Colour measurement for Research and Development

Research and Development is crucial to a companies long-term survival and strategic goals. Do you think that Apple would be the most-valuable company in the world if they never developed the iPhone? Companies may keep their new product development a closely guarded secret. If you don’t want to tell us what you are going to measure, there is an online tool on the Konica Minolta Sensing homepage where you can select an instrument by application criteria. To get the best tool for the job however, we should have an open discussion.

R&D in colour holds some conflicting concepts. Sometimes you simply need a rough “Proof of concept” where a cheaper instrument will suffice. On the other hand, precise colour may be required and a very accurate system is needed.

Let’s begin with entry-level instruments:

There are no “Cheap” colour measurement instruments, but there are vast differences in prices.

Coatings manufacturers, designers and architects often want to pin down a particular colour as a starting point. Historically they would use a “Colour Fan” like RAL Colours where “Fan decks” of various hues of standardised colours can be used to select a starting colour. Conversations between customer and supplier, even if remote, can select the same standard colour from a fan deck and start designing from there. Things have changed since then and we see Colour Decks as a thing of the past, like cassette tapes or bootleg jeans.Today, it makes more sense to use a NiX Colour Sensor to either select a “Fan Deck” colour from a database, or actually measure the customers required colour directly. Coupled with Android or iOS Apps, powerful match and selection tools are now available. These sensors are not CIE approved, but have sufficient accuracy and efficiency to be very helpful in quick colour data collection. We’ll say it again, say goodbye to your Colour Fan decks and look at a Nix.

 

More advanced R&D may require a simple device with CIE standards, for say an international Fruit Colour Grading task. Here we suggest the Hand Held Konica Minolta CR10-Plus. Together with an on-board app Target and Sample colours can be accurately compared, and the data stored with the downloadable app which comes with the instrument. There is also a Baking Contrast version of this device, designed for all Baking applications and products.

The most sold instruments used in R&D as well as in processing and the field, is the Konica Minolta CR400/410 series.

CR-4x0

 

Portable, handheld or bench-top friendly the CR-400/410 Series gives accurate results, instant print-outs and can be connected to Konica Minolta’s SpectraMagic NX QA software. The option between an 8mm or 50mm aperture gives this product range immense versatility, making it possible to measure anywhere, and practically any object like solid opaque objects, through to powders, pastes and opaque liquids. Being a chroma meter, it is also able to reliably measure mixed colour blends. This is a typical requirement for Spice, Ingredients and Condiment manufacuters.

Especially designed for the Food Industry, from Farm to Fork, is the new Konica Minolta CM-5 Spectrophotometer, and it’s simpler but similarly accurate CR-5 Colorimeter version no task is impossible in any stage of food processing. A number of Standards are also included in the firmware for rapid testing of certain standards. Not limited to food however, the CM-5 and CR-5 can be used to measure practically any object, including clear objects like films, plastics and clear liquids.

If a portable handheld instrument, with very high Inter-Instrument Agreement(IIA) is required to match a CM-5 or CR-5 for in the field or at customer measurements, the Konica Minolta CM-700/600d Handheld Spectrophotometer instruments are the perfect partners.

Paints, Coatings and Plastics companies may require UV readings as well as colour, and in this case the Konica Minolta CM-3600A will be the answer. This Instrument requires software to operate and connects to the SpectraMagic NX QA software or the Colibri colour prediction software.

Konica Minolta also have a handheld solution to match the CM-3600A series. With the CM-2600d Spectrophotometers. This instrument also connects to SpectraMagic NX and Colibri software. The excellent Inter-Instrument Agreement between the bench-top and handheld versions allows companies to translate data between bench-top and handheld versions.

For companies that require the highest level of accuracy for say Colourants, Pigments and Master batches, Konica Minolta’s most accurate Spectrophotometer is the CM-3700A series.

If you are involved in the Automotive Industry, our latest development is a lightweight portable spectrophotometer and gloss meter with 45°c:0° geometry and a true high performance 60°-gloss-sensor. The Konica Minolta CM-25cG is a unique new development for the assessment of colour and gloss with Automotive Interiors and Exteriors in mind.

Many of the above instruments can be used at line. If you are researching in-line then a quick look at our Ocean Optics range of miniature spectrometers may also be of interest. These portable and bench solutions can be used in the field, in education and for fundamental research.

We have the solution and product to suit any and every application. If you are interested in finding out how objective colour management can assist your business, get in touch with us. We are always happy to assist companies in finding the best solution for them.

 

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