5 Steps in Successful Color Quality Control Program

Quality Control (QC) is important in ensuring that product produced remain of consistent quality. Color QC verifies that the color manufactured remains the same throughout different product batches.

Having a QC program in place not only helps to maintain your quality of products but also helps you to accurately communicate colours with your partners. Efficiently reduce cost and wastage by inspecting raw materials before actual production and before sending them to customers.

5 Important Steps for Color Quality Control

1. Quantify Color Using a Spectrophotometer

Relying solely on the human vision will not achieve the exact specific color and can lead to immense resource wastage just to replicate the same color without a specific universal data that can pinpoint the color desired.

Using a spectrophotometer allows for accuracy and comparison of spectral data that can be quantified and easily communicated to different parties.

spectrophotometer is able to precisely measure the electromagnetic energy at a specific wavelength of light to identify the colors and determine how much of that color is present. The analysis will show a spectral reflectance curve, also known as the color's “fingerprint” as it is unique to that color.

2. Determine Acceptable Color Tolerance Value

Tolerance is the amount of acceptable difference between the color standard set and the color sample produced.

Setting the right tolerance range is important:

  • Too small, too tight = Greater time trying to achieve the target
  • Too large, too wide = Higher risk of rejection due to variance

There are many different types of color models that most are familiar with, including RCB, CMYK and PMS. In a laboratory, the most commonly used color space is CIELab or CIE L*a*b as they are the most complex but robust for quantitative comparisons.

3. Utilize QC Software for In-depth Analysis

A quality control software always you to automate most processes and is able to provide you with tracking capabilities, trends and generate reports to gather insights from.

QC software can compare production colors against pre-set standards, use tolerances to determine a pass or fail status and notify you before it goes out of the tolerance.

Be it working on a global supply chain or managing your own products, a QC software definitely makes it easier to track your color data in an efficient manner.

4. Initial Visual Evaluation

As an initial evaluation, comparing color visually is the most effective method. While it is not sufficient, it provides opportunities for discussion and insights on the tolerance levels for your colors.

As humans, everyone usually see color differently, hence those who are involved in a visual evaluation are encouraged to take and pass the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Color Vision Test to determine there are any vision deficiency that may affect the color test.

5. Evaluate Color Under Controlled Lighting

Natural lighting is subjective and different for most people, depending on the climate, timing and more. Lighting in a public place may also be influenced by many other variable factors such as wear and tear, space and shadows.

Hence, the best way to test your product’s color is in a controlled light booth. The calibrated lighting booth is equipped with light sources that adhere to CIE International Standards and can also be easily incorporated with your QC software.

Our Solution

Maha provides the highest quality of color measurement equipment for your quality control purposes. Starting from portable color spectrophotometer, bench-top, to in-line color spectrophotometers, we provides the suitable solutions for your needs. Contact us for more information!

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