Color is life. It’s everything we see from 380 to 700nm. Manufacturing processes are designed to produce consistent objects. When a change in raw materials and or process conditions occur, it affects the consistency and quality of the product and thus its color. To check for consistency and quality, samples are obtained from the manufacturing processes and check against standards in a laboratory. This is a tedious, slow, inefficient, and costly processes. Worst yet, there is no guarantee that an entire production lot can be certified with this method because only a few points were can be checked during the production run.
In-line color measurement provides an alternative to the current laboratory quality control. However, process measurements are more demanding than laboratory ones because at least one of these factors plays an important role during the measurement activity: movement, temperature, pressure, and interference. Thus, a spectrophotometer designed to measure in-line and in real-time must account for these variables.
Manufacturing processes benefit from in-line color measurement because they obtain real time results and early detection of out-of-spec products. With these data, operators can make immediate adjustments to the process to avoid the generation of off-spec products and improve their understanding of the process itself.