REGENSDORF, SVVITZERLAND – X-Rite, Incorporated has introduced the RM200QC handheld spectrocolorimeter to give companies an inexpensive yet powerful way to record and communicate color differences to speed introduction of new products and reduce instances of serap.
The hand-held RM200QC simplifies how textile, coatings, ehemicals, plastic molding and other industries can compare the colors of lab samples or parts in produetion with reference standards, then create reports that can be shared with supply chain partners. The RM200QC has proven useful for setting color standards and enhancing produetivity for Poppin, Inc., a New York City-based company that differentiates itself in the office products industry by designing desk sets, pens and pencils, and paper products in-house for manufacture in China. “We set ourselves apart from the big-box competition partly through the use of vibrant, eye-catehing colors defined by Pantone,” Poppin Vice President Roger Cole said. “We’ve built a loyal customer base because we present stylish colors in an office setting at the right price point. So having colors match properly is critical for our business.”
Cole said Poppin manufacturing personnel use the RM200QC as a quality control device to monitör color deviation between items in produetion and the Pantone standard color. Using L*a*b* data generated by the RM200QC, Poppin has been able to reduce the difference between what New York designers stipulate and what is manufactured in China. Further, Poppin personnel like the fact that the pocket-sized RM200QC can be carried easily on international trips and that it measures colors accurately and quickly.
“It’s the perfect tool for our application,” said Ernest Lapornik, produetion engineer for Diversified Mining Services, a Brisbane-based manufacturer of mining equipment and provider of operation, maintenance and support services for open-cut and underground mines in Australia and New Zealand. DMS intends to use the RM200QC to make sure components arriving from various manufacturers worldwide for its Coaltram® LHD (Load, Haul, Dump) vehicles ali match his company’s specified colours of yellow, grey and red.
“With the high cost of production for these types of machines and the quality benchmarks we have set, we are very particular that they don’t look like patchvvork quilts when they are assembled,” Lapornik said. “For instance, our yellow is a proprietary colour that we use to promote our brand in the industry. Additionally, the RM200QC’s ability to generate a report and give us a pass / fail result removes any disputes regarding the machine’s colour due to human interpretation.” He gave the RM200QC high marks as a handy, cost-effective solution for accurately identifying out-of-specificaüon color components at work sites since their weights and bulk prevent them from being measured with benchtop equipment. Diversified Mining Services employs more than 840 people at its Brisbane headquarters, manufacturing facilities in Newcastle, and service workshops in Mackay, Emerald and Wollongong. The new instrument goes well beyond the capabilities of existing colorimeters with advanced features that identify color differences betvveen samples and standards, opacity, and grayscale assessment, as well as highlighting how colors may change in appearance under D65 daylight and Illuminant A household tungsten-filament lighting,
The RM200QC is inexpensive enough for companies to purchase multiple units that can be stationed at individual machines or at critical steps in a workflow to alert quality control personnel if a manufacturing process is out of control. The instrument is particularly suited to help companies that currently manage colors by comparing incoming raw materials or finished products with color swatches, fan decks or sample products.
X-Rite, the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of color management and communication systems, employs a proprietary camera technology in the RM200QC that illuminates the surface being measured from three different directions while simultaneously recording 27 color-accurate images in 1.8 seconds, eliminating the shadows and interference inherent to patterned and textured materials and surfaces. With 8 different visible illuminations and 1 ultraviolet illumination, the RM200QC is able to more accurately define the location of a color in color space than traditional colorimeters that typically have only three illuminations of red, green and blue light.
Quality control or quality assurance personnel can be trained in a matter of minutes on the operation of the RM200QC. Operators can select between 4 mm and 8 mm apertures and preview the sample area on the instrument’s full-color display, then take a measurement in less than 2 seconds with the press of a button. The instrument then gives results in the form of a simple pass/fail message or CIE L*a*b* values and delta E color differences. it also reports results in ali of the standard color difference equations and tolerances, such as CIELAB, CMC, CIE 94, or CIE 2000.
The RM200QC memory holds 20 standards and up to 350 measurements automatically stamped with time and date and saved as PDF and CSV files that can be downloaded easily via USB cable so the information can be shared with other stakeholders in a supply chain. Any measurement can be linked with images of test surfaces, text notes, or voice messages and the reports can be output in multiple languages.