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Full control over the appearance  #12(118), 2012

The company BYK-Gardner GmbH - manufacturer of innovative measurement devices for quality control of paint-and-lacquer materials placed onto arbitrary surfaces (of metal, plastic, etc.) – presents a new version of spectro-guide instrument, being a sole instrument in the world capable to measure simultaneously color and gloss with excellent repeatability of results even on structured surfaces

The overall appearance of the product is often treated by the customers as one of its basic merit indices. The appearance itself directly depends on product’s color and gloss. From the two samples of exact same color the one with higher gloss level is visually perceived darker and more saturated than a sample with low gloss. Hence to get a uniform visual perception both parameters must be controlled simultaneously.

The unique spectrophotometer spectro-guide allows to trace both color (for color measurement geometry 45/0 or spherical) and gloss (measured at an angle 60°) parameters at once, in compliance with ISO, ASTM and DIN standards. Color and gloss values are displayed together, making it easy to clearly determine the cause of a mismatch. The key criterion for a 45/0 instrument is a circumferential illumination. spectro-guide 45/0 is using a unique, patented measurement principle to achieve a 100% circumferential illumination. A white coated hemisphere acts as a mixing chamber and guarantees completely uniform illumination. Thus, any influence of measurement direction is eliminated and excellent repeatability even on highly textured surfaces is guaranteed. Additionally, a patented illumination control provides temperature independent results - even in extreme conditions.

With the new spectro-guide you can measure any color: dark - brilliant - steep reflectance curves. The 10 nm spectral resolution not only ensures highly precise color results, but also an excellent agreement with competitive color instruments (X-Rite, Konica Minolta, HunterLab and etc.) - even bench-top units.

One can save up to 1.5 thousand standards and 999 samples in the instrument’s memory, both for color and gloss. The delivered with each spectro-guide BYK-Gardner’s easy-link software is assigned for data exchange between PC and spectrophotometer. It contains pre-defined QC reports and allows the direct export of measurement results into MS Excel™ thus making you ready for routine color control. No matter whether you want to compare a batch to a defined standard or monitor process changes over time, easy-link offers all of the necessary tools. The auto tolerancing function assists you in setting up the tolerances for Pass/Fail control. Measure at least 20 visually accepted production trials, transfer the readings to easy-link and have the tolerances automatically calculated for you – saving time and headaches. The included CIELab-Graph routines will chart the differences in color and lightness together with production tolerances. To verify, if production is stable over time - all data is summarized in a trend graphs: color, gloss and your own product specific information. If you have to match colors and the physical sample is no longer available, you can easily enter the spectral data in easy-link. The standards can be then transferred to spectro-guide for color QC. For security reasons it is recommended to store the entire database of standards on the PC. They can be then downloaded with individual tolerances to spectrophotometer if necessity emerged.

To examine whether parts of different materials match in color, the color differences are displayed simultaneously for the three illuminants – it helps to control metamerism.

spectro-guide guarantees superior accuracy for many years and low maintenance expenses. Device is light (weighting about 500 grams), capable of up to 8 thousand readings/measurements per set of long lasting standard AA batteries, patented temperature control allows color and gloss measurements wherever needed, without worrying about variations in readings due to temperature fluctuations; device has a rugged and ergonomic design. At last, manufacturer gives a 10 year warranty on the light source.

The spectro-guide spectrophotometer makes quality control simple and secure - even for novices. Due to intuitive pulldown menu and four operation buttons (serving both for navigation – like in mobile phone, and designated measurements), quality control has never been easier.

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