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How to Control Exterior Color on Busses and Trains

Bus and train manufacturers are starting to follow passenger car trends by adding special effect pigments like metallic flakes and pearlescents to vehicle coatings. To ensure color remains within tolerance, manufacturers must transition from visual evaluation to color measurement using a multi-angle spectrophotometer.


Visual inspection alone cannot ensure color harmony on busses and trains.

Solution Controlling Exterior Color on Busses and Trains | Using X-RIte Solutions

Ensuring consistent color and appearance on special effect paints requires measuring the surface from multiple angles and evaluating the results in quality control software. The lightweight and ergonomic MA-5 QC multi-angle spectrophotometer measures from five angles to completely characterize special effect coatings. It uses LED indicator lights to ensure correct placement on the sample and offers on-screen notification if temperature might affect color measurement results.

The MA-5 QC can be programmed to collect multiple data points for stable and consistent quality control regardless of location or operator. When combined with EFX QC software, the MA-5 QC can digitally communicate complex color tolerances and measurement procedures to clarify expectations and collect, track and report color data, thereby simplifying the approval process and identifying areas for improvement.



The MA-5 QC and EFX QC software integrate easily into existing workflows to measure more samples per hour.

How It Works

  1. The technician enters the digital color specifications and acceptable tolerances into EFX QC, then downloads them to MA-5 QC.
  2. The MA-5 QC guides the technician to collect multiple data points using a pre-programmed process for failproof analysis.
  3. As various sections of the painted body and parts are measured, a green light indicates the color is within tolerance and a red light means it is not.
  4. The connected EFX QC software tracks color measurement data to gauge quality and looks for areas of improvement to increase profitability.


Featured Products


A compact, lightweight, multi-angle spectrophotometer with an intuitive touch screen display to measure color and verify tolerance on special effect paints and coatings.



Quality control software that connects with the MA-5 QC to measure, define, and control effect finishes with digital data, enabling real-time performance results across an integrated supply chain.


Fundamentals of Color and Appearance

A comprehensive fundamentals course offered online, in the classroom, and as a seminar that explains how to communicate, measure, and control color quality with the CIELab model commonly used in the vehicle industry.


Achieve Color Success

The MA-5 QC multi-angle spectrophotometer with EFX QC software offers a fast, user-friendly, cost-effective solution to validate whether bus and train special effect paint is within specification throughout production.

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Technical Questions? Contact Support(888) 826-3042