huda
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