Color constancy

Colorimetry for Extrusion, Molding | Plastics Technology

Ampacet LIAD’s Spectro 4.0 Smart Technologies is a range of innovative continuous online QC solutions for color management.

The first of two products in the line is Spectro 4.0 Smart, a color measurement system for extrusion and molding processors that helps them control the cost of quality due to color variations, using color data real-time for QC analysis and color optimization.

Spectro 4.0 Smart would ensure that every part meets color specifications with Industry 4.0 advancements such as real-time, in-line optical monitoring, using a fiber optic probe that can be positioned in the line of production. The system automatically adapts to color variations even when using PCR and regrind materials and operates within tight color tolerances to reduce color usage and costs.

Spectro 4.0 Smart works in real time on the production line to provide immediate and actionable color management. The system’s differential spectrophotometer compares the color of the new product to a reference color in real time. Multiple, interchangeable probes will be available for simultaneous multipoint measurement of haze, opacity, reflection and transmission and to allow selection between differential or absolute test modes. The in-line system, designed to operate in harsh industrial environments, also includes automatic built-in calibration against drift and ambient lighting. Cloud functionality is available for offsite tracking and alerts.

Photo: Ampacet LIAD

Spectro 4.0 Smart connects to another product in the Spectro 4.0 line, Ampacet LIAD’s patented SpectroMetric system, a major advancement in color accuracy technology. SpectroMetric integrates all the benefits of the Spectro 4.0 inline spectrometer with the SpectroMetric inline continuous color correction system. It incorporates the ColorSave 1000 Masterbatch Loader to automatically adjust the masterbatch dosage, in real time, ensuring color consistency.

SpectroMetric operates on L*a*b* specifications, not defined LDRs, and continuously monitors the lowest possible colorant usage rates to maintain correct color specifications, even when running PCR or grinding. The result is a system that seamlessly powers, tests, monitors, and fixes without human intervention, supporting off-power operation.

Other benefits achieved when using Spectro 4.0 QC solutions include color production line standardization across multiple facilities, regardless of manufacturing location; minimal maintenance, elimination of batch-to-batch color variations typically associated with increased use of PCR or regrind, and operation within extremely tight tolerances, allowing prediction and maintenance of lower masterbatch levels.