color matching sensor

Ensuring Color Accuracy is Critical for More Reasons Than One

Precision is an important metric for every manufacturer in every industry. There are multiple aspects of products that must be carefully monitored to ensure overall quality and ultimately a positive customer experience. One of these aspects that can be difficult to measure using manual processes is color. Depending on your production process, you may have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of items moving along your line at any given time. To prevent inconsistencies, customer service headaches, and excess costs, a color matching sensor should be included as part of your factory automation.

A great example of this is the automotive industry. Recently, a major automotive manufacturer wanted to guarantee the color correctness of multiple interior trim components — not only to deliver a superior product but also to make the manufacturing process as seamless and error-free as possible. At that time, color verification was being handled manually, which was extremely time consuming and labor-intensive. To streamline the process and ensure component color was accurate, the manufacturer implemented a color matching sensor into their end of arm tooling on their robot — eliminating the manual headache associated with verification.

Another example comes from the lumber industry, where a manufacturer of wood panels was facing a similar challenge. Because slight variations in color can be extremely difficult for the human eye to catch, the decision was made to implement a color verification system as part of its manufacturing process. A color matching sensor was implemented to evaluate the color of wood panels and remove the manual and at times subjective nature of visual inspection. By doing so, the manufacturer was able to drive down operational costs, improve production speed, and guarantee high-quality products at all times.

But what exactly does the ideal color matching sensor look like? There are a number of options available in today’s market for color verification, but not all have the features that manufacturers need to guarantee color accuracy and enhance production processes. Let’s take a look at some characteristics of an ideal color matching sensor.

4 Important Features of an Ideal Color Matching Sensor

1. Detailed Color Data Output

While the human eye can identify a broad range of hues, there are two problems that arise when it comes to manufacturing. First, subtle differences in product color may be easily missed in manual verification due to other ambient light. Depending on the setup of your production environment, two products that appear to be similar to our eye might in fact be notably off. The second problem is speed. Relying on manual verification in a high production environment will be unreliable, time-intensive, and costly (if not altogether impossible). With a proper color matching sensor, you can verify color instantly, as the ideal color matching sensor will show you RGB intensity for extreme precision.

2. Scanning Flexibility

It’s important that your color matching sensor fits your production environment and production process, as off-the-shelf solutions won’t be configurable to your specific application. For example, perhaps your product has a slight sheen. This feature would reflect other sources of light in your facility. Data from generic sensors might be affected by this, so an advanced solution capable of removing these variables during scanning is ideal.

3. Scanning Speed

For manufacturing companies, speed is everything. Being able to not only automate as much as possible but also increase the speed of that automation is critical to success. To support this goal in the color verification section of the overall production process, you’ll need a color matching sensor that can keep up. Many sensors available on the market operate at speeds that simply can’t keep up with production demands. The ideal solution will have an extremely fast sampling speed to ensure more products are verified in less time.

4. Material Scanning Options

Depending on your product design and material choices, you may need to have one or more different types of sensors to ensure color can be verified on-line. For example, translucent materials typically require a different sensor than opaque materials. Relying on a single sensor won’t produce the same results for different products, so it’s important to find a color matching sensor that can produce accurate data regardless of material type. The ideal solution will allow for different material scanning and easy integration into your production line, even if more than one sensor is required.

We Know What You’re Thinking

Where can I find a color matching sensor that achieves all these important features? At EMX Industries, Inc., our ColorMax line of color matching sensors provides all of these benefits and many more. We designed the ColorMax line of sensors — the 1000 series for opaque targets and VIEW series for translucent materials — to completely transform the color verification process and further automate your production environment. 

Each sensor is packed with the features mentioned above and other advantages, such as white balance adjustment for multi-sensor alignment. They also come with an innovative software application for fast and simple setup, color channel management, and real-time sample analysis display. The ColorMax line of industrial color matching sensors can be integrated into manufacturing processes for virtually any industry, ranging from automotive and consumer goods to wood processing and pharmaceutical.

Discover If ColorMax is Right for You

If your organization has been struggling with product consistency, customer service challenges, or process automation difficulties relating to color, this innovative line of sensors can help you eliminate these headaches and get back to doing what you do best.

Contact our team today to learn more about the ColorMax sensor line.