For Product Color control : Grab Sample process control, At-Line process control, or On-line process control, what do you use? Here are some considerations.

First, the measurement delay time of the grab sample method will largely determine how much waste product you produce. Typically it takes 20-30 minutes to grab the sample, prepare it (grind sample), take it to the lab, run the test, and return the result to the operator. So how much product does your line produce in 20-30 minutes? Does the ground sample color represent how the customer will see it (and decide to buy it)? This measurement delay time could cost you 20-30 minutes of out of spec product. Now your operator makes an adjustment to the process. The product doesn’t instantly return to specification, as your equipment has a response time. Maybe it is 10 minutes. Then you take another sample to verify the adjustment that was made.

You have based your adjustment on a single (or an average of 3 samples for more a robust representation) lab color measurement in time. This control scheme will repeat all shift long, requiring one or more dedicated lab technicians, and costing 30-40 minutes of off specification product for each time the process line “drifts”,  or raw materials change.

Our CR100LG At Line Colorimeter with turntable could reduce your grab sample time considerably. The analyzer, located feet from the line, can measure the color in 10 seconds. It could take 1 minuet to grab the sample,  fill the bowl, level it, and press the button. The color value is an average of 5,000 measurements taken across the surface of your sample, the same color as  your customer will see. The operator can make the measurement without the need for a lab technician.

 So, 30-40 minutes between process verification/adjustment, using an average of 3 samples, with blended color from surface and inside of the product, or 1 minute, 10 Seconds for a 5,000 sample average as the customer sees it

Our CR100FF process colorimeter can reduce your grab sample time even further. It mounts over your line, is non contact, non-destructive and measures color continuosly.  It takes 500 samples per second (also averaged). This represents the product color as the customer will see it, not ground up and homogenized like many lab tests require. With this instrument, you are using much more data to make your control decision. This data better represents how the customer will see the product. The data can be displayed as a trend on the CR100FF‘s operator interface, or it can be connected to a computer running our Colotura Grading Software for additional capabilities of data logging, enhanced live trend plots with dual alarm limits, and Shift report generation with histogram charts. The operator can see the process response right on the screen. With some study and additional interface hardware and software Fully automation process control can be done using the CR100FF as the sensing element . 

Senware offers the most affordable color measurement tools available. Please contact us for your process Color measurement needs.