R&D vs QA – Which Colour Measurement Instruments To Use?

*Courtesy of Google Images*

A number of our customers have both R&D and QA Laboratories, and the bigger the company, the less likely colleagues are going to communicate.

A further complication is that large companies may purchase by application and be convinced, or assume, that only one type of instrument in the Universe is suitable for that particular application.

At the other extreme, users, as well as middle and higher managers may assume that all Spectrophotometers are the same, as one type of vacuum cleaner with five types of branding.

What then is the truth in all these assumptions?

Most Instrument Manufacturers are obliged to deal with the three forces that drive sales:

  • Performance (Features)
  • Quality (Reliability, Repeatability, Spares, Service, Support)
  • Price (ROI, Longevity)

As it’s not possible to be all things for all applications, manufacturers tend to find niches for their products, often based on the original application they were successful with and some internal IP that others don’t have.

Konica Minolta has two niches that are very valuable, apart from being “SERIOUS” suppliers who want to assure their customers of a good result:

  • Focussed and very successful in the food processing sector from Farm to Fork.

*Courtesy of Google Images*

  • Inter-Instrument agreement or the ability to compare results between multiple Instruments with reliable reproducibility. This is key in Global, National, or multi-site operations where goods need to be compared. Typically biscuit manufacturers benefit from this feature.

Inter-Instrument Agreement Between The Bench-Top CM-5 Spectrophotometer and The Handheld CM-700d Spectrophotometer.

Getting back to R&D and QA, do you need two Instruments, different instruments, or other possibilities.

Our experience is that R&D tend to design a product to meet either internal or customer requirements, and tend not to use precise color measurement tools. Perhaps manufacturers let QA set the standards which is fine, but how does R&D know that they comply without a suitable Instrument?

We elaborate on another blog regarding the versatility of the CM-5/CR-5 Spectrophotometer in our key food sector, but it’s safe to say that the precise speciation could easily start at R&D, and then shared throughout the group, whatever size and reach it has.

Subsequently, checking product raw materials, production and actually shipped goods can all be checked under the same repeatable conditions.

Our core instruments for this group of applications are by design capable of measuring different phases of the process, from granular, powder, paste to finished goods, and their packaging. At each stage of the process, the same Instrument can measure different objects as they are converted.

Some of our most commonly used instruments for the above-mentioned applications/products, can be seen below:

The Bench-Top CM-5 Spectrophotometer and Bench-Top CR-5 Colorimeter

The Chroma-Meter CR-400 Series

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