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How To Set Up A Color Quality Program

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Color is one of the primary drivers of consumer’s perception of quality. Inconsistent color creates a negative impression on both the product and brand. The goal of color measurement is to ensure color remains consistent and accurate from the start of the process to the final product. The most effective way to ensure color consistency and accuracy is to establish color tolerance.

Color tolerance is a specified limit established to determine how big of the color difference between the sample and the master target is considered acceptable. This set of limits can be used in the R&D and QA/QC process to determine if the color of the sample is within the established range.

To establish an effective color tolerance, below are some steps to take note.

Define a Color Standard

Color standard is first defined internally or externally between the suppliers and client. With the help of color measuring instruments, measure and record the color values of the master target.

Visual Assessments

Visual assessments are conducted to correlate visual perception with the numerical values of color. Gather and visually assess samples that appear similar in color to the standard using a light booth. Select those that are visually different from the master target, but are still within the acceptable range. Use a visual color assessment form to help define your visual assessment systematically.

As the sensitivity of the human eye vary between different individual, it is recommended to conduct these color assessments using a committee of people.

Define Acceptable Tolerance Values

Measure and record the color values of each sample selected from the visual assessment. Using those data, establish the maximum tolerance limits using the color values furthest from the master target.

Establish a Color Difference System

Select the color difference systems (box tolerance (ΔL* Δa* Δb*), ΔE*ab, CIE94 or CIE dE2000) that best suits the application. Find out more about the different color difference systems here.

The use of highly accurate color measuring instruments and color analysis software can help establish and define color tolerance easily and effectively.

For more information on how to establish an effective color tolerance, email or call us at 6563 5533 for a free consultation with our color specialists.

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