Machine Design

Speeding Your Way To Fast Color Match

Speedecolor matching system searches through an extensive color formulation database for an equivalent hue and displays the formulation number and other necessary data to make a good color match for plastic parts.

A new system lets M.A. Hanna turn a color-matching job around in 24 hr, compared to manual industry-standard methods that often take up to seven days. The system, called Speedecolor, consists of a portable, benchtop spectrophotometer and color-matching software. Repeatable and consistent colorimetric techniques let the customized software search Hanna's database of formulations to get the best color match.

The system builds on expertise gained from the more than 22,000 custom color matches the firm conducts each year. The majority of formulations currently in the database are opaque and nonspecial-effect colors for olefinic, styrenic, and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) materials. With color data or a fingerprint captured from a sample, the Speedecolor system uses a laptop computer to identify and sort through candidate formulations, while taking into account needed engineering attributes.

The resulting summary includes the nearest color matches with corresponding formulation numbers, δ data, FDA compliance status, light-and heat-stability data, let-down resins and ratios, and product form (concentrate, dry color, etc.). The technical center in Suwanee, Ga., typically turns around color chip orders in 24 hr.

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