Are Paint Manufacturers wasting money on Spectrophotometers?

With new Spectrophotometers from Konica Minolta on the market, a number of paint company’s have recently inquired into the cost of replacing their legacy models, often asking for quotations for our top-end solutions.

Unless you are working with Colour Prediction Software or Master Colourant Sets, you are probably wasting money and you could implement a more budget friendly solution without compromising performance and accuracy.

Typically, replacement is more often focused on retaining old features rather than grasping the opportunity to make more of the latest available solutions. As most of our customers know, this usually REDUCES complexity and INCREASES ease of use.

We have a wide range of instruments to choose from for paint and coatings applications, with the exception of the automotive manufacturing sector where high-end devices are specified, most of the time one of our handheld d:8° instruments will cover your needs.

How do we know this?

Actual experience with our customers.














The chart above compares values of 5 ceramic tiles, each measured on our legacy workhorse, CM-3600A Bench-top Series compared to the handheld CM-2600d Series.
Both instruments were connected to a common SpectraMagic NX software template with identical settings and aperture size, and 5 ceramic tiles were measured within minutes of each other.

The corresponding measurement results showed excellent levels of Inter-Instrument Agreement (IIA) and Inter-Model Agreement (IMA) between the two different models.

*** Since the initial test results were recorded, Konica Minolta have released successor models to both the bench-top and portable solutions mentioned above. The latest versions report even closer levels of accuracy and inter-instrument agreement.
*** Click to view the new CM-36dG and CM-26dG models.

So the results are interesting but what conclusions can be made?

In the general coating manufacturing industry, we can say:

  • If you are performing R & D measurements on Colourant’s and Pigment Concentrates we have an R&D rated instrument, but that the reliable CM-3600A (or newer CM-36dG) will give excellent and reliable data with long years of service.
  • If you are creating master data bases for paint formulations, the CM3600A (or newer CM-36dG) will be slightly more accurate than a hand held, but BOTH will be acceptable. The accuracy of the new portable series, CM-26dG, competes well with comparable bench-top models.
  • If you are mainly producing batches of concentrates and pre-mixed colours, the CM-2600d (CM-26dG) will be more than adequate.
  • For Pass / Fail on draw downs and other quality control tests – The CM-2600d (CM-26dG) will be more than suitable, and for most applications there is an entry-level instrument, CM-23d, that will do the job.
  • For any field testing or off-site requirements, the portable versions are perfect and will allow you to analyse the data on-board or once back in the lab.

What about customers that are hesitant to implement portable solutions?

Customers often say that they don’t want a portable instrument , but can hardly ever explain why. Is it just the desire to get what you had, rather than the latest technology and innovations? Is it because traditionally bench-top instruments are viewed as being more accurate and reliable? Or is it becuase customers fear breakages and repairs?

We aren’t sure about any of these reasons as most are invalid. Konica Minolta STARTED with handheld instruments coming from an imaging background where accuracy and portability was a pre-requisite, so going small was natural.

We often find that it is sometimes easier to take the instrument to the sample, rather than bringing the sample to the lab for analysis on a bench-top.

We carried out a survey and ascertained that our Portable Instruments:

1. DO NOT suffer more wear or tear than bench-tops.

2. The repair rate is actually LOWER than bench-tops.

3. Reliability of results is equal to that of bench-top models.

4. Can run on batteries as well. 

5. Can gather as much data with extra averaged measurements despite having smaller apertures

6. Are more affordable than bench-top instruments

How to find the best solution for your needs and budget?

You can never be sure which instrument and software package will be the best for your needs until you test them for yourself. Scanning product brochures or watching YouTube videos does not accurately portray how an instrument might work for your business requirements.

For this we suggest that you reach out to us and request a demonstration, either on-site or online depending on your preference.
With our office located in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Kwa-Zulu Natal, you can be sure that we are never too far away to ensure that you make the most out of your instrument.

If you are interested in seeing the latest colour measurement solutions, click the link below to get in touch with a member of our team.