Controlling colour in Plastics

What’s all the fuss about colour control in plastics?

Of all the processed plastic materials we encounter on a daily basis, nearly all are coloured in one way or another, for some reason or another.

By volume, large amounts of plastic piping is buried, where colour plays no obvious part, but together with its hidden “Plumbing” cousins, these pipes are often coloured to denote type, materials used or other properties of interest if the pipes are uncovered for replacement or repairs.

In this case, a strong single colour denotes a property, but little care is required to ensure very accurate batch to batch colour as the basic information required will be cleared even if there are quite large differences in shade.

Less maybe in volume, but more and more in the consumer space, plastics are being strongly coloured for Branding, Marketing and just plain decoration to differentiate one product from another, or one batch from another, or even one content from another.
These applications are multiple, and in many cases a reliable Masterbatch is all that is required to keep the customer happy.




Things become more difficult when you start to deal with Premium products like Automotive parts. Here the controls become much more stringent, and Konica Minolta has recently launched a couple of new and very innovative Instruments to not only measure colour precisely, but also with a very high degree of Inter-Instrument Agreement to ensure the same Global Quality standards for Global Manufacturers.

Close attention is given to both Automotive Interiors as well as Exteriors, where in both cases high quality, high value and often high performance materials are used.

The new Konica Minolta Colour and Gloss Meter CM-25cG is a standard meeting high performance instrument especially for the automotive manufacturer.
An even more advanced Konica Minolta portable Multi Angle Spectrophotometer CM-M6 was recently launched at the 2016 “K” show in Dusseldorf, for specialised finishes like metallic effect plastics.

Used in conjunction with specially developed software, manufacturers can now Globally manage parts and production with high levels of inter-instrument agreement. You can even use our systems for displays and dashboard components.

Other premium branded products also place a much higher demand on Quality Assurance:



Whether is a Premium Branded item where Global colour standards are critical, or high quality local production of Coloured and Clear PET water and beverage bottles from Boxmore, the correct solution with Global compatibility is a must.

When it comes to Premium High Fashion Brands like cosmetics, an even more critical requirement comes into play: Speed.

To develop a specific fashion colour for packaging, perhaps across a multiple substrate solution quickly and accurately, as well as share the data with the whole supply chain to perfectly manage a time constrained product launch, you need a Globally scalable software to manage the job. In this case Colibri Computer Colour Matching (CCM) software from Konica Minolta is the answer.

Lets also not forget RECYCLED material where quality, opacity (Haze) and appearance are of equal importance especially in the retail food packaging area, where our solutions have been in place for over a decade.

Pie in the sky? Not at all, these are solutions used here (South Africa) and now (Since 2014) with full service and support from Narich (Pty) Ltd.