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Color 4.0: color references in the plastics sector


Color is an eminently important quality criterion for a large number of components. The human eye can differentiate between up to ten million color shades. This is why, when considering adjacently installed parts (e.g. inside vehicles) or for products with a high recognition value, the color match must be the best possible.

Pinneberg/Germany, September 6th, 2017

The color is usually chosen on the basis of corresponding color samples. So-called RAL, Pantone, or NCS systems are frequently used. 

The Color Competence Center (CCC) of the ROWA GROUP has a number of color systems: these include the RAL, NCS, and Pan- tone schemes. The colorists only need to know the edition (year of manufacture, details of the surface) of the corresponding color system to commence color development. With the help of modern data communication, the customer can also receive a customized color setting with electronic color targets from the CCC even without a visual sample. 

The advantage of electronic data transmission is obvious: it is now possible to begin with a desired color setting much faster and provide a customized color concentrate or compound. 

The qualified colorists in the ROWA GROUP are happy to help customers and explain the details of modern color development processes first-hand. 

But there are several things to be taken care of. The data contains not only the L*a*b* values but also the spectrum of which basis the recipe is calculated by using the recipe software. In general, it must be remembered that, apart from the raw materials specifications, the different carrier materials as well as production-specific parameters must be taken into account. Therefore, the metamerism-free calculation of the recipe must also give consideration to the different plastic types used as carrier materials. 

Apart from the color, other criteria such as the gloss are also relevant for the overall visual impression of products. Addition- ally the colorists in the Color Competence Center need the details of the spectral photometer (colorimeter) that is used as well as the measurement conditions. All of this information is contained in today’s standard software packages for transfer files. 

As soon as this information is available, another major prerequisite is that both parties use the same measuring instrument from the same manufacturer. The CCC has the following measuring instruments: Konica Minolta CM3600A (d/8°), CM700d (d/8°) manual device, CM2500c CT (45/0°). 

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